This handbook aims to answer some of the essential questions of ILO con stituents regarding the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 (No. 169). It has been elaborated in close cooperation with the Bureau for Employers’ Activities (ACT/EMP) and the Bureau for Workers’ Activities (ACTRAV), with the aim of providing the ILO constituents with a practical tool to better un derstand the relevance, scope and implications of the Convention and to foster joint efforts for its implementation. Convention No. 169 is a unique Convention. Adopted by the International Labour Conference (ILC) at its 76th Session in 1989, in cooper ation with the UN-system, it represents a consensus reached by ILO tripartite constituents. Indigenous and tribal peoples are among the vulnerable groups of concern to the ILO as it pursues its mission to promote social justice, in ternationally recognized human and labour rights and Decent Work. Convention No. 169 concerns the situation of more than 5,000 indigenous and tribal peoples, constituting a population of more than 370 million, living in more than 70 countries in all regions of the world. These peoples possess diverse languages, cultures, livelihood practices and knowledge systems. However, in most countries, they face discrimination and exploitative labour conditions, which are interconnected with their generalized marginalization and poverty situation. The ILO’s concern for indigenous peoples dates back to the 1920s and originated in the quest to overcome the discriminatory working conditions they live under. In recognition of the complexities and specificities of indigenous peoples’ situations, Convention No. 169 takes a holistic approach covering a wide range of issues that affect the lives and well being of these peoples. Convention No. 169 has become a global reference point with impact on governance and development policies that spans far be yond the countries that have ratified it. Further, it is an instrument for governments to foster a favourable environment for the creation of sustainable enterprises. xi The elaboration of this handbook is timely, as Convention No. 169 in recent years has been ratified by more States, including in Africa and Asia, and its implementation has become a focus of review and discussion by the ILO supervisory bodies and the ILO constituents. The 2008 ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization further acknowledges that “in a world of growing interdependence and complexity …the fundamental values of freedom, human dignity, social justice, security and non-discrimination are essential for sustainable economic and social development and efficiency”. Indigenous and tribal peoples’ rights and concerns have gained unprecedented momentum, in tersecting with the global debate concerning human rights, governance, poverty reduction and economic development, social economy, climate change, sustain able development and environmental protection. Progressive implementation of the Convention is generating knowledge and experience that can inform and inspire further efforts. In particular, the intertwined rights to consultation and participation in decision-making have raised particular interest regarding the scope, implications and operationalization of the Convention. This Handbook seeks to answer some of the fundamental questions re garding Convention No. 169 and, in particular, questions about the purpose, scope and operationalization of the right to consultation. Indigenous peoples, like any other group, cannot directly invoke the Convention before the ILO supervisory bodies but use the ILO tripartite constituents in articulating their issues and concerns. Up to now, they have always used the trade unions in their own countries or internationally or have been affiliated to them or in certain countries established specific trade unions of indigenous peoples. The Handbook seeks in particular to respond to the concerns of the ILO tripartite constituents for an easy to use guide that will assist them in supporting the implementation of the rights of indigenous peoples under the Convention, understanding their own roles in giving effect to the Convention and assisting enterprises in being able to work the Convention in pursuing their investment opportunities and projects.