Colombia: Trade Unions

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 27th April 2022.

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Photo of Ruth Cadbury Ruth Cadbury Shadow Minister (International Trade)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, when her Department last discussed trade union rights with her Colombian counterpart.

Photo of Vicky Ford Vicky Ford Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

UK Ministers and senior officials regularly raise human rights issues with the Colombian Government. Most recently, Lord Ahmad discussed our concerns with President Duque during the United Nations Security Council meeting on Colombia earlier this month. The Minister for Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Vicky Ford MP, also raised these same human rights concerns in her call to Vice President Ramirez in February.

Through our Conflict, Stability, and Security Fund (CSSF) programme, which has provided £69 million in support of peace agreement implementation, security, and stability in Colombia since 2015, we will continue to prioritise funding interventions to protect human rights defenders, including trade unionists and social leaders.

Colombia is a UK 'Human Rights Priority Country,' and we consistently raise our concerns regarding violence against human rights defenders and social leaders at the UN Security Council. We look to the Colombian Government to expand its presence in conflict-affected areas, and strengthen the institutions that can improve the security of citizens and investigate and prosecute the criminal actors responsible for violence. We will continue to raise our concerns with the relevant state actors in Colombia.

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