ILO Says Brazilian Govt Violated Convention 169 in Belo Monte Case
SAO PAULO, Brazil -- A report of the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations of the International Labour Organization (ILO) released on Saturday, 3, confirms that the Brazilian government should have conducted the hearings in indigenous villages impacted by Belo Monte before any intervention may affect their property and their rights.
technical note confirms the position of the Federal Public Ministry (MPF) and
the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, who has accosted the Brazilian
government on the non-completion of hearings.
to the ILO document, "the Commission notes that, under Article 15 of the
Convention, the government is obliged to consult indigenous peoples before
undertaking or permitting any programs for the exploitation of existing
resources on their lands," stating that Belo Monte will change the
navigability of the Xingu, and the fauna, flora and climate of the region.
These impacts, the ILO said, "go beyond the flooding of land or
displacement of these people."
non-completion of hearings, also provided in the Constitution, led a civil
action to the MPF, the Federal Court dismissed the first region (TRF1) in late
2011, should follow, on appeal to the Supreme Court vote.
the manifestation of the ILO, the arguments of the judges of TRF1 - that
hearsay can occur at any time of the process - are definitely invalidated. It
also knocks down the arguments of government officials that the Indians would
have been heard, even in informal meetings. "It can not be regarded as a
simple informational meeting complies with the provisions of the
Convention." It concludes: "the Commission [technical] estimates
that, according to the documentation and information submitted by the government,
the procedures carried out so far, even though large, do not meet the
requirements set out in Articles 6 and 15 of the Convention and either
demonstrate that indigenous peoples were allowed to participate effectively in
determining their priorities in accordance with Article 7 of the
final recommendations, the Committee of Experts asks the Brazilian government:
necessary measures to carry out consultations with the affected indigenous
peoples, in accordance with Articles 6 and 15 of the Convention on the
construction of the Belo Monte Dam, before the possible harmful effects of that
plant are irreversible
consultation with indigenous peoples, take steps to determine whether the
priorities of these peoples were respected and their interests will be
adversely affected and to what extent, in order to adopt the mitigation and
Federal Court of Para on the results of the procedure
What is the
ILO Convention 169
Convention Concerning Indigenous and Tribal - 169 Convention - ratified by the
country in 2002 and enacted through a presidential decree in 2004. Convention
169 establishes, among other things, that indigenous and tribal peoples have
the right to be consulted in a free, prior and informed about state actions
that may affect their property or rights.
To see the
full document (which comes with other federal projects failed to comply with
Convention 169), click here
Peoples Issues & Resources and Amazonia
Published by: Magne Ove Varsi