Indigenous people are living three times in extreme poverty conditions than their non-indigenous counterparts, according to the ILO. Moreover, the ILO said that the indigenous people account for about 19 per cent of the extreme poor in the world.
The ILO report has been released as a mark of the 30th anniversary of the Indigenous and Tribal People’s Convention 1989 (No. 169).
Noting that there as only a slow progress in improving the lives of indigenous people, ILO specialist and co-author of the report Martin Oelz said that that more ratifications and effective implementation of Convention No. 169 was needed. Moreover, Oelz said that there was a need to tackle widespread absence of institutional and legal frameworks to address the needs of these peoples.
The ILO report also said that the number of indigenous peoples was higher than previously thought and accounted to more than six per cent of the world population. This meant that over 476 millions (more than the combined population of the US and Canada) form the indigenous population and among them more than 80 per cent live in middle income countries. It is also said that there are more than 5.000 distinct indigenous communities in 90 countries.
Pointing out that the livelihood and economic activities of several indigenous peoples have exchanged, the ILO said that about 45 per cent of them are now outside of the agricultural sector. It said that more than 86 per cent of them work in the informal economy and this economy l associated with lack of social protection and poor working conditions.
When talking of Indigenous women, the ILO said that these women have the lowest chance of basic education and are likely to be in much poverty. These women also have the highest participation (about 34 per cent) in contributing to family work. However, only about a quarter of them are having salaried work.