NAP Development Process
Colombia’s first business and human rights NAP (“Plan Nacional de Acción sobre Derechos Humanos y Empresas”) (Español/ English) was launched in December 2015 and was valid for 3 years. The government’s second report on advancements in implementation (in Spanish) of August 2018 stated that Colombia had advanced on 86% of the actions in the NAP.
The Second National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights 2020-2022 “Juntos lo Hacemos Posible Resiliencia y Solidaridad” was published on 10 December 2020. This was developed by the Presidential Advisory Office for Human Rights and International Affairs, under the direction of the President of the Republic.
The information below relates to the Second NAP. Information on the process to develop the 1st NAP and its contents is available here.
According to the Government, in the framework of the commitments made by the Colombian State in the field of human rights, especially the World Conference on Human Rights held in Vienna in 1993, the preparatory phase for the participatory construction of a new version of the National Human Rights Action Plan began in November 2017.
In order to achieve the above, the National Coordination Body (Instancia Nacional de Coordinación) was set up, with the participation of more than 90 social organisations, representatives of the international community and the Colombian government, to advance a process of preparation with the aim of constructing a base document for deliberation, the route and methodology for the participatory construction of the National Human Rights Action Plan, through 15 territorial meetings:
- Amazonia (held in Bogotá),
- Norte de Santander
- Eje Cafetero
Around 850 people from social organisations, local governments, the security forces, the national government, businesses and the international community participated. Based on this process, recommendations were formulated for each of the Plan’s thematic axes.
Additionally, in February 2018, a multi-stakeholder Technical Roundtable was formed to develop recommendations for the second version of the National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights. The Technical Roundtable recommended that the NAP should be updated with the participation of actors in the territories and agreed to hold seven regional workshops to identify, through constructive dialogue, the weaknesses, challenges and opportunities of the National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights from its new validity in December 2018. More than 500 people participated in these workshops, including companies, international organisations, representatives of civil society and national and territorial entities.
In the framework of these regional workshops, the following recommendations were made:
- Strengthen the institutional framework of the NAP from the National Development Plan and the territorial development plans.
- Specify state responsibilities according to their competencies in the implementation of the Plan’s actions.
- Strengthen effective channels of nation-territory articulation.
- Build capacities for the positioning and dissemination of public policy.
- Incorporate perspectives from different state, business and social actors in policy planning, implementation and monitoring.
- Make visible and articulate measures to protect and respect human rights in the framework of economic activities with other agendas such as the Sustainable Development Goals, competitiveness derived from joining the OECD, among others.
- Promote multi-stakeholder dialogue to build trust and consolidate the human rights and business agenda in the territories.
In October 2018, the Presidential Advisory Office for Human Rights and International Affairs began a process of reviewing the recommendations together with the entities responsible for the different strategic lines. To this end, around 40 bilateral meetings were held with more than 28 entities.
In addition to these bilateral meetings, four collective construction workshops were held with the participation of institutions, representatives of civil society, academia and international cooperation, in which inputs were gathered for the elaboration of this Action Plan. The workshops addressed the following topics: the general objective and specific objectives, the lines of action and their indicators, and the governance bodies.
In the second half of 2019, the Business and Human Rights Working Group of the Presidential Advisory Office for Human Rights and International Affairs held seven regional workshops in different departments in order to socialise the Plan’s commitments, prioritise sectors, strengthen participation and inter-institutional coordination, among others. The aim of these workshops was to learn about the needs of each territory and thus be able to translate the policy to the realities of each region.
However, given the need to incorporate a vision aimed at the protection, respect and reparation of human rights violations in the framework of Covid-19, the document was adjusted accordingly. In this sense, in order to strengthen the participation process, which has been underway since 2018, a new round of socialisation and agreement on the policy and its actions began in 2020. On this occasion, members of academia, business associations and companies, international organisations, trade unions and other national government entities participated so that the NAP could be built on the basis of a participatory dialogue process.
(the information contained in section comes from the NAP and from publicly available documents)
The 2nd NAP, the National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights 2020-2022 “Juntos lo Hacemos Posible Resiliencia y Solidaridad” is available at the website of the Presidential Advisory Office for Human Rights, where a press release describing the basic features of the plan can also be found.
National Baseline Assessment (NBA)
A participative process with private and public organisations was conducted between 2012 and 2013 to identify different problems regarding human rights and design actions to address them. The Government of Colombia conducted a brief Survey for the States: National Action Plans on Business and Human Rights in 2014, to assess the state of Colombia on the implementation of the UNGPs, before the adoption of the NAP. Neither of these amounted to a National Baseline Assessment (NBA)
The Colombian government did not conduct an NBA in advance of its NAP development. Nonetheless, the NAP committed the Working Group to create a baseline assessment of all judicial and non-judicial remedial mechanisms available in the country relating to business and human rights within one year of the NAP launch (i.e. before December 2016).
In March 2018 CREER, the British Embassy in Colombia, the Presidential Advisory Office for Human Rights, and the IHRB published ‘Closer to citizens: Elements of a comprenhensive system of non-judicial remedy in business and human rights‘ (Spanish), which addresses elements of the limited baseline assessment promised in the NAP.
For the National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights 2020-2022 “Juntos lo Hacemos Posible Resiliencia y Solidaridad” there is no evidence that a National Baseline Assessment was conducted.
Follow-up, monitoring, reporting and review
In order to improve the coherence and effectiveness of public policies, promote the effective participation of civil society in the defence and promotion of human rights in business activities, and monitor the implementation of the 2015-2018 Plan, the creation of the Inter-Institutional Working Group and the Advisory Commission, governance bodies made up of institutions, the Public Prosecutor’s Office, civil society, trade unions, academia and multi-stakeholder initiatives, was widely called for.
In order to strengthen and give continuity to these spaces for coordination and participation, created within the framework of the 2015-2018 Plan, the following was established:
An Inter-Institutional Working Group (Grupo de Trabajo Interinstitucional)
For the comprehensive and coherent management of the Business and Human Rights agenda, the work developed by the Inter-Institutional Working Group, formed from the Subsystem of Economic, Social, Cultural and Environmental Rights, will be continued, as a scenario that promotes coherence between sectoral policies, coordination between State programmes and territorial entities. To this end, it must formulate, coordinate, implement and follow up on the Road Map for the implementation of the Plan. The Technical Secretariat of this space will be headed by the Presidential Advisory Office for Human Rights and International Affairs.
The Coordination of this Working Group will be in charge of the annual implementation reports of the Working Group’s Plan, the reports of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights and relevant information for the implementation of the Plan.
Monitoring Commission (Comisión de Seguimiento)
The Monitoring Commission is constituted as an advisory body to the Inter-Institutional Working Group with the function of guiding the actions related to the implementation of this plan, for which it will meet every 3 months. This commission will be made up as follows:
- One representative elected by the indigenous organisations
- One representative elected by the national organisations of black communities
- One representative elected by the National Confederation of NGOs.
- One representative elected by the confederation of workers’ trade unions
- Two representatives elected by the National Trade Council, one of whom shall be from the companies and the other from the trade unions.
- A representative of the Ombudsman’s Office (Defensoría del Pueblo).
- A representative of existing multi-stakeholder initiatives on business and human rights in the country
- A representative of multilateral agencies engaged in business and human rights activities
- Two representatives of the Academic Board (Mesa Académica)
In order to facilitate the follow-up of the Plan’s implementation, a matrix containing the actions, indicators, goals and deadlines that each institution has committed to implement in the remainder of the policy has been included as an annex, which will be monitored by the Coordination of the Inter-Institutional Working Group. In addition, the Inter-Institutional Working Group, made up of the entities with implementation responsibilities in the Plan, will coordinate the preparation of the annual report on the implementation of the policy in question, which will be published on the website of the Presidential Advisory Office for Human Rights and International Affairs in the first half of each year of its validity, as of its publication. It has been noted that there was no annex in the NAP document. Furthermore, no information is available concerning the constitution, members and work of the Monitoring Commission.
(the information contained in this section comes from the NAP and from publicly available documents)
Stakeholders views and analysis on the NAP
- In July 2019, the Fundación Ideas para la Paz published the “Planes Nacionales de Acción en Empresas y Derechos Humanos. Mínimos para la elaboración e implementación exitosa en Colombia” , a report aimed at giving recommendations for updating the Colombian NAP.
- In July 2020, the Presidential Advisory Office for Human Rights held a seminar on the “Juntos lo Hacemos Posible Resiliencia y Solidaridad” The National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights was included in the discussion on public policy and the post-COVID agenda.
- In December 2020, soon after the NAP was launched, the National Roundtable of Civil Society Organisations on Business and Human Rights (Mesa Nacional de Organizaciones de la Sociedad Civil sobre Empresas y Derechos Humanos) issued a public statement rejecting the new version of the National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights. The statement emphasised the attempt to portray the current pandemic as the central problem of human rights violations by companies in the country. It also raised several issues, such as the lack of a prior diagnosis, the lack of real and effective participation of civil society and impacted communities, the non-obligational language of the Plan and the general lack of adequate tools for the comprehensive reparation of human rights violations.
- In June 2021, Fundación Ideas para la Paz drafted a report called Mínimos para un Plan Nacional de Acción de Empresas y Derechos Humanos exitoso (in Spanish) on the key aspects the Colombian Nap should include for its success.