The doctoral dissertation of the Arctic Centre’s researcher, Tanja Joona, uses practical examples in evaluating the ILO Conventions potential ratification and its possible effects on, for example, persons practicing traditional livelihoods in northern regions. Her overall research focuses on indigenous peoples and their special rights to land.
|In Finland, the discussion surrounding the historical land rights of the indigenous Saami and the possible ratification of International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention No. 169, concerning the rights of indigenous peoples, has been debated for a long time. To date, 22 countries, most of which are located in Latin and South America, have ratified the Convention. Two Nordic countries – Denmark and Norway – have ratified the Convention, while Finland and Sweden have not ratified it.
In her interdisciplinary research, Tanja Joona has adopted a comparative perspective in examining the ILO Convention with regard to the Nordic countries – especially Finland, Sweden and Norway. Particular importance has been placed on evaluating the reporting processes related to the Convention’s ratification. These reports are examined by the Committee of Experts in the ILO (CEACR) and, thus, mostly represent interesting and valuable Latin American examples.
The research focuses on Articles 13–19 regarding rights to land. These articles, especially Article 14, have been a central obstacle for both states considering ratification, as well as states that have already ratified the Convention. Article 14 requires states to “recognise the ownership and possession of the peoples concerned over the lands which they traditionally occupy.”
According to Joona, two themes arise within the context of the study: the first theme examines the land rights articles of ILO Convention No. 169, while the second theme concentrates on the subjects, or beneficiaries, of those rights.
A fundamental question is how Finland could further proceed with issues related to Saami peoples’ rights to traditionally occupied lands and water, as well as the possibility of ratifying ILO Convention No. 169. According to Joonas research, this includes issues related to land rights, the identification of and questions related to land, ownership, as well as the subjects of these rights.
"The Convention could be seen as providing new possibilities for Lapland and indigenous people, as well as indigenous people who are not registered in the Saami electoral roll. The Convention could provide the significant protection of traditional Northern livelihoods, such as reindeer herding, hunting, and fishing. Other indigenous rights could be developed as well. However, it is important to consider the wordings of the convention and the national context, which are the state’s responsibility."
This study, within the fields of international law and international relations, includes five published articles and a synthesis.
Information on the public examination of the thesis:
M.Sc. Tanja Joona’s doctoral dissertation, "ILO Convention No. 169 in a Nordic Context with Comparative Analysis: An Interdisciplinary Approach" is to be publicly defended under the permission of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Lapland at 12 (noon) on Saturday, February 25th, 2012. The opponent will be Gudmundur Alfredsson of the University of Strasbourg and University of Akureyri. The custodian will be research professor Monica Tennberg of the University of Lapland’s Arctic Centre. All are welcome!
Information on the doctoral candidate:
M.Sc. Tanja Leena Joona (née Tirronen, born 1975) lives in Raanujärvi, Ylitornio municipality and has studied international law and international relations at the University of Lapland. She has worked as a researcher on various projects at The Northern Institute for Environmental and Minority Law (Arctic Centre of University of Lapland) since 2000. Joona has also held a four year position as a research student of the Arctic doctoral programme Arktis.
Information on the opponent:
Professor Gudmundur Alfredsson of the Universities of Akureyri and Strasbourg has held positions at the UN Secretariat and the Centre for Human Rights in Geneva. He has also acted the Director of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, as well as a member of the UN Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (2004–2006). Professor Alfredsson is also a member of the Greenlandic-Danish Self-Governance Commission, appointed by Greenland’s Home Rule Government.
Researcher Tanja Joona, The Northern Institute for Environmental and Minority Law, Arctic Centre + 358 40 484 4283, tanja.joona(at)ulapland.fi
Press copies of the thesis and a photograph of the candidate are available at the University of Lapland, Communications and External Relations: tiedotus(at)ulapland.fi or tel. +358 40 571 1960
Information on the Publication:
Tanja Joona. ILO Convention No. 169 in a Nordic Context with Comparative Analysis: An Interdisciplinary Approach. Juridica Lapponica 37. Lapland University Press: Rovaniemi 2012. ISBN 978-952-484-517-5. ISSN 0783-4144.
You can place an order at:
Academic and Art Bookshop Tila (University of Lapland’s main library, address: Yliopistonkatu 8, Rovaniemi), tel. +358 40 821 4242, publications(at)ulapland.fi, order online at www.ulapland.fi/lup
Text: University of Lapland/ Arctic Centre/ Marjo Laukkanen