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Colombia

Given Colombia’s context, security and peacebuilding in conflict-affected areas is one of the central themes of the NAP. It is important to note that apart from the specific measures cited here, many -maybe most- of the NAP’s initiatives are conceived under a perspective of peacebuilding.

Introduction:

  • Colombia’s High Counselor for Post-Conflict, Human Rights and Security appears as one of the NAP’s authors (page 2).
  • The NAP is aligned with Colombia’s National Development Plan for 2014-2018 “Todos por un País Nuevo”, whose goal is to “make from Colombia a peaceful and equitable country, educated in accordance with the Central Government’s purposes, the best international practices and standards and the SDG’s long-term planning vision”.
  • In the introduction (page 6), the NAP claims to be coherent with international rules and standards. In particular, it mentions the OECD’s Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas and the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights.
  • According to the NAP, it is particularly important for Colombia’s Government that companies operating in areas historically affected by the armed conflict manage their risks and possible impacts on Human Rights in an especially careful way (page 7).
  • Mining, agribusiness and road infrastructure sectors are prioritized due to their higher level of social conflict (page 7).
  • According to the introduction (page 7), Colombia’s NAP is conceived as an input for post-conflict and peacebuilding: “The post-conflict scene may entail an increase in social conflicts related to business activities. A joint effort by the State, business, unions, civil society organizations and the International Community is required to improve the human rights management in business enterprises, and to seek remedies should there be any violations thereof. However, actions stipulated herein will not depend upon the entering into one or more peace agreement, since the protection and guarantee of human rights must take place at all times, everywhere.”
  • The NAP is coordinated with Colombia’s framework for business and peace (Marco de Empresas y Paz), designed by the Post-Conflict Directorate in collaboration with Colombia’s Office of the High Commissioner for Peace (page 7):

“The Plan is organized under the Business and Peace Framework, which is being designed by the Post-Conflict Directorate jointly with the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace. The Framework stipulates, without limitation, a more active role by enterprises within the positive transformations required by the country, going for due diligence and with an approach to keeping the “Action without Damage” Plan. This approach applies ethical criteria and human coexistence values in plural and multi-cultural conditions, based on the dignity, autonomy and freedom concepts.

In this sense, the current strategies and plans encouraging reconciliation in Colombia, which require wholehearted support in the exercises of historical memory, as well as larger participation of enterprises in the job placement of the victims of the conflict and individuals in insertion processes.”

  • The introduction also sets a shared leadership for the NAP’s implementation (pages 7-8): “Likewise, strategic alliances will be established with the chambers of commerce, trades, social and union organizations and other relevant actors for the execution of this Plan and its adjustment to the territorial context, jointly with the enterprise and peace process locally, considering the current progress towards the termination of the armed conflict.”
  • Page 17:

 “Upon this Plan, the National Government will focus its efforts on consolidating the progress of the business commitment to the respect for human rights in the following lines: Generate a culture of human rights and peacebuilding in the business sector.”

  • Action point VI: Culture of Human Rights and peacebuilding in the business sector (page 18):

“Colombia faces the significant challenges of developing its culture of peace within a peacebuilding context. Therefore, all social actors are essential for the performance of the positive transformations Colombia requires.”

Goals:

  • The fourth objective of the NAP is: “Support and encourage a peaceful solution to conflicts generated in the context of business activities” (page 8).
  • Objective 5 (page 8): “Contribute to the achievement of lasting peace in Colombia and to the implementation of public policies aiming at guaranteeing peace both in the urban and in the territorial areas.”
  • Assessment and follow-up (page 25):

 “The Plan seeks to achieve positive changes in the initial situation and the context upon which it is built, with results oriented to better enjoyment of rights, welfare, development, peace and equality in the country.”

Action points:

  • Action point 1.1 (page 10):

“The Working Group on Business and Human Rights will be responsible for monitoring advance and progress of the Plan implementation. For such purpose, its regulation will be issued, the frequency of its meetings will be defined, and an operational plan will be implemented, which will determine its activities annually defining the subject approach and the regulation compliance within the priority areas for this plan. This group will include the Post-Conflict Directorate.”

  • Action point 1.9 (page 12):

 “The Post-Conflict Directorate, jointly with the Council to the President for Human Rights, will promote the agenda on human rights and peacebuilding in the business sector, in alliance with the Chamber of Commerce of Colombia; thus, a training and knowledge transfer process by the Government, as well as cooperation with enterprises and the enterprises’ employees will be created.”

  • Action point 3.2 (p. 14):

 “The Post-Conflict Directorate and the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace will design a protocol for dialogue among the communities, enterprises and state entities, allowing for the participation of social organization, according to the international standards on business and human rights.”

  • Action point 3.3 (p. 14):

 “The Ministry of Internal Affairs will propose the inclusion of the business and human rights issue on the agenda of the National Committee for Human Rights Defenders, Social and Community Leaders, as well as the Regional Committees for Guarantees, with the purpose of using them as meeting spaces to settle conflicts with impacts on human rights caused by the business activity.”

  • Action point 3.4 (p. 14):

 “Through the Comprehensive Conflict Prevention and Management System, the National Government will create agreement and social talk mechanisms between the Government and its several levels, the communities and the enterprises. The foregoing to create formal dialogue areas for actors with various interests; all of that as the way to contribute to peacebuilding and respect for human rights in the territories. This action will begin its execution once the system is implemented.”

  • Action point 3.5 (p. 14):

 “The Ministry of the Interior will organize actions intended to guarantee the necessary safety conditions so the leaders working on business and human rights matters might carry out their activities in proper conditions, according to the current guarantee policy for the defense of human rights.”

  • Action point 5.3 (p. 16):

“Promote the implementation of the United Nations Guiding Principles and other international standards on business and human rights by the trades and the enterprises part thereof, so they may adopt human rights policies. Thus, during the first year of the execution of this Plan, the Council to the President for Human Rights will convene high level meetings with the trades to determine the inclusion goals in the multi-actor initiatives and human rights performance follow-up mechanisms. These actions must be coordinated with the entities of the Working Group, especially with the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism and in cooperation with the Post-Conflict Directorate.”

  • Action point 5.4 (page 16):

“The Council to the President for Human Rights and the Ministry of National Defense will encourage the implementation of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights. To that end, they will alternately engage in the areas where such issue is treated.”

  • Action point 5.5 (pages 16-17):

“Develop a guide on the increasing human rights risks of the business activities in zones historically affected by the armed conflict. Thus, the Council to the President for Human Rights and the Post-Conflict Directorate will coordinate with the Comprehensive Conflict Prevention and Management System the development of such guide, which must be worked upon in a participatory manner with the enterprises and the civil society. According to the provided period to create the Comprehensive Conflict Prevention and Management System, this action must be carried out within the year following the coming into operation of such system.”

  • Action point 6.3 (page 18):

 “The Unit for Care and Integral Repair for Victims, as the coordinator of the National Care and Integral Repair for Victims (SNARIV), jointly with the Post-Conflict Directorate, will develop strategies aiming at getting companies to contribute to the recovery of historical memory for peacebuilding, reconciliation and promotion of human rights and the reconstruction of the fabric of society, wherefore memory and peacebuilding culture initiatives might be created.”

  • Action point 6.4 (page 18):

 “The Council to the President for Human Rights, the Colombian Agency for Reintegration and the Post-Conflict Directorate will prepare a joint strategy for companies to actively promote major participation of people in the reintegration process into the business field, in the production field, and in the peacebuilding processes.”

  • Action point 6.5 (page 18):

 “The Working Group will encourage enterprises to exchange their experiences in order to better understand the human rights and peacebuilding management.”

  • Action point 6.6 (page 18):

 “The Post-Conflict Directorate will hold a public debate on the role and power of business enterprises in peacebuilding.”

  • Action point VIII: Respect for Human Rights as a competitive advantage (page 20):

 “The institutional strengthening by companies is an alliance between the public and the private sectors, which is also to the benefit of the national peacebuilding agenda.”

  • Action point 8.2 (page 20):

“The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, supported by the Council to the President for Human Rights, the Post-Conflict Directorate and the National Authority for Environmental Permits, will incentivize the establishment of public-private alliances for the creation of social and environmental quality enterprises, particularly in the scattered rural areas.”

  • Action point 8.7 (page 21):

“The Post-Conflict Directorate, in cooperation with the Council to the President for Human Rights will identify and recognize the joint work opportunities between the business and the public sectors for development and peacebuilding.”

  • Action point 10.2 (page 23):

“The Working Group on Business and Human Rights, within the year of the Plan being launched, will draw a map of the current judicial and non-judicial remediation mechanisms on business and human rights in the country. Such map will identify which mechanism responds to each type of conflict, and will include a diagnostic of the efficacy and efficiency of the access to judicial and non-judicial remedy mechanisms, according to the United Nations Guiding Principles, identifying the obstacles to access to justice by the affected populations, both legally and practically.”

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