Write to your MP

On 24 September in the event How do Mining Companies Silence and Nullify the Actions of Indigenous Peoples to Protect their Rights, the speakers drew attention to the need for stronger controls over the actions of multinational companies that violate rights and damage the environment.

The panel discussed how despite obtaining important Court decisions and agreements from Cerrejon the majority of these had not been implemented.

Social leaders in Colombia working on mining, land and environmental issues have been threatened and killed. Colombia remains the most dangerous country in the world for Human Rights Defenders, the UN issued a public Statement on 23 August which stated that in 2020 there had been 33 massacres in Colombia and they had received reports of 97 human rights defenders/social leaders killed (47 had been verified and the rest were in the process of being verified.

Misael talked about the psychological impact of the threats that he and his family and other social leaders and their families have suffered, how a knock on the door always led to the question who might this be.

The UK needs legislation to impose a duty to prevent human rights abuses, as well as an offence of “failure to prevent” human rights abuses for all companies, including parent companies, along the lines of the 2010 Bribery Act.This would require all companies to put in place effective human rights due diligence processes (as recommended by the UN Guiding Principles), both for their subsidiaries and across their whole supply chain. The legislation should enable remedies against the parent company and other companies when abuses do occur, so civil remedies (as well as criminal remedies) must be provided.

European Commissioner for Justice has announced that the European Commission will introduce legislation in 2021 to make human rights due diligence mandatory for EU companies.and indicated that the new law would include provisions for corporate liability,  as well as seeking to ensure access to remedy for victims of abuses. The UK needs similar legislation.

Please write to your MP. You can find a template for a letter/email here

Contact your MP

MPs have public contact details so their constituents can get in touch. In most cases you can write, phone, fax or email. MPs will generally only act on behalf of their constituents.

To see who your MP is, what their interests are and how they voted on key issues go to http://www.theyworkforyou.com and enter your postcode.

DFRA Consultation: Due diligence on forest risk commodities

You can also contribute by filling in a government consultation on whether the UK Government should introduce a new law designed to prevent forests and other important natural areas from being converted illegally in to agricultural land. The law is also only proposing that a relatively small number of larger businesses to ensure that the ‘forest risk’ commodities they use – commodities that can cause wide-scale deforestation – have been produced legally. This is a very limited approach in response to the  global threat of deforestation which impacts severely climate change.

The consultation is until 5 October 2020

Support ABColombia members’ campaigns

One way you can get involved and take action for human rights in Colombia is by supporting the campaigns of our members and observers.

ABColombia campaigns at a glance

Support ABColombia’s Social Media Campaigns

You can support ABColombia by following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and by sharing our posts on social media. We also encourage you to follow & share ABColombia’s social media posts under the following hashtags:

  • #ColombiaWomenPeace: posts & campaigns related to Women & Peace in Colombia
  • #GuardianAtrato: Information on the Atrato River & Guardianes del Atrato
  • #DefendTheDefenders: International campaign in support of Human Rights Defenders at risk
  • #PorUnaColombiaEnPaz: International information and awareness campaign led by Espacio de Cooperación para la Paz, a network of 29 international civil society organisations working on Colombia.
  • #10k4Peace: ABColombia fundraising campaign for the 2017 International Women’s Conference (this campaign has ended now)

Mark International Days for Human Rights

Keep an eye out for ABColombia’s posts related to International Days for Human Rights and tag ABColombia in your posts on human rights!

  • 8 March: International Women’s Day
  • 22 March: World Water Day
  • 24 March: International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims
  • 9 April: Colombian National Day to commemorate the victims of the armed conflict
  • 21 May: Día de la Afrocolombianidad (Colombia)
  • 19 June: International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict
  • 9 August: International Day of the World’s Indigenous People
  • 30 August: International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances
  • 21 September: International Day of Peace
  • 25 November: International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
  • 10 December: Human Rights Day