INDIA AND INDIGENOUS PEOPLES POLITICAL AUTONOMY AND DEMOCRATISING GOVERNANCE

INDIA AND INDIGENOUS PEOPLES POLITICAL AUTONOMY AND DEMOCRATISING GOVERNANCE

Indigenous peoples (IPs) entered the hallowed precincts of the United Nations in the 1950s, initially in the International Labour Organisation (ILO), later moved upfront when the UN Economic and Social Council created the Working Group on Indigenous Populations (WGIP) in 1982.

The IPs condemned ILO’s Indigenous and Tribal Populations Convention, 1957 (No. 107), the first international law on IPs applicable to the states that have ratified it, for its integrationist and assimilationist approach. Consequently, it was revised by the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 (No. 169). It recognises IPs’ right to self-determination within a nation-state while setting standards for national governments regarding Indigenous peoples’ economic, socio-cultural and political rights, including the right to land.

The long drawn-out battle within the UN finally gave way to a negotiated instrument between IPs and nation-states when the UN Universal Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) was adopted in 2007.


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