Accepted Paper:

Grounding international organizations and indigenous rights in Peru: an anthropological perspective  

Author:

Peter Bille Larsen

Paper short abstract:

This paper focuses on the ILO, its conventions and work related to indigenous rights. I seek to provide an anthropological perspective on the interlinkages between the local and the global with ethnographic material ranging from the corridors of Geneva, national politics in Peru to indigenous communities in the Peruvian Amazon.

Paper long abstract:

One of the arguably most high profile UN processes relates to the consolidation of internationally recognized rights of indigenous peoples. This paper focuses on the International Labour Organization and its Convention concerning indigenous and tribal peoples (C169). As an anthropologist having worked within the ILO system and now undertaking ethnographic research in Peru, I seek to provide an anthropological perspective on the interlinkages between international normativity, local actor strategies and discourses on Convention 169.

The paper will explore such interlinkages through the realm of international standard setting and normativity as well as are articulated and recycled in national and local discourses. This will include presenting ethnographic material ranging from the corridors of Geneva, national politics in Peru to indigenous communities in the Peruvian Amazon.

The paper will explore this as a process of cultural production grounded in a particular set of global dynamics. It will seek to provide an anthropologically grounded discussion of what the case implies for wider discussions on how the work, presence and particular discourses of UN organizations relate to wider socio-cultural and economic dynamics. Whereas UN organizations are in a constant quest to respond to "real" issues of the world, the paper argues that an anthropological perspective is fundamental to explore how this "reality-connection" is made, articulated and played out.

Panel W019
The anthropology of the United Nations