Objective: To adopt new international standards with a view to removing the assimilationist orientation of the earlier ones and recognise the aspirations of these peoples to exercise control over their own institutions, ways of life and economic development within the framework of the States in which they live.
Summary of provisions: Article 1 sets self-identification as a fundamental criterion for determining the groups to which the provisions of this Convention apply. Part II of the Convention addresses the question of lands. Contracting Parties undertake to recognise the rights of ownership and possession over the lands, which the peoples concerned traditionally occupy and to safeguard their right to use the lands not exclusively occupied by them (art. 14.1)
Parties are to specially safeguard the rights of the peoples concerned to the natural resources pertaining to their lands, including the right to use, manage, and conserve these resources (art. 15.1) In cases in which the State retains the ownership of mineral or sub-surface resources or rights to other resources pertaining to lands, States are to establish or maintain consultation procedures to ascertain the extent of the prejudice caused by exploration or exploration of these resources and whenever possible, ensure that the peoples concerned participate in the benefits of such activities and receive fair compensation for any damages (art. 15.2).
Article 16.1 asserts that subject to the following paragraphs of Article 16, the peoples concerned are not to be removed from the lands which they occupy. When relocation is nevertheless considered necessary as an exceptional measure, such relocation is to take place with the peoples' free and informed consent, or failing that, according to appropriate procedures established by national laws and regulations (art. 16.2). Parties agree that that these peoples are to have the right to return to their lands as soon as the grounds for relocation cease to exist (art. 16.3). When such return is not possible, they agree to provide these peoples with lands of quality and legal status at least equal to that of the lands previously occupied, suitable to provide for their present needs and future development (art. 16.4). The term lands used in Articles 15 and 16 includes the concept of territories which covers the total environment of the areas which the peoples concerned occupy or use (art. 13.2).
Institutional mechanisms: When it considers it necessary, the Governing Body of the International Labour Office presents the General Conference a report on the working of this Convention and examines the desirability of placing on the agenda of the Conference the question of its revision in whole or in part (art. 42).
(Source: IUCN ELC, 08.2005)