I am writing on behalf of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), an affiliate of Public Services International (PSI) in Canada. PSI is a global union federation of more than 700 unions representing 30 million workers in 154 countries and brings their voices to the United Nations, the ILO, WHO, and other regional and global organizations. NUPGE represents nearly 400,000 workers across Canada. As PSI affiliates, we defend trade union and labour rights and fight for universal access to quality public services.
We are aware of the observations and recommendations issued by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) after its visit to Colombia, June 8–10, 2021, in the midst of the social protest that had erupted on April 28, 2021. This motivates us to ask your government to accept these observations and put the recommendations into practice, so as to contribute to solving the current social conflict.
The IACHR stressed that the observations and recommendations presented are based on the standards of the Inter-American human rights system related to the
- right to protest
- disproportionate use of force,
- sexual and gender-based violence,
- ethnic-racial analysis,
- use of transfer of custody and disappearance of persons,
- use of disciplinary powers,
- military assistance and the application of military criminal jurisdiction,
- protection of journalists,
- freedom of expression, and
- access to the internet, among others.
The IACHR presented a survey of the context in which the protests began in Colombia. It emphasized the call for
- dialogue to overcome the social conflict,
- investigations with due diligence,
- a comprehensive approach to punish those responsible for human rights violations identified, and
- to provide reparations to the victims, and
- the protection of journalists and medical missions.
We stand in solidarity with the Colombian people, with Colombian workers, in particular with the organizations that are affiliated to Public Services International, and, as part of the international community that closely follows what is happening in Colombia, we reiterate our request to you to accept the observations and act on the recommendations made by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.