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Home NATIONALGovt for ratification of ILO convention on indigenous rights
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Mon, 07 Jul, 2014 12:01:37 AM
FTimes-STT Report, July 7
Sami people in Inari, Finnish Lapland. File Photo – Lehtikuva.
The government led by Alexander Stubb feels the respective International Labour Organization (ILO) convention should be ratified to institute rights of the indigenous and tribal peoples.
The ILO Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention No.169 should be ratified to this effect, observed the government.
Article 14 of the convention states that the rights of ownership and possession of the peoples concerned over the lands which they traditionally occupy shall be recognised.
The Sami Parliament suggests the land and waters within Sami homeland which are under the control of the state should be transferred under a special administrative body. The majority of its representatives will be chosen by the Sami Parliament and the Kolttien Kyläkokous (East Sami Village Council) will also be represented.
Klemetti Näkkäläjärvi, the president of Sami Parliament emphasised that this would not be a permanent solution.
Anu Avaskari from the Inarinsaamelaiset ry (an association of Inari Sami people) pointed out that the Inari Sámi would also like to retain the rights, if the ILO convention is ratified.
Avaskari said East Sami is partially populated by Inari Sami. In practice, the ratification would mean the East Sami Village Council may refuse the Inari Sami and others living in the area the right to earn their living.
Erika Sarivaara, the chair of the Metsä-, Kalastaja- ja Tunturisaamelaisten Yhdistys (Forest, Fisheries and Fell Sami Association) said the geographical dimension of the Sami area should be re-evaluated.
According to Sarivaara, the current border was decided arbitrarily and not based on history.
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