Political participation, the International Labour Organization, and Indigenous Peoples: Convention 169 ‘participatory’ rights
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SubjectIndigenous Peoples; Political participation; Participatory rights; ILO Convention 169; Representations under article 24 of the ILO Constitution
Indigenous Peoples are constantly denied a meaningful say in their domestic arenas despite centuries of political struggle. While a considerable part of academia has (fairly) focused on the two crucial Indigenous rights of consultation and Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), it has discussed less the requirements, content, and operationalisation of the full and effective political participation of Indigenous Peoples despite appeals made by many United Nations (UN) bodies. Against this background, this article focuses on what will be called the ‘participatory’ rights of Indigenous Peoples in the frame of the International Labour Office (ILO) Convention concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries No. 169 of 1989 (ILO Convention 169). It suggests a fourfold categorisation of such rights but with no intention to reduce the scope of the right (or rights) to Indigenous full and effective political participation, but rather to highlight those participatory measures that ILO Convention 169 includes but that have been so far neglected attention. The article ultimately highlights that ILO Convention 169 also may contribute to safeguarding Indigenous political participation in its different forms and exercises beyond consultation (and FPIC), which remain of utmost importance.
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