Colombia: Appalling Human Rights Record Colombia is a republic with many features of a democracy including a parliament and an elected head of state. Unfortunately however, Colombia has an appalling human rights record and has seen widespread violence from paramilitary groups.
Political Prisoners <ul><li>Colombia has many political prisoners who have been held, without trial, for protesting against the Colombian Government. Political prisoners are often tortured when first put into jail and are held in overcrowded dirty prisons without access to basic healthcare. </li></ul><ul><li>Colombian political prisoners include writers, thinkers, activists, community leaders and trade unionists, all of whom have spoken out against activities carried out by the Colombian Government. </li></ul>
War-Torn Colombia <ul><li>Colombia has also been involved in a war for the past 45 years between government and paramilitary organisations. Colombian people often get caught up in the middle of such violence. </li></ul><ul><li>The Colombian Government has sanctioned violent attacks against trade unionists. Colombia is known to be one of the most dangerous countries in the world for trade unions. Since 1986, 2,800 trade unionists have been killed for nothing more than attempting to organise within their own communities and workplaces. </li></ul>
<ul><li>The European Trade Unions in tandem with Colombian Trade Unions are involved in a campaign to block the FTA between the European Union (EU) and Colombia. This agreement makes it easier for Colombia to trade with the European Union, providing benefits for doing so. </li></ul><ul><li>The USA has postponed plans to sign an FTA with Colombia because of their concerns over human rights abuses and campaigners have asked the EU to stop the FTA, demonstrating to the Colombian Government that trade benefits will be available when human rights issues improve. </li></ul>Campaign to block the Free Trade Agreement (FTA)
<ul><li>The NASUWT supports Justice For Colombia to promote human rights and the role of trade unions. </li></ul><ul><li>In recent years this has included donations, targeted protests, contacting politicians in the UK to remind them that these problems still exist in Colombia and inviting speakers to discuss their problems. </li></ul>
Activities <ul><li>You could use the information and photos in the presentation to produce a fact file of the key issues in Colombia. </li></ul><ul><li>Use the information and photos you have researched to write a letter to your MP about the issues in Colombia. </li></ul><ul><li>You could use the information and photos within the presentation and on the linked websites to produce a campaigning leaflet or poster identifying why people should support a campaign for human rights in Colombia. </li></ul>
Links <ul><li>For further information, visit: www.justiceforcolombia.org </li></ul><ul><li>For further information on the NASUWT’s campaigns visit www.nasuwt.org.uk/Colombia </li></ul><ul><li>To write a letter to your MP visit www.nasuwt.org.uk/ContactYourMP </li></ul>