JAKARTA (ILO News): Indigenous and tribal peoples constitute at least 5,000 distinct peoples with a population of more than 370 million, living in 70 different countries, including Indonesia. With 1,072 different ethnic groups, including 11 ethnic groups with a population of over one million people, Indonesia is considered one of the world’s most culturally diverse nations.
Indigenous and tribal peoples have their own cultures, ways of life, traditions and customary laws. Throughout history, lack of respect for these cultures has led to social conflict in many cases around the world. In Indonesia, while there is a formal acknowledgement of indigenous people’s rights in the 1945 Indonesian Constitution, there is no specific national law to protect indigenous and tribal people’s rights.
To discuss this, the International Labour Organization (ILO), in collaboration with the National Secretariat on Indonesian Indigenous People and the National Commission for Human Rights, will organize a one-day National Workshop on Indigenous and Tribal People, on Wednesday 28 October at the Sultan Hotel, Jakarta. The workshop will be officially opened by H.E. Irman Gusman, Chairperson of the Indonesian House of Regional Representatives (DPD) and Mr Alan Boulton, Country Director of the ILO in Indonesia.
The workshop is aimed to provide a forum to share information on indigenous and tribal rights as well as relevant mechanisms for protection. The workshop will also facilitate the development of a framework for the implementation and enforcement of the provisions in a draft national law with a view to progressively strengthen the recognition and protection of indigenous and tribal people in Indonesia.
Mr Boulton said that the ILO has had a longstanding concern for the situation of indigenous peoples. “The promotion of relevant international labour standards is at the heart of the Organization’s efforts towards the goal of improving the living and working conditions of indigenous and tribal peoples. Experience has shown that the traditional occupations and rich heritage of indigenous peoples can be part of forward-looking and innovative development strategies based on inclusion and participation,” he said.
The ILO has been working with indigenous and tribal peoples since the 1920s. The 1989 ILO Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal People promotes the rights of indigenous people on land, employment, training, social security, education and cooperation across borders among indigenous people. This Convention was discussed at a national workshop jointly held by the ILO and the Indonesian Constitutional Court in 2007.
The workshop will bring together national and international experts on indigenous people to develop effective implementation of a draft national law on the Protection of Indigenous People’s Rights as promulgated by the Indonesian Government through DPD. The main issues that will be covered by the workshop include challenges and potential benefits from greater recognition of indigenous and tribal people’s rights for the future development of Indonesia, the draft law on the protection of indigenous people’s rights and listening to voices of indigenous persons.
In addition, the workshop will also discuss the introduction to ILO Convention 169 on Indigenous People and its implementation and the UN Declaration on Indigenous People’s Rights. From an international perspective, it also examines best practices and lessons from the experiences of neighbouring countries, such as the Philippines and Nepal, on the protection of indigenous and tribal people’s rights.
The majority of indigenous peoples worldwide only find work in the informal economy. They are more likely to face discrimination in employment and suffer multiple disadvantages in matters of access to land and ownership rights, credit, marketing facilities and other resources.
For further information please contact:
ILO Jakarta Office
Tel. +6221 3913112 ext. 103
ILO Jakarta Office
Tel. +6221 3913112 ext. 115
Mobile: +62 815 884 5833