Indigenous and tribal peoples

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  • ©M. Schlanbusch
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  • ©IWGIA
  • ©S. Errico
  • ©R.K. Dhir
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  • ©I.M. Puscas
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  1. The ILO has been engaged with indigenous and tribal peoples’ issues since the 1920s. It is responsible for the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 (No. 169), the only international treaty open for ratification that deals exclusively with the rights of these peoples. The ILO’s Decent Work Agenda, with gender equality and non-discrimination as a cross-cutting concern, serves as a framework for indigenous and tribal peoples’ empowerment. Access to decent work enables indigenous women and men to harness their potential as change agents in poverty reduction, sustainable development and climate change action.

Key resources

  1. 30th anniversary of the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 (No. 169)

    In 2019, the ILO Centenary coincides with the 30th anniversary of the adoption by the International Labour Conference of the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 (No. 169).

  2. Convention No. 169 TOOLBOX

    ILO resources for government officials, workers’ and employers’ organizations, indigenous and tribal peoples, judges, members of parliaments and others involved in implementing Convention No. 169 or considering its ratification.

  3. © T.Lee

    International Labour Standards regarding indigenous and tribal peoples

    ILO's Convention No.169 is based on respect for the cultures and ways of life of indigenous and tribal peoples. It aims at overcoming discriminatory practices affecting these peoples and enabling them to participate in decision-making that affects their lives.

Sustainable Development Goals

  1. Achieving the SDGs: Indigenous and tribal peoples as agents of change

    Reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their overall ambition of “leaving no one behind” will require specific attention to the rights, aspirations, and participation of indigenous women and men. Decent Work can enable indigenous and tribal peoples to play their part in achieving the 17 goals of the Sustainable Development Agenda by 2030.


  1. The impact of COVID-19 on indigenous communities: Insights from the Indigenous Navigator

  2. Report

    Indigenous Peoples and Climate Change: From Victims to Change Agents through Decent Work

    This report emphasizes the importance of the decent work agenda, including the ILO Convention No. 169 and Guidelines for a just transition, for empowering indigenous women and men, and ensuring that they can emerge as partners for achieving sustainable development and strong climate action.

  3. Report

    The Rights of indigenous peoples in Asia

    This report seeks to draw a realistic picture of major trends and challenges, and identifies important new opportunities in the framework of the new global agendas on sustainable development and climate action, which call for specific attention regarding the rights and concerns of indigenous peoples.

Indigenous Peoples: Agents of Change

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