The International Office for Human Rights Action on Colombia

Recommendations letter to the EU on Colombia

In 2010, Oidhaco sent a series of recommendations to the Spanish and Belgian Presidencies of the European Union, supported by some 90 European and international human rights organisations, development agencies, solidarity groups and church organisations. On 18th and 19th May 2011, the International Office on Human Rights Action on Colombia (Oidhaco) held its General Assembly, composed of 32 European and international organisations, and Colombian human rights coordination groups. We believe that the recommendations we made in 2010 (please find attached) are unfortunately still all too relevant this year, and so we attach them once again for your consideration

In August 2010 the new government in Colombia expressed a public commitment to the promotion and defence of human rights as a “profound democratic, ethical and human conviction”; promised to address the structural causes of poverty; and showed openness to the possibility of dialogue as a path to peace within Colombia. Civil society organisations in Europe and Colombia alike have been asking for these statements to be quickly translated into substantial, concrete and effective policies that will make a real difference in the lives of victims of human rights violations and their defenders. However, to date, some 8 months into the administration, we find that massive human rights violations persist, that Colombia still remains an extremely dangerous place in which to defend human rights, and that there has been no real improvement in the lives of poor and marginalised communities.