NAP Development Process
According to the first report on advancements in implementation released in May 2017, Colombia is advancing in the implementation of 59% of the actions in the NAP. According to the second report on advancements in implementation (in Spanish) released in August 2018, Colombia is advancing on 86% of the actions in the NAP.
A 2nd NAP was published on 10 December 2020. It is available here. This page will be updated to reflect this 2nd NAP shortly.
Through the approval of the Decree 4100 of 2nd November 2011, the Colombian Government created the National System of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law in order to “coordinate rules, policies, entities and institutions at the national and territorial levels and thus promote the respect and guarantee of the Human Rights and the application of the IHL”.
Within this framework, an inter-governmental Working Group on Business and Human Rights – where the Presidential Advisory Office for Human Rights acts as the Technical Secretariat– was established (Spanish) to create an inter-agency space to address various issues that link businesses to human rights
In 2013, a proposal for a Comprehensive Public Policy for Human Rights was published after a consultation process carried out through 32 meetings where 19,000 social leaders and 9,000 organisations attended. In 2014, the Presidential Advisory Office for Human Rights issued the Human Rights National Strategy for 2014-2034 as a way to provide public institutions with tools for the adoption a Human Rights-based approach.
In 2013 Colombia acted as the host for the First Latin American and Caribbean Regional Forum on Business and Human Rights.
In 2014 the Working Group published the Business and Human Rights Public Policy Guidelines, which provided an initial base for the Colombian NAP on Business and Human Rights. These Guidelines contain two main themes:
- A report on the territorial workshops held in Casanare, Huila, Norte de Santander, Bolivar, Antioquia and Valle del Cauca with representatives of civil society, local governments and companies and ii) “Conclusions and proposals for dialogue for the implementation of the UNGP in Colombia”;
- An outcome document from the Multistakeholder Dialogue Project, leading by Sustentia, that included capacity building and dialogue in multi-stakeholder workshops, from 2012 to 2013. Those dialogues were mainly focused on the main issues in Colombian context under the approach of the UNGP, “Protect, Respect and Remedy”.
In 2014 Colombia hosted the Latin American Dialogue on the National Implementation of Business and Human Rights frameworks.
In 2015, the Colombian government announced it would develop a NAP on Business and Human Rights. The Presidential Advisory Office for Human Rights – within the Office of the Presidency – was tasked with developing the NAP and with determining which government entities were responsible for each area of action. Additionally, a multi-stakeholder steering committee was established to guide and support the drafting process. The Committee was composed by the Ombudsman’s Office, Fundación Ideas para la Paz, Colombia’s Mining-Energy Committee, AECID (Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation), UNDP and the OHCHR.
After a consultation process with representatives from public institutions, private companies, and civil society organisations, the first draft was submitted for consultation in a multi-stakeholder national forum with over 100 attendants and three territorial forums hosted in Cartagena, Villavicencio and Apartadó between October and November 2015. Additionally, from October to December 2015, the draft NAP was posted on the Presidential Advisory Office for Human Rights website in Spanish and English, along with an email address allowing for interested parties to submit comments. However, a terms of reference and timeline for the NAP development process was not shared with stakeholders. The final draft NAP was officially launched and published in December 2015.
In parallel, the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) and the Fundación Ideas para la Paz (FIP) updated the Human Rights and Business Country Guide to Colombia (Spanish), which was published in 2016.
A multi-stakeholder steering committee was established to guide and support the drafting process. The Committee was composed of the Ombudsman’s Office, Fundación Ideas para la Paz, Colombia’s Mining-Energy Committee, AECID (Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation), UNDP and the UN OHCHR.
Prior to the first draft of the NAP, diverse multi-stakeholders discussions, training programs, national and regional consultations, and bilateral dialogues took place, which resulted in the 2014 Business and Human Rights Public Policy Guidelines. Business owners, private sector actors, civil society, NGOs, and government entities participated in the process.
The first draft was submitted for consultation in a multi-stakeholder national forum held in October 2015 with over 100 attendants including over 30 national and international civil society organisations (Caguán Vive, Sisma Mujer, Corporación Jurídica Yira Castro, CGT, Corporación Viva la Ciudadanía, Instituto Popular de Capacitación, CREER, and ICCO Cooperación among other), universities, private companies, business associations, international organisations (UNDP, OHCHR, and IOM the European Union), embassies from different countries (Nederland, United Kingdom, Norway and Spain), international experts (London School of Economics, ICAR, DIHR, Sustentia, Access Facility and the Institute for Human Rights and Business) and public entities. Furthermore, three territorial forums with multi-stakeholder participation were held in Cartagena, Villavicencio and Apartadó in November 2015. The details of these consultations were published in the Business and Human Rights Public Policy Guidelines.
From October to December 2015, the draft NAP was posted on the Presidential Advisory Office for Human Rights website in Spanish and English, along with an email address allowing for interested parties to submit comments on it.
In these participative processes, institutional actors from business and civil society organisations, as well as government and international entities were consulted regarding the draft NAP. Among others, ICAR, FIP, ARDURA and the DIHR provided strategic advice and a written submission with recommendations.
Moreover, governance structures (the NAP’s Advisory Committee) were established as spaces of consultation and dialogue between civil society, companies and the government, to resolve human rights conflicts through dialogue and participation.
Despite the different consultations carried out before the approval of the NAP, some civil society organisations considered the dialogue process to be insufficient, in activities, in timeline and inclusiveness of the more critical organisations. This point of view was portrayed by ICAR’s assessment on the NAP.
Between 2012 and 2014, Sustentia and AECID (Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation) provided a training program coordinated by the Colombian Government.
From 2012 to 2013 Business and Human Rights Capacity training was provided through a Dialogue project. The general goal was to capacitate staff to support the growing dialogue around business and human rights, especially on how to develop and implement due diligence and human rights policies and on effective remedy mechanisms. This included training 65 Colombian public officers from different Ministries about human rights generaly and the UNGPs on business and human rights. Those individuals formed part of the inter-ministry committee in charge of the development of public policy on Business and Human Rights in Colombia. During October and November 2014, The Ombudsman’s Office organised, with the technical assistance of Sustentia, an academic program focused on Business and Human Rights (Cátedra Ciro Angarita Barón) targeted to both public and civil organisations.
To support the development of the NAP process, the DIHR and FIP developed a strategic alliance with the National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) and the Presidential Advisory Office on Human Rights which included, among others, a training session for the Presidential Advisor’s Office, the NHRI and various government ministries in July 2015 on human rights and business, including the implementation of the UNGPs through NAPs.
With the financial support of AECID, the Presidential Advisory Office on Human Rights, ANDI, Sustentia and CREA, in 2016 and 2017, also led an 18-month training program with a regional approach priorities and dilemmas on how to implement the NAP. Three main multistakeholder dialogue processes were developed- Antioquia, Valle del Cauca and Bogotá- during 18 months, including 2 local workshops in Buenaventura y Turbo. This project was directed to civil society organisations, private companies, business associations and public institutions. The main outcomes are available here (Spanish).
Between October and December 2015, the NAP’s draft was posted on the Presidential Advisory Office for Human Rights website in Spanish and English for public consultation together with an email address for comments and proposals.
The final NAP was published in the following websites:
- The Government of Colombia
- Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
- UN Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises
The Government runs a microsite (in Spanish) with details on the NAP.
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.
Follow-up, monitoring, reporting and review
The NAP clearly identifies follow-up and implementation measures, providing a monitoring and evaluation framework. Likewise, specific responsible governmental entities are clearly identified for each area of implementation. The NAP also defined its Advisory Committee with the following members:
- One representative elected by the national indigenous organisations.
- One representative elected by the national afro-descendent organisations.
- One representative elected by the National NGO Platform.
- One representative elected by the confederations of workers’ unions.
- One representative elected by the Colombian Association of Universities.
- Two representatives elected by the National Trade Council, one of whom must be a delegate of the enterprises and the other one a delegate of the trades.
- One representative elected by the Ombudsman’s Office.
- One representative of the current multi-stakeholder initiatives on the business and human rights in the country.
- One representative of the multi-lateral entities related to business and human rights.
- One representative appointed by the International Community.
When the members were assigned the Advisory Committee first met in March 2017. The inter-governmental Working Group on Business and Human Rights defined by the National System of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law is in charge for the monitoring of the plan.
The Government runs a microsite (in Spanish) detailing the implementation of each action point within the NAP by the responsible entity. The Colombian Government commits in the NAP to publish an annual report and has currently published two.
The first Annual Evaluation on the implementation of the Colombian National Action Plan on Human Rights and Businesses in 2017 stated that Colombia was advancing in the implementation of 59% of the actions in the NAP.
The second report on advancements in implementation (in Spanish) released in August 2018, stated that Colombia was advancing on 86% of the actions in the NAP. The second report contains chapters on the process of developing the update, each of the 3 pillars, the role of the Defensor del Pueblo (Colombia’s NHRI), the process for realising the NAP, and challenges.
A second version of the NAP is expected in 2019.
Stakeholders views and analysis on the NAP
- The International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR) and the Centro de Estudios de Derecho, Justicia, y Sociedad (Dejusticia) published conducted an evaluation of the Colombian NAP on Business and Human Rights, following the NAPs checklist developed by ICAR and the DIHR’s NAP Toolkit, to evaluate the content and development process of the Colombian NAP. This Assessment of the Colombian National Action Plan (NAP) on Business and Human Rights was published in September 2016.
- The Colombian Government published the Report of the Annual Plenary on Business and Human Rights in 2016, as a compliance of the 2016 UN Forum on Business and Human Rights, which took place in Geneva in November 2016, with representatives from governments, businesses, community groups and civil society, NHRIs and international bodies, to discuss about the UNGPs and other business-related human rights issues. This report compiles the perspective raised on the Colombian NAP during the mentioned three-day forum.
- The Colombian Government conducted an Annual Evaluation on the implementation of the Colombian National Action Plan on Human Rights and Businesses in 2017, as a response to the State’s duty to annually report on the implementation of the Colombian NAP on Business and Human Rights. The report reflects the Colombian Government’s positioning on the status of the NAP’ implementation, based on the advancements, lessons learnt, and future challenges.
- Conectas Human Rights, Dejusticia and Justiça Global share a critical perspective on the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights, compiled in the Review of the first two years of the work of the Working Group, which applies to the Colombian implementation of the UNGPs. Other CSO critic papers are published, for example a paper from Tierra Digna.