Thursday, January 12, 2017

The U.S. Needs to Ratify ILO Convention 169 (part 2)

I have highlighted some notable provisions that address past and present concerns over the deprivation of rights and autonomy. If the U.S. were to sign onto ILO Convention 169 it would ensure that progress is made in these areas. Currently, only 22 countries have ratified Convention 169 and the U.S. isn't one of them, despite its history.

Article 6 Section I. 

In applying the provisions of this convention, governments shall:
(a) consult the peoples concerned, through appropriate procedures and in particular through their representative institutions, whenever consideration is being given to legislative or administrative measures which may affect them directly

Article 7

Section 1
The people concerned shall have the right to decide their own priorities for the process of development as it affects their lives, beliefs, institutions and spiritual well-being and the lands they occupy or otherwise use, and to exercise control, to the extent possible, over their own economic, social and cultural development. 

Section 2
The improvements of the conditions of life and work and levels of health and education of the people concerned, with their participation and co-operation, shall be a matter of priority in plans for the overall economic development of areas they inhabit.

Section 3
Governments shall ensure that, whenever appropriate, studies are carried out, in co-operation with the peoples concerned, to assess the social, spiritual, cultural and environmental impact on them of planned development activities.

Section 4
Governments shall take measures, in co-operation with the peoples concerned, to protect and preserve the environment of the territories they inhabit.

Article 9 Section 2
The customs of these peoples in regard to penal matters shall be taken into consideration by the authorities and courts dealing with such cases.

Article 10 Section 2
Preference shall be given to methods of punishment other than confinement in prison.
Part II deals with land rights

Article 13 Section 1
In applying the provisions of this part of the convention governments shall respect the special importance for the cultures and spiritual values of the peoples concerned of their relationship with the lands or territories, or both as applicable, which they occupy or otherwise use, and in particular the collective aspects of this relationship.

Article 14

Section 1
The rights of ownership and possession of the peoples concerned over the lands, which they traditionally occupy, shall be recognized. In addition, measures shall be taken in appropriate cases to safeguard the right of the peoples concerned to use lands not exclusively occupied by them, but to which they have traditionally had access for their subsistence and traditional activities.

Section 2
Governments shall take steps as necessary to identify the lands, which the peoples concerned traditionally occupy, and to guarantee effective protection of their rights of ownership and possession. 

Article 15

Section 1
The rights of the peoples concerned to the natural resources pertaining to their lands shall be specially safeguarded. These rights include the right of these peoples to participate in the use, management and conservation of these resources.

Section 2
In cases in which the State retains the ownership of mineral or sub-surface resources or rights to other resources pertaining to lands, governments shall establish or maintain procedures through which they shall consult these peoples, with a view to ascertaining whether and to what degree their interests would be prejudiced, before undertaking or permitting any programs for the exploration or exploitation of such resources pertaining to their lands.

Article 16

Section 1
Subject to the following paragraphs of this Article, the peoples concerned shall not be removed from the lands that they occupy.

Section 2
Where the relocation of these peoples is considered necessary as an exceptional measure, such relocation shall take place only with their free and informed consent.

Section 3
Whenever possible, these people shall have the right to return to their traditional lands, as soon as the grounds for relocation cease to exist.

Section 4
When such return is not possible, as determined by agreement or, in the absence of such agreement, through appropriate procedures, these peoples shall be provided in all possible cases with lands of quality and legal status at least equal to that of the lands previously occupied by them, suitable to provide for their present needs and future development.

Article 17 Section 2
The peoples concerned shall be consulted whenever consideration is being given to their capacity to alienate their lands or otherwise transmit their rights outside their own community.

Article 19
National agrarian programs shall secure to the peoples concerned treatment equivalent to that accorded to other sectors of the population with regard to:
(a) The provision of more land for these people when they have not the area necessary for providing the essentials of a normal existence, or for any possible increase in their numbers.
(b) The provision of the means required for promoting the development of the lands, which these peoples already possess.

Article 23 Section 1
Handicrafts, rural and community-based industries, and subsistence economy and traditional activities of the peoples concerned, such as hunting, fishing, trapping and gathering, shall be recognized as important factors in the maintenance of their cultures and in their economic self-reliance and development. Governments shall, with the participation of these people and whenever appropriate, ensure that these activities are strengthened and promoted.

Article 25 Section 1
Governments shall ensure that adequate health services are made available to the peoples concerned, or shall provide them with resources to allow them to design and deliver such services under their own responsibility and control, so that they may enjoy the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.

Article 26
Measures shall be taken to ensure that members of the peoples concerned have the opportunity to acquire education at all levels on at least an equal footing with the rest of the national community.

Article 27 Section 2
The competent authority shall ensure the training of members of these peoples and their involvement in the formulation and implementation of education programs, with a view to the progressive transfer of responsibility for the conduct of these programs to these peoples as appropriate.

Article 28

Section 1
Children belonging to the peoples concerned shall, wherever practicable, be taught to read and write in their own indigenous language or in the language most commonly used by the group to which they belong. When this is not practicable, the competent authorities shall undertake consultations with these peoples with a view to the adoption of measures to achieve this objective.

Section 3
Measures shall be taken to preserve and promote the development and practice of the indigenous languages of the peoples concerned.

Article 29
The imparting of general knowledge and skills that will help children belonging to the peoples concerned to participate fully and on an equal footing in their own community and in the national community shall be an aim of education for these peoples.

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