Patrick Thornberry
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ILO standards II
Convention 169
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The record of the International Labour Organization (ILO) in dealing with indigenous peoples is treated at many points in the present work. A notable feature is the intellectual journey travelled between ILO Convention 107 and Convention 169, from the despair at the end of history to a new affirmation of indigenous presence and continuity. Many indigenous groups are wary of Convention 169 and contemptuous of 107. Neither Convention has been widely ratified, but the influence of ILO standards in the general consciousness of indigenous rights cannot be overestimated. The underestimation of 169 in particular may be for the wrong reasons and damaging to indigenous interests. While groups may be disappointed by its failure to address self-determination through evasive wording, the text of the Convention is radical by the standards of the human rights canon. In particular, its commitment to collective rights is remarkable and thoroughgoing. The Convention is strong on land rights and resources, customary law, education and participation.

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