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2010 ILO Criticizes Guatemala on Mining and Indigenous Communities [Cerro Blanco]

In 2010, the International Labour Organization (ILO) Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations (CEACR) released a report criticizing Guatemala for, despite earlier comments made in 2005, 2006, and 2007, continuing to issue mining licences without consultation with indigenous communities and for failing to compensate indigenous communities for damages sustained or “make efforts to reduce the impact of exploitation”. The Committee requested “the Government to neither grant nor renew any licence for the exploration and exploitation of natural resources as referred to in Article 15 of the Convention while the participation and consultation provided for by the Convention are not being carried out, and to provide information in this regard.” These findings were made in relation to the Committee’s assessment of Guatemala’s obligations under the ILO Convention No. 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries. The Committee received comments on this issue from “the Union Movement, Guatemalan Indigenous and Agricultural Workers for the Defence of Workers’ Rights, of which the General Confederation of Workers of Guatemala (CGTG) forms a part, the Trade Union Confederation of Guatemala (CUSG), the National Trade Union and Peoples’ Coordinating Body (CNSP), the National Federation of Trade Unions of Public Employees of Guatemala (FENASTEG), the Trade Union Federation of Farm Workers (FESOC), the Trade Union of Health Workers of Guatemala, the Eastern Distribution Workers’ Union and the Trade Union Confederation of Guatemala (UNSITRAGUA)” (ILO Report, 2010). At the time of the report’s release, the Committee had not received a response from Guatemala on the comments provided by these organizations.

Type of Action / Tipo de Acción:
Multi-Lateral Organization Proceedings
Extractive Project / Proyecto extractivo:
Jurisdiction / Jurisdicción:
United Nations System
Category of Key Actors in Legal Action / Categoría de actores claves en la Acción Legal:
Multi-Lateral Organizations
Human Rights Violated/Claimed:
Right to consultation, Right to free, prior and informed consent
Key Legal Actors Involved / Actores jurídicos clave involucrados:
International Labour Organization
References / Referencias:

International Labour Organization Conference (98th Session), “Report of the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations”, dated 2009, online:—ed_norm/—relconf/documents/meetingdocument/wcms_103484.pdf, accessed on 8 October 2020