Impunity in Colombia
TUAC Submission to the OECD Public Governance Committee



  • 1504t_gov_colombiapdf


1. The 51st session of the Public Governance Committee (PGC) has been organised to discuss the current OECD accession process, including Colombia. The TUAC has raised concern about the public governance situation in Colombia on a number of occasions. At the 47th session of the Public Governance Committee on 25-26 April 2013, the TUAC issued a written submission to the PGC on the “Rule of Law and Labour Rights in Colombia” . The paper exposed:

  • the exceptional severity of the human rights risks to trade unionists and other human rights defenders in Colombia, including assassinations; 
  • a defect in the judiciary and police system leading to de facto impunity for the assassinations of trade union members;
  • the weak enforcement of labour law;
  • the violation of freedom of association and collective bargaining; 
  • the absence of substantive social dialogue between government and trade unions.

2. Since then, the TUAC has raised Colombia’s accession process to the OECD in several OECD bodies. On public governance per se, on the 3 March 2015 representatives of the OECD Secretariat (the GOV Directorate) attended a TUAC meeting with Colombian trade union representatives from the Central Unitaria de Trabajadores de Colombia (CUT), the Confederación General del Trabajo (CGT) and the Confederación de Trabajores de Colombia (CTC). At the meeting, the Colombian trade union representatives underlined Colombia’s inadequate enforcement frameworks and the ineffectiveness of its justice institutions, as demonstrated by high levels of impunity. They described a glaring gap between the claims made on the international stage, and the reality on-the-ground.

3. The Roadmap for Colombia’s Accession to the OECD provides that the PGC should review whether Colombia has a “sound structure of government […] accompanied by coherent enforcement frameworks and effective justice institutions”. TUAC’s position is that the PGC should request further action from Colombia during the Accession process.

(full text in the attached PDF file)