UK Government signs motion affirming that “there are no indigenous peoples in the United Kingdom”

Apr 20, 2009

That this House welcomes the 20th anniversary of International Labour Organisation Convention 169 on Tribal and Indigenous Peoples, which recognises and respects the land rights of indigenous peoples; notes that protecting the land rights of indigenous peoples is the most effective way to protect the world’s rainforests, crucial in the battle against climate change; further welcomes a memorandum submitted to the Environment Audit Committee by the Department for International Development and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which recognises the importance of ensuring indigenous peoples’ rights are respected in terms of ownership of the carbon asset; notes the Government’s continued refusal to put these rights on a firm legal footing and ratify Convention 169, on the grounds that there are no indigenous peoples in the United Kingdom; further notes that this has not prevented either the Netherlands or Spain from joining the list of 20 countries, including Brazil, that have ratified the Convention; believes that protecting the rights of indigenous peoples is a matter of international concern; and calls on the Government to ratify Convention 169 without delay.

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