Truth and reconciliation initiatives are a proven and effective element of global peace processes. Canada is supporting this process in Colombia by funding the National Center for Historical Memory`s project to recognize the impact of the conflict on individuals, which will serve as the basis for the creation of a truth commission as part of the Colombian peace agreement. As part of the review process, Canadian NAO officials visited Colombia twice (August and September 2016) to review the allegations and learn from the stakeholders involved in the complaint. The review process allowed NAO officials to identify dominant and systemic labour issues such as the abuse of subcontracting, discriminatory anti-union practices and the climate of violence against trade unionists, which ultimately undermine the exercise of freedom of association and the collective rights of Colombian workers. In this context, Canada`s Minister of Employment, Labour Force Development and Labour has asked the Colombian Minister of Labour to hold ministerial consultations in accordance with CCOALC`s Section 12 to address and implement the above recommendations. On March 8, 2017, the Colombian Minister of Labour sent a communication in which he accepted the consultations and expressed his appreciation for “the cooperation and interest of the Canadian government in the joint development of an action plan implementing the report`s recommendations and taking into account the reality of Colombia.” Given that the enforcement act governs Canada`s implementation of these three agreements, this report only takes into account the effects of the actions taken by the Canadian government under these agreements. These include tariff reductions related to CCOFTA and measures taken under the cooperation agreement and the environmental agreement. Private sector activities are not within the scope of the report. In short, the implementation of the peace agreement has begun and will continue for many years to come. The prospect of peace in Colombia is an important geopolitical development and a lasting peace will form the basis on which to build a safer and more prosperous Colombia.
The report is part of a number of measures, including lobbying and bilateral and development cooperation, that support Colombia`s efforts to strengthen peace, security, prosperity and respect for human rights. To assist Colombia in its efforts to strengthen the protection and promotion of human rights, Canada uses various aspects of its bilateral engagement and programming instruments, including the provisions of the two CCOFTA agreements on work-related cooperation and the environment, as well as special programming directly related to its free trade relations with Colombia. This project was based on the ILO`s training methodology for the maintenance of competitive and responsible enterprises (SCORE) and set up workplace cooperation, health and safety modules, which is particularly relevant for local SMEs.