The General Conference of the International Labour Organisation,
Having been convened at Geneva by the Governing Body of the International Labour Office, and having met in its Fortieth Session on 5 June 1957 and Having decided upon the adoption of certain proposals with regard to the protection and integration of indigenous and other tribal and semi-tribal populations in independent countries, which is the sixth item on the agenda of the session, and
Having determined that these proposals shall take the form of an international Convention, and
Considering that the Declaration of Philadelphia affirms that all human beings have the right to pursue both their material well-being and their spiritual development in conditions of freedom and dignity of economic security and equal opportunity, and
Considering that there exist in various independent countries indigenous and other tribal and semi-tribal populations which are not yet integrated into the national community and whose social, economic or cultural situation hinders them from benefiting fully from the rights and advantages enjoyed by other elements of the population, and
Considering it desirable both for humanitarian reasons and in the interest of the countries concerned to promote continued action to improve the living and working conditions of these populations by simultaneous action in respect of all the factors which have hitherto prevented them from sharing fully in the progress of the national community of which they form part, and
Considering that the adoption of general international standards on the subject will facilitate action to assure the protection of the populations concerned, their progressive integration into their respective national communities, and the improvement of their living and working conditions, and
Noting that these standards have been framed with the co-operation of the United Nations, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation and the World Health Organisation, at appropriate levels and in their respective fields, and that it is proposed to seek their continuing co-operation in promoting and securing the application of these standards,
adopts this twenty-sixth day of June of the year one thousand nine hundred and fifty-seven the following Convention, which may be cited as the Indigenous and Tribal Populations Convention, 1957:
(a) members of tribal or semi-tribal populations in independent countries whose social and economic conditions are at a less advanced stage than the stage reached by the 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;
(b) members of tribal or semi-tribal populations in independent countries which 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 and which, irrespective of their legal status, live more in conformity with the social, economic and cultural institutions of that time than with the institution of the nation to which they belong.
(a) enabling the said populations to benefit on an equal footing from the rights and opportunities which national laws or regulations grant to the other elements of the population;
(b) promoting the social, economic and cultural development of these populations and raising their standard of living;
(c) creating possibilities of national integration to the exclusion of measures tending towards the artificial assimilation of these populations.
(a) are not used as a means of creating or prolonging a state of segregation; and
(b) will be continued only so long as there is need for special protection and only to the extent that such protection is necessary.
In applying the provisions of this Convention relating to the integration of the populations concerned—
(a) due account shall be taken of the cultural and religious values and of the forms of social control existing among these populations, and of the nature of the problems which face them both as groups and as individuals when they undergo social and economic change;
(b) the danger involved in disrupting the values and institutions of the said populations unless they can be replaced by appropriate substitutes which the groups concerned are willing to accept shall be recognised;
(c) policies aimed at mitigating the difficulties experienced by these populations in adjusting themselves to new conditions of life and work shall be adopted.
In applying the provisions of this Convention relating to the protection and integration of the populations concerned, governments shall—
(a) seek the collaboration of these populations and of their representatives;
(b) provide these populations with opportunities for the full development of their initiative;
(c) stimulate by all possible means the development among these populations of civil liberties and the establishment of or participation in elective institutions.
The improvement of the conditions of life and work and level of education of the populations concerned shall be given high priority in plans for the over-all economic development of areas inhabited by these populations. Special projects for economic development of the areas in question shall also be so designed as to promote such improvement.
To the extent consistent with the interests of the national community and with the national legal system—
(a) the methods of social control practised by the populations concerned shall be used as far as possible for dealing with crimes or offences committed by members of these populations;
(b) where use of such methods of social control is not feasible, the customs of these populations in regard to penal matters shall be borne in mind by the authorities and courts dealing with such cases.
Except in cases prescribed by law for all citizens the exaction from the members of the populations concerned of compulsory personal services in any form, whether paid or unpaid, shall be prohibited and punishable by law.
The right of ownership, collective or individual, of the members of the populations concerned over the lands which these populations traditionally occupy shall be recognised.
National agrarian programmes shall secure to the populations concerned treatment equivalent to that accorded to other sections of the national community with regard to—
(a) the provision of more land for these populations when they have not the area necessary for providing the essentials of a normal existence, or for any possible increase in their numbers;
(b) the provision of the means required to promote the development of the lands which these populations already possess.
(a) admission to employment, including skilled employment;
(b) equal remuneration for work of equal value;
(c) medical and social assistance, the prevention of employment injuries, workmen’s compensation, industrial hygiene and housing;
(d) the right of association and freedom for all lawful trade union activities, and the right to conclude collective agreements with employers or employers’ organisations.
Persons belonging to the populations concerned shall enjoy the same opportunities as other citizens in respect of vocational training facilities.
Existing social security schemes shall be extended progressively, where practicable, to cover—
(a) wage earners belonging to the populations concerned;
(b) other persons belonging to these populations.
Measures shall be taken to ensure that members of the populations concerned have the opportunity to acquire education at all levels on an equal footing with the rest of the national community.
The imparting of general knowledge and skills that will help children to become integrated into the national community shall be an aim of the primary education for the populations concerned.
Educational measures shall be taken among other sections of the national community and particularly among those that are in most direct contact with the populations concerned with the object of eliminating prejudices that they may harbour in respect of these populations.
(a) planning, co-ordination and execution of appropriate measures for the social, economic and cultural development of the populations concerned;
(b) proposing of legislative and other measures to the competent authorities;
(c) supervision of the application of these measures.
The nature and the scope of the measures to be taken to give effect to this Convention shall be determined in a flexible manner, having regard to the conditions characteristic of each country.
The application of the provisions of this Convention shall not affect benefits conferred on the populations concerned in pursuance of other Conventions and Recommendations.