Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 14th December 2022.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his Department's policies of reports of murders of social activists in Colombia.
Colombia is an FCDO Human Rights Priority Country, and we have provided longstanding support through our Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) programme to support at risk human rights defenders and victims and help tackle the root causes of the violence. We have committed over £3 million to specific human rights projects in Colombia since 2011. Our support focuses on improving access to justice, protecting human rights defenders, promoting media freedom, and preventing sexual violence in conflict. The UK also consistently raises our concerns regarding violence against human rights defenders and social leaders at the UN Security Council, as we did at meetings in October 2021 and on 20 January 2022. Recently I (David Rutley) visited Colombia where I held high level political talks with the Colombian Foreign Minister Alvaro Leyva where I reiterated our support for the ongoing peace process. I [Minister Rutley] was also pleased to meet with Vice Foreign Minister Laura Gil at the London PSVI Conference and pledge our support for Colombia's National Action Plan against sexual violence. We continue to support efforts to improve the security and protection of human rights defenders and social activists through the UK's Conflict Stability and Security Fund.
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