Nicaragua signs international law for tribal peoples

May 25, 2010

Bayaka ‘Pygmies’, Central African Republic. Each country that ratifies Convention 169 makes it stronger everywhere. © Salomé/Survival

This page was created in 2010 and may contain language which is now outdated.

Nicaragua’s National Assembly has ratified the only international law for tribal peoples, International Labour Organization Convention 169, making it the 22nd country to do so.

ILO Convention 169 sets legally binding standards for the rights of Indigenous and tribal peoples everywhere, recognizing their land rights and right to self-determination. By signing the Convention, Nicaragua has committed to respecting and upholding these rights.

More than half of all the countries to ratify the Convention so far are in South and Central America.

Last month the Central African Republic became the first African country to ratify Convention 169, just days after New Zealand reversed its opposition to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The USA is also reviewing its position on the Declaration.

The UN Declaration sets an important set of standards regarding the rights of Indigenous peoples, but unlike the Convention, it is not legally binding.

ILO Convention 169 gives tribal peoples a way to seek redress when their rights are violated. The more countries that ratify the Convention, the more force it has.

Survival is calling on all countries to ratify Convention 169.