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© Gideon Mendel/ Corbis/ ActionAid
© Gideon Mendel/ Corbis/ ActionAid
Globally, indigenous peoples represent a demographic minority and they are amongst the world's most disenfranchised peoples. A definition used by the International Labour Organisation (Convention No. 169, concerning the working rights of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples, 1989) applies to:

   Tribal peoples whose social, cultural and economic conditions distinguish them from other sections of the national community, and whose status is regulated wholly or partially by their own customs or traditions or by special laws or regulations.

    Peoples who are regarded as indigenous on account of their descent from the

   populations which inhabited the country, or a geographical region to which the

   country belongs, at the time of conquest or colonisation or the establishment of

   present state boundaries and who, irrespective of their legal status, retain some or

   all of their own social, economic, cultural and political institutions.8

   The Convention also states that self-identification as indigenous or tribal shall be

   regarded as a fundamental criterion for determining the groups to which the

   provisions of this Convention apply.

(Read more  UNDG guidelines on Indigenous Peoples’ Issues p. 8)

Existing International norms and standards:

The ILO Convention No. 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples;

The UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and;

Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 2007.

Also, from UNESCO:

 The Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity and its programme of action (2001)

 The Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (2005)

 The Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003)

 Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (1972)

 Read more:

Indigenous Children Rights and education

CRC General Comment no. 11