Simpson Millar LLP Seek Justice in Colombia
Our Head of Employment Law at Simpson Millar LLP, will be heading out to Colombia in support of human rights and workers' rights
, along with the organisation born out of the trade union movement, known as Justice for Colombia (JFC)
Background on JFC
Colombia has been declared as the most dangerous country in the world for trade unionists
, with 3,000 killed since 1986. Far right paramilitary groups have been known to kill trade unionists, human rights workers and political activists. If you combine this with a censored press and government collusion with paramilitary groups, it's not difficult to see why something needs to be done.
JFC runs several campaigns in the UK and Europe, and Colombia. Projects include promoting a free press, assisting trade unionists
and others that have been victims of human rights abuses, working with displaced agricultural workers
to protect their human rights, and a helping trade unions improve their recruitment and organising activities.
What Will We Be Doing?
"We will be visiting workers for whom being involved in trade union activities carries a serious risk to life and liberty
, yet remains crucial to attaining social and economic justice. We hope to meet with peace activists, along with the families of those who have disappeared or been killed
because of their involvement in trades unions and organising for peace," said Linda.
"We also intend to visit Huber Ballesteros in prison
. However, current political tensions may prevent us from doing so." Huber Ballesteros was arrested on 25th August 2013, accused of rebellion and financing terrorism
. The reality is that Mr Ballesteros is an elected member of the Central Union of Workers, a leader of the FENSUAGRO union for agricultural workers, and a key negotiator in Colombian industrial action.
We will continue to follow the story
on work in Colombia on our website.