Report of the Committee set up to examine the representation alleging non-observance by Denmark of ILO 169 (2000) (relocation of the population of the Uummannaq community in the Thule District of Greenland)


REPRESENTATION (article 24) - 2000 - DENMARK - C169 ----
Report of the Committee set up to examine the representation alleging
non-observance by Denmark of the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention,
1989 (No. 169), made under article 24 of the ILO Constitution by the National
Confederation of Trade Unions of Greenland (Sulinermik
Inuussutissarsiuteqartut Kattuffiat-SIK) (SIK)



Description:(Article 24 Representation)

Convention:(C169)

Subject classification: Indigenous and Tribal Peoples

Country:(Denmark)

Submitted:2000

Document:(GB.277/18/3)

Document:(GB.280/18/5)

Subject: Indigenous and Tribal Peoples

Display the document in:  French
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Document No. (ilolex): 162000DNK169

COMPLAINANT
National Confederation of Trade Unions of Greenland (Sulinermik
Inuussutissarsiuteqartut Kattuffiat-SIK)

Decision

The Governing Body adopted the report of the tripartite committee.  Procedure closed.

I.  Introduction
1.  In a communication dated 17 November 1999, the Greenlandic trade union, Sulineermik Inuussutissarsiuteqartut Kattuffiat (SIK) submitted a representation to the International Labour Office under article 24 of the ILO Constitution, alleging that the Government of Denmark had not adopted satisfactory measures for the observance of the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 (No.  169).

2.  Convention No.  169 was ratified by Denmark on 22 February 1996 and is in force for that country.

3.  The provisions of the Constitution of the International Labour Organization concerning the submission of representations are as follows:

Article 24 (Representations concerning the application of a Convention) In the event of any representation being made to the International Labour Office by an industrial association of employers or of workers that any of the Members has failed to secure in any respect the effective observance within its jurisdiction of any Convention to which it is a party, the Governing Body may communicate this representation to the government against which it is made, and may invite that government to make such statement on the subject as it may think fit.

Article 25 (Possibility of publishing the representation) If no statement is received within a reasonable time from the government in question, or if the statement when received is not deemed to be satisfactory by the Governing Body, the latter shall have the right to publish the representation and the statement, if any, made in reply to it.

4.  The procedure to be followed for the examination of representations is governed by the Standing Orders as revised by the Governing Body at its 212th Session (March 1980).(Endnote 1) In accordance with articles 1 and 2, paragraph 1, of the Standing Orders, the Director-General acknowledged receipt of the representation, informed the Government of Denmark of the representation by letter dated 19 January 2000 and brought the representation before the Officers of the Governing Body.

5.  At its 277th Session (March 2000), the Governing Body, on the recommendation of its Officers, decided that the representation was receivable and set up a committee to examine it, composed of Mr.  Henk Schrama (Government member, Netherlands) as Chairperson, Mr.  Jorge de Regil (Employer member, Mexico) and Mr.  Ulf Edström (Worker member, Sweden).  (Endnote 2)

6.  The Committee invited the Government to make a statement on the representation by 18 September 2000.  The Government communicated its observations on the representation by letter dated 12 September 2000.

7.  The complainant organization presented supplementary comments on 31 October 2000.  This information was communicated to the Government by letter dated 27 November 2000.  The Government communicated its observations on the supplementary comments by letter dated 5 February 2001.

8.  The Committee met during the 280th Session of the Governing Body in March 2001 to examine the information supplied by the parties and adopt its report.

II.  Examination of the representation A.  Allegations by the complainant organization
9.  The SIK alleges that Denmark has failed to comply with Article 14(2) of the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 (No.  169), which reads: "Governments shall take steps as necessary to identify the lands which the peoples concerned traditionally occupy, and to guarantee effective protection of their rights of ownership and possession." The representation arose out of the relocation in May 1953 of the population living in the settlement of Uummannaq (Thule District) in North-Western Greenland.  (Endnote 3)

10.  The SIK alleges that the Danish authorities ordered the relocation to permit the extension of the area around Thule Air Base, an installation constructed by the United States military authorities in 1951 near the local settlement of Uummannaq.  In May 1953, the entire population of Uummannaq was relocated 150 km to the north to permit the area around the air base to be extended.  According to the SIK, the relocation was carried out without previous consultation, without the consent of the peoples concerned and with only a few days' notice to the population of Uummannaq.

11.  The SIK indicates that the settlement of Uummannaq was located in an area rich in marine mammals, particularly narwhales.  There was also an abundant supply of polar bears and polar foxes.  According to the SIK, the settlements established after the relocation were far from areas where foxes, seals, walrus and polar bears were hunted, although the new areas were rich in narwhales, so that starvation was avoided for most of the population.

12.  The representation states that, following the resettlement, the local population brought a claim for compensation before the Hunter's Council in 1954.  According to the SIK, the claim was not given serious consideration by the Colonial Manager, who was the chairperson of the Council.  Subsequently, in the mid-1950s, the Danish authorities ordered the settlement of Uummannaq to be burned down to prevent the local population from returning to their homes.  In 1959, the claim for compensation was brought to the attention of the Danish Ministry of State, but no response was ever given by the Danish authorities.

13.  On 20 December 1996, a claim was brought against the Government of Denmark in the High Court of the Eastern Circuit in Copenhagen on behalf of the "Thule Tribe" as well as on behalf of approximately 600 individuals, represented by their association, Hingitaq 53.  The case sought collective and individual compensation for damages incurred as a result of the 1953 relocation, and recognition of the land claims of the former residents of the Uummannaq settlement.  The High Court of the Eastern Circuit rendered its judgement in the case on 20 August 1999.  The Court found that the relocation had been carried out without prior consultation and without the population's consent, and that the persons concerned were given only a few days' notice.  The Court observed that the relocation took place in the last days of May 1953, that the population had to camp in tents during the first months following the relocation and that the houses in which they were to live were not completed until September 1953.  After examining the conduct of the Danish authorities, including their non- communication with the population, the Court determined that a significant injustice had been done to the people of the Uummannaq population.  The Court awarded 500,000 Danish crowns in collective compensation for lost and diminished hunting and trapping rights.  It recognized the individual claims of 63 persons for damages resulting from the manner in which the relocation was conducted, awarding 25,000 Danish crowns to each plaintiff who had reached the age of 18 years when the relocation occurred and 15,000 Danish crowns to each plaintiff between the ages of 4 and 18 at the time of the relocation.  The claims for land rights were not upheld.  In October 1999, the plaintiffs appealed the decision to the Supreme Court of the Kingdom of Denmark.  The appeal is still pending.

14.  During the proceedings before the High Court of the Eastern Circuit, by letter dated 16 September 1997, the legal representative of "the Thule Tribe and of 610 individuals of the Thule District" in the compensation claim against the Danish Ministry of State requested the Ministry of Labour to carry out a demarcation of the "lands which historically belong to the Thule Tribe", citing Article 14(2) of Convention No.  169, which had entered into force for Denmark earlier that year.  On 24 November 1998, the Ministry of Labour declined to conduct the demarcation, referring to the declaration made by Denmark and the Greenland Home Rule Authorities with regard to Article 14 when ratifying Convention No.  169, which states that there is only one indigenous people in Denmark the Inuit of Greenland and that there is no private right to ownership of land in Greenland.

15.  In the representation, the SIK states that no demarcation has taken place as requested.  It indicates that, pursuant to Article 14(2) of Convention No.  169, the Danish Government is under an obligation to take steps as necessary to identify the lands that the peoples concerned traditionally occupy and to guarantee effective protection of their rights of ownership and possession.  The SIK states that the Danish Government may not invoke the unilateral declaration it made when ratifying Convention No.  169 and that the Government's statements in the declaration do not correspond with the judgement of the High Court of the Eastern Circuit.

B.  The Government's observations
16.  The Government indicates that the SIK representation raises the same issues as those raised in the case brought by Hingitaq 53 on behalf of the "Thule Tribe" and by approximately 600 individual plaintiffs.  According to the Government, the plaintiffs' claim before the High Court of the Eastern Circuit requested the Prime Minister's Office to recognize that the plaintiffs have a right to live in and otherwise use the Uummannaq settlement in the Thule District.  The complaint also alleged that the plaintiffs have the right of access to and the right of occupation, as well as hunting rights, in the entire Thule District.  The plaintiffs sought compensation for lost hunting rights, as well as compensation for those persons affected by the 1953 relocation of the population of the Uummannaq settlement to other settlements within the Thule District.

17.  The Government disputes the SIK's allegations that the persons relocated were subjected to the risk of starvation and that the Danish authorities ordered the Uummannaq settlement to be burned down to prevent the local population from returning to their homes.  The Government maintains that 30 families were relocated in 1953 and that these families were provided with new housing at the places where they themselves chose to settle.  According to the Government, the houses that these families had occupied in Uummannaq were made of wood covered with peat and could not be moved.  Following consultations between the Government and the Danish National Museum, some of the old houses were removed and the remaining boards were burned.  Some of the ruins of the abandoned houses were preserved.

18.  The Government draws attention to the fact that it ratified Convention No.  169 on 22 February 1996 and that it therefore did not come into force for Denmark until 12 months later, on 22 February 1997.  The Government refers to Article 18 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (Endnote 4) and states that the provisions of Convention No.  169 are not applicable to Denmark in relation to matters which existed before that Convention came into force.  The Government asserts that Denmark's commitments under Convention No.  169 must be considered on the basis of the legal and factual conditions that existed at the time of the entry into force of the Convention or as they have subsequently developed.

19.  The Government is also of the view that the requirement for receivability set forth in article 2, paragraph 2(f), of the Standing Orders has not been met.  Subsection (f) provides that the representation "must indicate in what respect it is alleged that the member State against which it is made has failed to secure the effective observance within its jurisdiction of the said Convention".  The Government questions whether the representation is admissible under general rules of internal law, stating that it arises from "different interpretations of an actual series of events".  Pointing out that the matter is currently pending before the Danish Supreme Court, the Government observes that until the Court renders its judgement, the fact that the Government does not agree with the complainant organization's version of the facts is not tantamount to failing "to secure the effective observance (of the Convention--ed.  note) within its jurisdiction".

20.  With regard to the issue of whether the persons relocated constitute a "people" in the sense of Article 1 of the Convention, the Government observes that there have been seven waves of immigration into Greenland since approximately 2,500 BC and that the present population is composed of descendants of people who immigrated to Greenland in approximately 900 AD from what is now Canada.  According to the Government, this last wave of immigration is referred to as the Thule culture.  The Government states that, although there have been periods during which there was no communication between the Thule District and other areas of Greenland, the persons residing in that District are of the same origin as the rest of the population in Greenland.  It indicates that all native Greenlanders (Kalaalit) are of Inuit origin they came to Greenland from Canada hundreds of years ago and all Greenlanders (Kalaalit) speak the same language.  In this regard, the Government refers to its Declaration relating to the Ratification of Convention No.  169 concerning indigenous and tribal peoples in independent countries ("the Declaration"), signed by the Government of Denmark and the Greenland Home Rule Authorities on 5 January 1996 and 10 January 1996, respectively.  Paragraph 1 of the Declaration states that: "There is only one indigenous people in Denmark in the sense of Convention 169, viz.  the original population of Greenland, the Inuit."

21.  The Government refers to the High Court's judgement, which states that: "(T)he population in the District, at the time that the Thule Air Base was established and the relocation of the population took place, may be considered to have been a people within the meaning of the concept as set out in the ILO Convention, see Article 1, para.  1(a), of the Convention."

22.  The Government disputes the SIK's statement that the High Court found that: "(T)he Inuit population in Thule constituted a people within the meaning of international law having rights under international law and that, accordingly, there is not only one people in Greenland as stipulated in the declaration (see representation at p.  5)." The Government indicates that the High Court did not in fact adjudicate the issue of whether the population of the Thule District today can be considered to be a "people" within the meaning of Convention No.  169 and it anticipates that this issue will be addressed by the Danish Supreme Court when it renders its decision on the pending appeal.

23.  The Government observes that the isolation of the Thule District, as well as of East Greenland and other isolated settlements, was a reality until the end of the Second World War; however, this isolation no longer exists.  The Government indicates that Thule has become an integrated part of Greenland and its population in no way distinguishes itself from the rest of the Greenlandic population.  According to the Government, the population of the Thule District is regulated by laws and customs applicable to the whole of Greenland, and the inhabitants of this district do not maintain social, economic, cultural or political institutions different from the rest of the population.

24.  The Government indicates that Greenland and its population have traditionally been considered as a whole.  The Government notes that the 5 April 1933 decision of the International Court of Justice in the case of Denmark v.  Norway concerning the legal status of East Greenland attached importance to the fact that Greenland was to be considered a geographical unity.  The court recognized Denmark's sovereignty over the whole of Greenland and noted that Denmark had issued laws and regulations governing Greenland as a whole.  On 5 June 1953, in conjunction with the revision of the Danish Constitution, the colony of Greenland became fully integrated into the Kingdom of Denmark.  According to the Government, the Hunter's Council in Thule wished to become part of the municipal structure which had been introduced in the rest of Greenland by virtue of Act No.  271 of 27 May 1950 on the Greenland Assembly.  Thule subsequently became an ordinary Greenland municipality by Order of 5 May 1961, at which time the powers of the Hunter's Council were transferred to the popularly elected municipal board and the Council ceased to exist.  The Government notes that the Greenland Assembly ceased to exist in 1978 when Greenland Home Rule Authorities were established by virtue of the passage of the Greenland Home Rule Act No.  577 of 29 November 1978.  Section 4(1) of the Act, which came into force on 1 May 1979, provides that "the Home Rule Authorities may determine that jurisdiction in any fields listed in the Schedule to this Act, or in part of such field, shall be transferred to the Home Rule Authorities".  Since 1979, the Home Rule Authorities have assumed control over numerous aspects of life in Greenland, including regulation of fisheries and hunting.

25.  With regard to the SIK's claim for demarcation of lands belonging to the former residents of Uummannaq, the Government indicates that Greenlandic tradition has never recognized the existence of areas reserved for particular population groups.  Paragraph 3 of the Government's Declaration in relation to Convention No.  169 states that "it has not at any time been possible, for either natural or legal persons, to acquire rights of ownership to lands in Greenland".  Paragraph 4 of the Declaration provides that:

(T)he rights of ownership to lands in Greenland have been arranged in a very special manner, faithful to the traditional ways of the Greenlanders.  The various legal and de facto rights which together constitute ownership of land are divided between the State, the Greenland Home Rule Authorities and the individual Greenlander.  The main principle is that ownership as such of the land in Greenland is vested in the public authorities the State.  However, the day-to-day control of the lands in Greenland is vested in the Greenland Home Rule Authorities whose powers include the authority to make decisions concerning the conferment of the right to use of the land.  Greenlanders who are granted the right of use to lands in Greenland have the right to erect buildings on the areas allocated to them.  The buildings can be mortgaged if necessary, and may also with the permission of the Home Rule Authorities be assigned to other persons together with the right of use to the land they are built on.  (...)

The legal situation described above applied to all citizens in Greenland, both the original Greenland population and newcomers.  This legal situation as mentioned above dates very far back, as it has never been possible for individuals to obtain full ownership of lands in Greenland.  The legal situation is thus derived from tradition, having deep historical roots in Greenlandic society, and the Greenland Home Rule Authorities attach overriding importance to its retention.

26.  In its reply to the representation, the Government also points out that persons who have their permanent residence in Greenland or who have a certain attachment to Greenlandic society may move freely within the territory of Greenland and may carry out hunting and fishing activities anywhere in Greenland.(Endnote 5) The Government therefore states that the population in Thule has never had an exclusive right to hunt or fish in the Thule District, but that all Greenlanders have the right to settle and carry out hunting and fishing activities in any part of Greenland.  Further, as Danish citizens, Greenlanders also have the right to take up residence in Denmark.  According to the Government, many of the plaintiffs in the Supreme Court case are in fact now living in Denmark, not in Greenland.

Conclusions III.  The Committee's conclusions
27.  This representation involves allegations that the Government of Denmark has failed to observe the provisions of Convention No.  169 in relation to the relocation in May 1953 of the Inuit population living in the Uummannaq settlement in the Thule District in northern Greenland.  The Committee notes that the Declaration deposited with the ratification reflects the understanding of the Government at the time that it ratified the Convention.  It recalls that no reservations to the ratification of ILO Conventions are admissible and that, consequently, the Government's Declaration has no binding force.

28.  The Committee first addresses the Government's statement that the Convention does not apply to the facts alleged in the representation because Convention No.  169 did not come into force for Denmark until 22 February 1997.  In this regard, the Government cites Article 28 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.

29.  The Committee observes that the relocation of the population of the Uummannaq settlement, which forms the basis of this representation, took place in 1953.  It also takes note of the fact that the Convention only came into force for Denmark on 22 February 1997.  The Committee considers that the provisions of the Convention cannot be applied retroactively, particularly with regard to procedural matters, such as whether the appropriate consultations were held in 1953 with the peoples concerned.  However, the Committee notes that the effects of the 1953 relocation continue today, in that the relocated persons cannot return to the Uummannaq settlement and that legal claims to those lands remain outstanding.  Accordingly, the Committee considers that the consequences of the relocation that persist following the entry into force of Convention No.  169 still need to be considered with regard to Articles 14(2) and (3), 16(3) and (4) and 17 of the Convention, examined below, despite the fact that the relocation was carried out prior to the entry into force of the Convention.  These provisions of the Convention are almost invariably invoked concerning displacements of indigenous and tribal peoples which predated the ratification of the Convention by a member State.

30.  The Committee also notes the Government's statement that the requirement for receivability set forth in article 2, paragraph 2(f), of the Standing Orders has not been met.  The Committee considers that the representation was in the form required by the Standing Orders in that it indicated that Denmark had failed to observe the provisions of Article 14(2) of the Convention.  Article 2(4) of the Standing Orders provides specifically that the Governing Body may not enter into a discussion of the substance of the representation in reaching a decision on its receivability.  Further, with regard to the litigation pending before the Danish Supreme Court, the Committee notes that neither article 24 of the ILO Constitution or the Standing Orders require that a complainant exhaust national remedies available before the Governing Body may examine a representation involving the same or similar issues.

31.  The Committee notes the information provided in this case with regard to the population of the Uummannaq community and notes the finding of the Danish High Court that "the population in the district, at the time that the Thule Air Base was established and the relocation of the population took place, may be considered to have been a people within the meaning of the concept as set out in (Article 1 of --ed.  note) the ILO Convention".

32.  Article 1(1) and (2) of the Convention provides that:

1.  This Convention applies to:

(a) tribal peoples in independent countries whose social, cultural and economic conditions distinguish them from other sections of the national community, and whose status is regulated wholly or partially by their own customs or traditions or by special laws or regulations; (b) peoples in independent countries who are regarded as indigenous on account of their descent from the populations which inhabited the country, or a geographical region to which the country belongs at the time of conquest or colonisation or the establishment of present state boundaries and who, irrespective of their legal status, retain some or all of their own social, economic, cultural and political institutions.

2.  Self-identification as indigenous or tribal shall be regarded as a fundamental criterion for determining the groups to which the provisions of this Convention apply.

33.  The Committee notes that the parties to this case do not dispute that the Inuit residing in Uummannaq at the time of the relocation are of the same origin as the Inuit in other areas of Greenland, that they speak the same language (Greenlandic), engage in the same traditional hunting, trapping and fishing activities as other inhabitants of Greenland and identify themselves as Greenlanders (Kalaalit).  The Committee notes that, prior to 1953, the residents of the Uummannaq community were at times isolated from other settlements in Greenland due to their remote location; however, with the development of modern communications and transportation technology, the Thule District is no longer cut off from other settlements in Greenland.  The Committee notes that these persons share the same social, economic, cultural and political conditions as the rest of the inhabitants of Greenland (see Article 1(1) of the Convention), conditions which do not distinguish the people of the Uummannaq community from other Greenlanders, but which do distinguish Greenlanders as a group from the inhabitants of Denmark and the Faroe Islands.  As concerns Article 1(2) of the Convention, while self-identification is a fundamental criterion for defining the groups to which the Convention shall apply, this relates specifically to self-identification as indigenous or tribal, and not necessarily to a feeling that those concerned are a "people" different from other members of the indigenous or tribal population of the country, which together may form a people.  The Committee considers there to be no basis for considering the inhabitants of the Uummannaq community to be a "people" separate and apart from other Greenlanders.  This does not necessarily appear relevant to the determination of this representation, however, for there is nothing in the Convention that would indicate that only distinct peoples may make land claims, especially as between different indigenous or tribal groups.

34.  With regard to the pending claims for compensation for lost hunting and trapping rights and other consequential damages incurred by the resident of the Uummannaq community as a result of the 1953 relocation, the Committee points out that the ILO cannot resolve individual land disputes under the Convention, including with regard to the issues of valuation of compensation.  The Committee considers that its essential task in such cases is not to offer an alternative venue for parties dissatisfied with the outcome of a claim for compensation before the national administrative or judicial bodies, but rather to ensure that the appropriate procedures for resolving land disputes have been applied and that the principles of the Convention have been taken into account in dealing with the issues affecting indigenous and tribal peoples.

35.  Article 14(2) of the Convention provides that: "Governments shall take steps as necessary to identify the lands which the peoples concerned traditionally occupy, and to guarantee effective protection of their rights of ownership and possession."

36.  The Committee points out that Article 14, paragraph 2, on which the complainant organization bases its allegations, must be interpreted in the light of the general policy set forth in Article 2(1) of the Convention, which requires governments to develop, with the participation of the peoples concerned, "coordinated and systematic action to protect the rights of these peoples and to guarantee respect for their integrity".

37.  The Committee considers that the land traditionally occupied by the Inuit people has been identified and consists of the entire territory of Greenland.  Section 8(1) of the Home Rule Act of 1978 establishes that "the resident population of Greenland has fundamental rights to the natural resources of Greenland".  Noting that Greenlanders have the collective right to use the territory of Greenland and continue to have access to the land for their subsistence and traditional hunting and fishing activities, the Committee considers that the situation in Greenland is not inconsistent with the principles established in Article 14 of the Convention.

38.  The Committee observes that Article 14, paragraph 3, requires governments to establish adequate procedures within the national legal system to resolve land claims by indigenous and tribal peoples.  The Committee observes that there are procedures in place to resolve land disputes, that these procedures have in fact been invoked by the peoples concerned and that the land claims have been and are continuing to be examined in depth by the competent national authorities.  It therefore concludes that the Government of Denmark has complied in this regard with Article 14(3).

39.  The Committee is aware of the difficulties entailed in resolving conflicting land claims, particularly where there are different and opposing viewpoints with respect to the relationship which different communities have to the land, their cultural and spiritual attachment to lands which they traditionally occupy, as well as to the activities that they traditionally carry out on the land, such as hunting, trapping and fishing.  The Committee is aware that the former residents of the Uummannaq community were forcibly relocated in 1953 under difficult circumstances, with little or no prior consultation, and that they have not been able to return to their settlement.

40.  The Community also notes, however, that the former residents of the Uummannaq community have been awarded compensation for lost hunting and trapping rights, as well as for damages incurred as a result of the relocation.  It also notes that, almost 50 years later, the persons concerned, and their children, have now resettled in other sections of Greenland or in Denmark.  Under the particular circumstances of this case, the Committee considers that to call for a demarcation of lands within Greenland for the benefit of a specific group of Greenlanders would run counter to the well-established system of collective land rights based on Greenlandic tradition and maintained by the Greenland Home Rule Authorities.  This conclusion should be seen in the light of Article 17(1) of the Convention, which provides that "procedures established by the peoples concerned for the transmission of land rights among members of these peoples shall be respected", noting that traditionally no individual land rights are recognized among Greenlanders.

41.  The Committee also refers to Articles 16(3) and (4) of the Convention, which relate directly to the consequences of relocation of indigenous and tribal peoples.  Those provisions read:

Article 16
3.  Whenever possible, these peoples shall have the right to return to their traditional lands, as soon as the grounds for relocation cease to exist.

4.  When such return is not possible, as determined by agreement or, in the absence of agreement, through appropriate procedures, these peoples shall be provided in all possible cases with lands of quality and legal status at least equal to that of the lands previously occupied by them, suitable to provide for their present needs and further development.  Where the peoples concerned express a preference for compensation in money or in kind, they shall be so compensated under appropriate guarantees.

42.  The Committee considers that the measures taken by the Government are not inconsistent with Articles 16(3) and (4).

43.  In general, the Committee concludes that the measures taken in this respect since 1997 by the Government are consistent with the Convention.  Noting the spirit of consultation and participation that is the hallmark of this instrument, however, it urges the Government and the groups most directly affected, to continue their common search for solutions.

Recommendations IV.  Recommendations of the Committee
44.  The Committee recommends that the Governing Body approve the present report and, in the light of the conclusions in paragraphs 27 to 43 of the report (a) that it hopes the Government will provide information to the Committee of Experts, through the reports to be submitted under article 22 of the ILO Constitution, on the following points:

(i) the decision of the Danish Supreme Court on the appeal taken from the 20 August 1999 decision of the High Court of the Eastern District of Denmark in the case arising out of the 1953 relocation of the population of the Uummannaq community in the Thule District of Greenland; (ii) any further measures taken or envisaged to compensate the persons relocated from the Uummannaq community for losses incurred as a result of the relocation; (iii) any consultations as prescribed by sections 12(1) and (2) of the Home Rule Act which are being held or may be held with the Home Rule Authorities regarding future use of the land occupied by the Thule Air Base or the use of any other land in the Thule District; (iv) the measures which have been taken or are contemplated to ensure that no Greenlanders are relocated in the future without their free and informed consent or, if this is not possible, only after following appropriate procedures in accordance with Article 16 of the Convention; (b) that it declare closed the procedure initiated before the Governing Body as a result of the representation made by the Sulinermik Inuussutissarsiuteqartut Kattuffiat (SIK) concerning the application by Denmark of the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 (No.  169).

Endnotes Endnote 1 See Official Bulletin, Vol.  LXIV, 1981, Series A, No.  1, pp.  93-95.

Endnote 2 GB.277/18/3, para.  5.

Endnote 3 The Thule District in Northern Greenland has a population of approximately 1,000 persons.  Its principal city, Qaanaaq, has approximately 600-700 inhabitants.

Endnote 4 The Vienna Convention was opened for signature on 23 May 1969 and entered into force on 27 January 1980 (UN Doc A/Conf 39/28, 8 ILM 679) and provides in Article 28 that: "Unless a different intention appears from the treaty or is otherwise established, its provisions do not bind a party in relation to any act or fact which took place or any situation which ceased to exist before the date of the entry into force of the treaty with respect to that party."

Endnote 5 See Acts of the Greenland Parliament No.  12 of 29 October 1999 on hunting and No.  18 of 31 October 1996 on fisheries.  

Fecha del Recurso: 
2000
Países y Regiones: 
Tipo de recurso: 
Tema de recursos: