Monday, 16 January 2017

Persecution of Trade Union Activists in Colombia

Michael Holder, a branch member, recently wrote to Rt Hon Andrew Smith MP regarding his concerns about Trade Union activists' rights in Colombia, which is often considered one of the most dangerous countries in which to be a trade unionist or a human rights activist. Michael received a reply from Rt Hon Andrew Smith MP, in which he states that he strongly shares his concerns and that he has written to the Foreign Secretary pressing the points he had raised. Michael received the letter below from the Rt Hon Sir Alan Duncan MP, in which he informed him that "the EU Working Group on Human Rights, in which our Embassy takes part, has agreed to write to the Ministry of Interior and the Labour Ministry concerning the situation of the Trade Unionists and the planned approach of the Government of Colombia to protect them" and that he has asked the Embassy to ensure that the cases of both Gustavo Rengifo and Deivin Hurtado are included in this letter.

Congratulations to Michael for securing this commitment to action, and we hope it will help improve the situation of our fellow trade unionists in Colombia.

Our branch has for some years made a small annual donation to Justice for Colombia, an organisation which fights against the extreme oppression that trade union activists in Colombia have often endured. A historic peace agreement has recently been announced there, although persecution of trade unionists is still occurring. More information is available on Justice for Colombia's website.

You can find out more about UNISON's approach to supporting trade union rights and human rights worldwide.

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