Indigenous and tribal peoples

Indigenous and tribal peoples have their own cultures, ways of life, traditions and customary laws. But throughout history, lack of respect for these cultures has led to social conflict and bloodshed in far too many cases around the world. The ILO has been working with indigenous and tribal peoples since the 1920s. It is responsible for the only international instruments currently in force that deal exclusively with the rights of these peoples.

ILO work in the field of indigenous and tribal peoples falls mainly into two categories: adoption and supervision of standards; and assistance to indigenous and tribal peoples and to States. Today, the international community has accepted the principle that the cultures, ways of life, traditions and customary laws of indigenous and tribal peoples are valuable and need to be respected and protected, and that indigenous and tribal peoples should participate in decision-making processes in the countries in which they live.

Multimedia

  1. ILO Director-General speaks on Convention 169

  2. Actress Q'Orianka Kilcher speaks up, speaks out for Indigenous Peoples' Rights

News

  1. © Pius Mahimbi 2015

    International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

    "Indigenous peoples have the right to decent work"

    09 August 2015

  2. © Ishara S.Kodikara / AFP 2015

    International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

    Nepal: Rights, quake rehab plan are musts for peace and development

    07 August 2015

  3. © UN Photo/Ryan Brown 2015

    69th Session of the UN General Assembly

    ILO Director-General's statement to the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples Rights

    23 September 2014