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2 Mar 2020

National NGO Roundtable on Business and Human Rights

Colombia: Contributions by civil society organisations to the UN treaty debate

"Contribution Of Environmental, Social, Development And Human Rights Non-Governmental Organizations Of Colombia To The Intergovernmental Working Group On Transnational Corporations And Other Business Enterprises In Regard To Human Rights", Feb 2020

The National NGO Roundtable on Business and Human Rights is a space of confluence of platforms and diverse environmental, social, development and human rights NGOs in Colombia, for dialogue, dissertation, mutual learning and the search for common purposes, around the business conduct in the country...

In Colombia, the issue of the relationship between business and human rights has been occupying an important place in the public agenda, not precisely because of the commitment of companies and the Government to ensure human rights; but, on the contrary, due to the cases of abuses and violations of fundamental rights and freedoms in which national and transnational companies have been involved, which have affected individuals, communities, nature and territories, contributing to the increasing complexity of the social, political and armed conflict that the country is still experiencing...

The Colombian State welcomes the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) (Human Rights Council. Resolution 17/4, 2011), a non-binding instrument that, at the global level, establishes the obligations and responsibilities of States and companies with respect to the protection and respect for human rights and the reparation of damages caused by companies in their activities and business relations and services; however, these Principles are not effectively implemented in various territories where business projects are carried out, since the mere declaration of their implementation does not have any impact on the socio-environmental problems and contexts, nor on the guarantee of the rights of local populations, especially peasant, indigenous and Afro-descendent peoples...

This criterion should be articulated with the express recognition and the guarantee of protection of those affected, as human rights defenders and the work they carry out.