Annual Report Pursuant to the Agreement concerning Annual Reports on Human Rights and Free Trade between Canada and the Republic of Colombia

For the period January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017


Executive Summary

  1. Introduction
  2. Reporting Requirement under the CCOFTA Implementation Act
  3. Columbian Human Rights Context
  4. Columbian and Canadian Economic Context
  5. Actions Taken by Canada under the CCOFTA Implementation Act in 2017
  6. Trade Gains under the CCOFTA
  7. Actions Taken by Canada under its Agreements on Labour Cooperation and Environment, and in Association with the CCOFTA
  8. Public Consultations
  9. Government of Canada Programming, Advocacy, and Capacity Building Activities for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in Colombia
  10. Conclusion

Annexes


Executive Summary

This is Canada’s seventh report pursuant to the Agreement concerning Annual Reports on Human Rights and Free Trade between Canada and the Republic of Colombia. The primary purpose of the report is to review how actions taken by the Government of Canada in the context of the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement impact human rights in Canada and Colombia.

This report is also part of a broader constructive dialogue between Canada and Colombia on human rights, an essential aspect of our multifaceted relationship, which also includes strong trade and investment ties, longstanding development cooperation, support for Colombia’s peace-building efforts, and cooperation on regional and multilateral issues. The strong relationship between our two countries is underpinned by the level and frequency of our interactions, which included in October 2017 the State visit of President Santos to Canada.

As in previous years, the report sets out the Government of Canada’s obligations under this reporting mechanism, including its scope and limitations. It includes economic baseline information on the global economy, as well as on the Canadian and Colombian economies. It reviews the actions taken under the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement and provides an analysis of trade gains for different tariff categories.

For the third year in a row, the report also goes beyond basic legislative reporting requirements and discusses Canada’s contributions to advance human rights in Colombia, including through our support to the implementation of the peace agreement.

A lasting and durable peace will contribute greatly to improving the human rights situation for all Colombians. In this context, Canada will continue to be a steadfast partner despite the many challenges.  The vulnerable situation of community and social leaders and human rights defenders, particularly in rural areas that have been at the epicentre of the Colombian armed conflict, remains a particular concern.  This report also shows that there is still much to be done to implement key commitments under the Peace Agreement, in areas such as transitional justice, rural development, and reintegration of former guerrillas. 

Finally, the report outlines the various aspects of Canada’s bilateral engagement with Colombia and the tools employed to support Colombia in its efforts to address some of the challenges highlighted in this report. For example, this year’s report highlights key features of the two visits to Colombia in 2017 of Canada’s Extractive Sector Corporate Social Responsibility Counsellor.

This 2018 Annual Report on Human Rights and Free Trade between Canada and the Republic of Colombia is meant to deepen our mutual commitment to a progressive and inclusive trade agenda, which aims to ensure that all segments of society can take advantage of the opportunities that flow from trade and investment – with a particular focus on women, Indigenous peoples and youth. Progressive trade also means being open, transparent, and maintaining an ongoing dialogue with civil society and a broad range of stakeholders. To that effect, and in accordance with the tenets of open and accountable government, preparation of this report included a public call for submissions inviting interested parties to provide written contributions.

1. Introduction

Canada and Colombia signed the Agreement concerning Annual Reports on Human Rights and Free Trade between Canada and the Republic of Colombia (“the Agreement”) on May 27, 2010. This unique agreement requires that Canada and Colombia each produce an annual report on the effect of actions taken under the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and the Republic of Colombia (Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, “CCOFTA”) on human rights in both countries.

The Agreement entered into force on August 15, 2011, concurrently with the CCOFTA, as well as two other related agreements, the Agreement on Labour Cooperation between Canada and the Republic of Colombia (“Labour Cooperation Agreement”) and the Agreement on the Environment between Canada and the Republic of Colombia (“Environment Agreement”).

Canada tabled its first report pursuant to the Agreement on May 15, 2012. This current report is Canada’s seventh report pursuant to the Agreement.

2. Reporting Requirement under the CCOFTA Implementation Act

2.1 Canada’s Statutory Obligation under the Agreement

Canada’s obligations under the Agreement are incorporated into Canadian domestic law under section 15.1 of the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Implementation Act (“Implementation Act”):

15.1 Pursuant to the Agreement Concerning Annual Reports on Human Rights and Free Trade Between Canada and the Republic of Colombia, the Minister shall cause to be laid before each House of Parliament by May 15 of each year or, if that House is not then sitting, on any of the 30 days next thereafter that it is sitting, a report on the operation of this Act during the previous calendar year, containing a general summary of all actions taken under the authority of this Act, and an analysis of the impact of these actions on human rights in Canada and the Republic of Colombia.

2.2 Actions under Consideration

The Implementation Act specifies that the Government of Canada is required to table a report on the impact on human rights in Canada and Colombia of actions taken under the authority of the Implementation Act. As the Implementation Act includes the CCOFTA, the Environment Agreement and the Labour Cooperation Agreement, actions taken under all three agreements are considered by this report.

2.3 Scope and Limitations

As the Implementation Act governs Canadian domestic implementation of these three agreements, only the impact of actions taken by the Government of Canada under these agreements will be considered in this report. These include tariff reductions related to the CCOFTA as well as actions taken under the Labour Cooperation Agreement and the Environment Agreement. Private sector activities are not within the scope of the report.

2.4 Time Period under Consideration

The Implementation Act commits Canada to report “on the operation of this Act during the previous calendar year” (Section 15.1 of the Implementation Act). The 2018 annual report is, therefore, required to cover the period from January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017.  

2.5 Human Rights under Consideration

The promotion and protection of human rights are integral to Canadian foreign and domestic policies. Canada champions the values of inclusive and accountable governance, including by promoting human rights, women’s empowerment and gender equality, and peaceful pluralism, inclusion and respect for diversity.

At home and abroad, the Government of Canada is working to promote gender equality, to advance the rights of women and girls, and Indigenous peoples, and to ensure access to justice. These commitments extend to Canada’s foreign policy.

Canada works through multilateral organizations, bilateral engagement, development and humanitarian assistance and trade policy to enhance the promotion and protection of human rights, as well as fundamental labour rights, internationally.

Canada's international engagement is based on the principle that human rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated.

This report joins a range of actions—including advocacy and bilateral and development cooperation—through which Canada supports Colombia’s ongoing efforts towards greater peace, security, prosperity and respect for human rights.

3. Colombian Human Rights Context

In reviewing the potential impact on human rights of actions taken in the context of the CCOFTA, it is important to consider the broader context – political, economic, social, security, developmental – in which these actions were taken.

Colombia is a growing middle-income country with ambitious aspirations for increased global responsibility and membership, including participation in international peacekeeping operations and accession to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). At the same time, it is emerging from over 50 years of internal armed conflict that has resulted in over 220,000 mainly civilian deaths, and displaced more than 6.8 million Colombians. Colombia also remains the second most unequal country in Latin America, although it has made significant advances in reducing poverty, including extreme poverty (which was reduced by half between 2002 and 2014, according to the World Bank).  Landmines and unexploded ordnance in Colombia have also killed or injured more than 11,000 over the past 25 years and left Colombia one of the most landmine-affected countries in the world. Poverty, violence and human rights violations and abuses continue to be a concern, mostly in rural areas, especially where the state’s presence is limited. In 2017, Colombia has also been particularly impacted by the continued and serious deterioration of democratic institutions and the economy in neighbouring Venezuela, in particular through the hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans (550,000 by end of 2017) who have crossed into Colombia as a result of the increasingly dire humanitarian situation.

2017 marked the first anniversary of a historic peace agreement signed in 2016, following over four years of negotiations, between the Government of Colombia and the largest guerrilla group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). This agreement – rooted in a human rights-based approach, with the rights of victims at its centre – brought to an end the last major internal armed conflict in the hemisphere. Colombia also witnessed the successful conclusion of the demobilization and disarmament process of the FARC in August 2017, with the focus of the peace process shifting towards implementation of the Peace Accord in a broad range of areas, from rural development commitments to setting up a transitional justice process.

The second United Nations Special Political Mission was also launched in the fall of 2017 with a focus to verify the commitments on the reintegration of former FARC members, as well as the guarantees of protection and security for communities in the areas most affected by the conflict. It was also authorized by the United Nations Security Council, on October 5th, 2017, to monitor the ceasefire with the National Liberation Army (ELN) (which later expired on January 9th 2018). 

In short, implementation of the peace agreement has commenced and will  continue for many years to come.  The prospect of peace in Colombia is a major geo-political development and a lasting peace will provide the foundation upon which a more secure and prosperous Colombia can be built.

3.1 Current Status of Human Rights in Colombia

Over the past several years, the Government of Colombia has shown considerable commitment to improving the situation of human rights in the country, introducing a number of precedent-setting initiatives and instruments such as the Victims’ Law (1468) and the Land Restitution Law (1448) of 2011. Since the implementation of these laws in 2012, an impressive number of victims (over 700,000), mostly forced displacements, have received compensation from the state. While over 109,902 land restitution claims had been registered by the end of 2017, only a small percentage (5.1%) have been fully resolved.  Judicial and extra-judicial resolution of land restitution claims is slow due to a variety of challenges, including establishing the identity of claimants and a historically weak or non-existent system of land titles. Violence against land claimants has also been increasing: from November 2016 to December 2017, 178 land restitution leaders have been killed. 

A national strategy for improving human rights was put in place in 2014 with a 20-year action plan. Important efforts are being made by the Presidential Counselor for Human Rights to consolidate the system of institutions that contribute to the protection of human rights in Colombia. 2017 also marked the second year of implementation of the National Action Plan for the implementation of the United Nations Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights.  

In the context of the peace implementation process, key developments this past year include the establishment of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP by its Spanish acronym), the Commission for the Clarification of Truth, Coexistence and Non-Repetition (CEV), and the Unit for the Search for Disappeared Persons.  These key elements are part of a broader vision, as called for in the Peace Agreement, for an “Integrated System of Justice, Truth, Reparations and Guarantees of Non-Repetition” (Integrated System), with the rights of victims as its guiding principle.

However, these institutions are only beginning their work, which will be essential to a just implementation of the Peace Agreement.  Canada has provided considerable assistance to the theme of transitional justice as well as to the Integrated System itself through both the Peace and Stabilization Operations Program (PSOPs), and via our contribution to the United Nations Multi-Donor Trust Fund.  We have done so in partnership with groups such as Lawyers Without Borders, the International Centre for Transitional Justice, Colombia’s National Historical Memory Centre, as well as direct assistance to the JEP itself.

Canada has noted carefully the concerns of international and national experts that implementing legislation, in some key respects, may not be fully consistent with the Peace Agreement or international human rights standards.  These concerns include the exclusion of non-military state agents and private individuals from the scope of the mandatory application of the Integrated System, the definition of penal responsibility of military superiors, and the prohibition on the appointment of certain judges to the JEP due to their involvement in past litigation against the state in cases of alleged human rights violations.

Colombia has strong laws protecting human rights, but issues remain with their implementation and enforcement. While warning and reporting mechanisms exist to report threats and acts of violence, systems often lack adequate funding and resources, and investigations can often take months if not years to come to completion and do not often end in charges.

Human rights advocacy organizations, both international and national, frequently lament the lack of adequate investigations and protection measures. According to Amnesty International, Colombia has one of the highest levels of impunity in the world. Of the total homicides reported by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in 2017, the majority are still only in the investigation stages. The National Commission to Guarantee the Dismantlement of Criminal Organizations, established as part of the Peace Accords, has given momentum to raise the profile of violence against human rights defenders while strengthening government mechanisms to protect them.  The creations of an elite corps of the National Police, and a special investigative unit in the Office of the Attorney-General have been positive outcomes. 

Canada acknowledges the important efforts of the National Protection Unit (UNP by its Spanish acronym), a unit created in 2011 under the Ministry of Interior to offer close protection to people at risk, including human rights defenders. However, we note apparent limits to offer full protection at all times, especially in remote, rural areas, possibly due in part to resource constraints in the face of great demand for its services. 

Canada welcomes the decision of Colombia’s Office of the Attorney-General to prioritize its investigations of killings of human rights defenders, including new guidelines to investigate crimes against human rights defenders, as well as to intervene in 500 prioritized municipalities.  While some progress has been made in bringing perpetrators to justice (15 sentences since 2015), much work remains to be done to reduce overall impunity for such crimes. 

On the whole, in 2017, Colombia showed an improvement in the situation of human rights with overall levels of violence in the country continuing to decrease. For example, according to official figures, the homicide rate in 2017 was 23.9 per 100,000 people (11,781 total), its lowest level in 42 years, compared to 25.4 in 2016. Kidnappings, which at the height of the conflict numbered in the thousands annually, have decreased from 299 cases in 2013 to 190 cases in 2017. However, a number of key concerns remain, including child recruitment by armed groups; high-levels of sexual and gender-based violence related to the conflict and insecurity; and homicides and threats against marginalized and vulnerable groups (Indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities in particular). Forced displacements also remain a dramatic reality for thousands of Colombians, even though the end of the armed conflict with the FARC has reduced violence in much of the country, and ambitious programs are in place to provide reparations to victims, including through land restitution.  According to Colombia’s Victims’ Unit, 67,422 persons were displaced in 2017, primarily in the departments of Chocó, Nariño, and Antioquia.  While the number of displacements is down from 2016 and at their lowest number since 1994, there has been an increase in massive displacements (defined as 10 families or more) according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHOA).

Despite the fact that the peace agreement includes mechanisms that are intended to guarantee physical protection for human rights defenders and ensure their ability to conduct their work, statistics on the situation of human rights defenders continue to illustrate a worrying trend: in 2017, there were a reported 121 killings of human rights defenders in Colombia according to the OHCHR in Colombia, up from 59 in 2016, and the third straight years of increasing numbers. The categories of defenders most affected by attacks were community/social, agrarian, Indigenous, Afro-Colombian, and union leaders. Fourteen percent of murdered defenders were women, double the number from 2016.  The great majority of killings (86%) were in rural areas or towns near the former conflict zones.  Fifty-seven percent of the killings were apparently perpetrated by contract killers, on behalf of intellectual authors, making them all the more difficult to identify.  Alleged material authors of killings were mainly members of criminal organizations that potentially include former members and structures of paramilitary organizations, and remaining insurgents (see below). Three cases involve members of security forces.  Members of the police and military are also being investigated for 14 killings committed during social protests, including seven protesters in Tumaco, Nariño, during protests against forced eradication of coca, for which two commanders have so far been charged.

The international non-governmental organization “Frontline Defenders” again documented Colombia to be the most dangerous country for human rights defenders in the world in 2017.

An unfortunate reality of the first year and a half since the Peace Agreement is that the power vacuum followed by the demobilization of the FARC, accompanied by delays in bringing a meaningful, integrated  state presence through rural development, social services and integration programs, has meant that armed criminal groups and remaining insurgencies (ex-FARC, ELN, or the EPL also known as the Popular Liberation Army) have been able to enter areas that have yet to be transformed and take over lucrative illicit economies (coca, illegal mining, extortion), resulting in increased violence.  Real and sustainable improvements in human rights protection in these regions will require a multidimensional approach to endemic challenges of poverty, illicit economies, and weak rule of law.  

4. Colombian and Canadian Economic Context

Actions taken in the context of the CCOFTA, also take place within the context of the Canadian and Colombian economies, and the greater context of the global economy. The following baseline economic information provides this context.

4.1 Global economic trends

The global economy has experienced a slowdown in both trade and gross domestic product (GDP) growth in recent years. World merchandise trade growth decreased from 2.6 percent in 2015 to 1.3 percent in 2016. Concurrently, global GDP growth also saw a reduction from its rate of 2.7 percent in 2015 to 2.3 percent in 2016. The economic growth was mainly driven by fast-growing economies in Asia and the Middle East. In contrast, OECD countries had, on average, lower growth rates with an average rate of 1.7 percent in 2016 down from 2.4 percent in 2015. The change in the global macroeconomic climate plays a significant role in Canada and Colombia’s capacity to engage in international trade.

For commodity exporting economies such as Canada and Colombia, fluctuations in commodity prices have a significant effect on their economies and trade growth. Although commodity prices in 2017 experienced a slight recovery with a 17 percent increase from the 2016 levels, they were still 32 percent lower than in 2014. Similarly, energy prices in 2017 were 25 percent higher than 2016, but they were 42 percent lower than 2014. Prevailing low commodity prices, particularly oil prices, are a worldwide challenge for commodity producing countries (See Figure 1).

Figure 1: Commodity Price Index

Low commodity prices have a significant impact on the exchange rate movements of major commodity exporting countries. Since 2012, the Canadian dollar has depreciated by 30 percent against the US dollar. Similarly, the value of the Colombian peso relative to the US dollar has depreciated by 64 percent over the same period (See Figure 2).

Figure 2: Canadian and Colombian exchange rates against the US dollar (2012 = 100) 

These changes in the currency market have had profound implications for economic growth in Canada and Colombia as well as bilateral trade between the two countries, in particular, Colombia’s capacity to import products from Canada. 

4.2 The Canadian Economy

Canada is ranked as the tenth largest economy in the world with GDP standing at USD 1.60 trillion in 2017, or about five times that of the Colombian economy. With a population of 36.7 million, Canada’s per capita GDP in 2017 stood at USD 43,809.

Canada is one of the most open economies in the world with few barriers to trade and investment. In 2017, international trade in goods accounted for 63.7 percent of GDP. The United States is Canada’s largest trading partner with 76 percent of all Canadian merchandise exports destined to that market.

Services constitute a leading sector in the Canadian economy, making up 70 percent of Canada’s GDP in 2017, and employing 79 percent of the total Canadian labour force. In the past decade, the share of services in Canada’s GDP increased steadily as the importance of other sectors in Canadian GDP declined.

The Canadian economy has been expanding at an average annual rate of 1.7 percent during the past decade. However, as a major commodity producer, Canada has been one of the hardest-hit developed economies by the impact of declining commodity prices in recent years. The energy sector, which accounted for one-fifth of total Canadian merchandise exports, was the most affected. Excluding the natural resources sector, Canada’s international exports have experienced solid growth in recent years.

4.3 The Colombian Economy

With a population of 49.3 million, Colombia is the third most populous country in Latin America after Brazil and Mexico. Over the past decade, Colombia has experienced impressive economic growth as a result of pro-market economic policies, significant improvements in domestic security, and strong trade growth. GDP surged from USD 99.9 billion in 2000 to USD 380.2 billion in 2013.  However, this impressive decade of economic growth came to an end in 2013 as a result of changes in world commodity prices and international macroeconomic environment. Colombia’s GDP is estimated to have decreased from USD 380.2 billion in 2013 to USD 287 billion in 2016. This dramatic downturn in Colombia’s macroeconomic environment has broad implications for its economic activities and international trade in particular. 

The Colombian economy depends heavily on exports of energy and agricultural commodities with exports in those categories making up 19 and 54 percent respectively of all exports to the world in 2017. Colombia is the world’s second largest coffee producer after Brazil, and a major global supplier of cut flowers and bananas. Colombia’s aggressive promotion of free trade agreements in the recent decade has strengthened its position in international trade. Colombia’s merchandise exports to the world increased dramatically from USD 13.1 billion in 2000 to a peak of USD 60.7 billion in 2012. However, exports have been on a downward path since then to USD 37.8 billion in 2017. Similarly, Colombia’s imports from the world increased steadily from USD 11.5 billion in 2000 to USD 64 billion in 2014 but have on average lowered to USD 46.1 billion in 2017. 

4.4 The Canada-Colombia Trade Relationship

The Canada-Colombia trade relationship is strengthened by the CCOFTA which entered into force on August 15, 2011.

In 2017, total bilateral merchandise trade between the two countries reached $1.73 billion[1] representing a moderate increase from recent lows. It increased by 10 percent from $1.57 billion in 2016. Bilateral merchandise trade has increased by approximately 27 percent overall since 2010, the year prior to the entry into force of the CCOFTA (See Figure 3).

Between 2016 and 2017, Canada’s imports from Colombia increased by 25 percent, from $787 million to $985 million. This increase was largely due to an increase in imports of coffee, tea, and spices from Colombia (about $112 million).  In addition, significant increase in imports from Colombia are observed in mineral fuels and oils, live trees and plants (cut flowers), fruits (bananas) and plastics.

Canada’s exports to Colombia, on the other hand, decreased by 4.8 percent from $784 million to $746 million between 2016 and 2017. Canadian exports to Colombia covered a broad range of products including cereals (wheat), vehicles, machinery, vegetables (pulses), paper and paperboard and fertilizers.

Figure 3: Bilateral Trade between Canada and Colombia 2010-2017, Can$ million

Source: Statistics Canada and Global Affairs Canada calculations.[2]

5. Actions Taken by Canada under the CCOFTA Implementation Act in 2017

The CCOFTA is consistent with Canada’s aims to enhance its economic interests in Colombia and to deepen its engagement with Latin American countries. It provides greater stability and predictability for Canadian exporters, service providers, and investors, including expanded opportunities in a broad range of sectors, particularly oil and gas, mining, agriculture and agri-food, and manufacturing. The CCOFTA also reduces trade barriers to improve Canada and Colombia’s bilateral economic relationship by allowing both countries to increase their export potential and access new markets. Finally, the services and services-related provisions of the CCOFTA support exporters by encouraging stronger economic ties through the implementation of principles and conditions of regulatory transparency and stability.

5.1 Overview of Actions Taken under the CCOFTA Implementation Act in 2017

A summary of actions taken under the CCOFTA Implementation Act for the period covered by this report is provided in Table 1 below.

Table 1: Actions taken by Canada under the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Implementation Act

Clause NumberShort Description of ClauseActions taken by Canada for
Free Trade Agreement Implementation in 2017
1Short TitleNone
2-5InterpretationNone
6Crown bound by the legislationNone
7PurposeNone
8No cause of action except for investor-stateNone: no disputes to date
9-15Implementation of the CCOFTA, Labour Cooperation Agreement and Environment AgreementNone
16-22Inquiries under the Canadian International Trade Tribunal ActNone: no disputes to date
23Arbitration related to violations of the Investment chapter under the Commercial Arbitration ActNone: no disputes to date
24Compliance enforcement of the Labour Cooperation Agreement under the Crown Liability and Proceedings ActNone: no disputes to date
25-29Application of the Customs ActNone
30-42Changes to the Customs TariffReduction of customs duties on goods according to staging categories
43Monetary assessment relating to Labour Cooperation Agreement disputes under the Department of Employment and Social Development ActNone: no disputes to date
44-46Emergency action safeguard under the Export and Imports Permits ActNone: no disputes to date
47Governance of crown corporation under the Financial Administration ActNone
48Entry into force dateNone for purposes of the Annual Report exercise

5.2 Tariff Elimination Schedule

The tariff reductions implemented by Canada are undertaken in accordance with the Tariff Elimination Schedule of Canada of the CCOFTA.

Tariff reductions implemented by Canada during January 1, 2017-December 31, 2017 fall under one staging category:

Staging Category D17 (17-year linear phase-out, with yearly tariff reductions, all tariffs to be removed by January 1, 2025). [3] There is only one tariff line being phased-out under staging category D17, which is a refined sugar line.

Table 2: Summary of the Tariff Elimination Schedule of Canada of the CCOFTA

Staging Category# Lines% Lines2008 Canadian Imports from Colombia (US$, Mil)2017 Canadian Imports from Colombia (Can$, Mil)% 2008 Canadian Imports from Colombia% 2017 Canadian Imports from ColombiaProduct Examples
A (Immediate duty-free)813896.6%605.043977.199.8%99.2%Fresh cut flowers, most textiles, apparel, furniture, industrial and electrical machinery
B (3-year linear)190.2%0.2010.0230.0%0.0%Spent fowl, some footwear (e.g., waterproof, sport, work boots, footwear with metal toe cap)
C (7-year linear)1561.9%0.1796.030.0%0.61%Within-access supply management tariff lines; rubber gloves, all other textiles (that are not in A), ships, furnishings made of textiles
D (17-year linear)10.0%0.6550.00.0%0.0%Refined sugar (tariff line 1701.99.00: refined, not containing added flavouring/colouring matter)
E (Excluded)1101.3%0.0611.80.0%0.18%Over-access supply management tariff lines (dairy, poultry and eggs) from tariff reduction; other refined sugar tariff items
Total8424100%606.141100%

Source: Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, Tariff Elimination Schedule of Canada of the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, Global Trade Atlas, and Global Affairs Canada calculations

5.3 Tariff Reductions in 2017

As noted above, the actions taken by Canada under the CCOFTA in 2017 have been tariff reductions according to the Tariff Elimination Schedule of Canada of the CCOFTA.  With the exception of one tariff line (refined sugar), Canada has already completed the phase-out of all tariffs covered by the CCOFTA.

5.4 Future Tariff Reductions

The tariff on refined sugar will continue to be reduced annually until it is fully eliminated on January 1, 2025. Given that the tariff reductions to be implemented on an annual basis from now until 2025 are minimal, the impact of these further tariff reductions on Canada’s bilateral trade with Colombia can also be expected to be minimal. To date, it has not been possible to draw a link between tariff reductions made by Canada under the CCOFTA and human rights abuses in Colombia.

6. Trade Gains under the CCOFTA

Overall, the CCOFTA has had a positive effect on Canada-Colombia bilateral trade. Canada and Colombia bilateral merchandise trade increased to $1.73 billion in 2017, an increase of approximately 27 percent over 2010 (the year prior to the entry into force of the CCOFTA).

This positive effect can also be demonstrated by a comparison of trade performance before and after the CCOFTA. In the following analysis, presented in Tables 1 and 2 below, the annual trade statistics are first divided into the pre-CCOFTA period (January 2008 to December 2010) and post-CCOFTA period (January 2015 to December 2017) and then divided into five product categories. The product categories represent products that were duty-free prior to the implementation of the CCOFTA, products not liberalized, products with 0.1 to 5 percentage points tariff reductions, products with 5.1 to 10 percentage points tariff reductions, and products that had more than 10.0 percentage points tariff reductions. The average annual changes between the pre-CCOFTA and the post-CCOFTA periods of these categories are then calculated to determine if trade has been enhanced. This simple demonstration does not control for any macroeconomic or other sector- and season-specific factors that potentially impact bilateral trade flows.

6.1 Canadian Exports to Colombia

Canada has experienced solid growth in its merchandise exports to Colombia since the CCOFTA entered into force in 2011.

Annual average exports from Canada to Colombia increased from a pre-CCOFTA level of $626.4 million to the post-CCOFTA level of $750.4 million, representing an increase of almost 20 percent. As shown in Table 1, the majority of Canadian exports to Colombia were subject to duties in the pre-CCOFTA era. As a result, liberalization under the CCOFTA has facilitated greater Canadian exports to Colombia. Most trade growth has come from the products with up to 5.0 percentage points of tariff reductions, which grew by $139.5 million.

Table 1: Annual Average Canadian Exports to Colombia by the Extent of Tariff Reductions, Can$

Tariff ReductionsPre-CCOFTA 2008-2010Post-CCOFTA 2015-2017GrowthPercentage Change
Duty-free Goods40,748,610.038,138,848.3-2,609,761.7-6.4%
Exempted Goods176,680.32,028,092.31,851,412.01047.9%
0.1 - 5% Reductions264,376,342.3403,872,051.3139,495,709.052.8%
5.1 - 10% Reductions155,359,320.3149,619,385.0-5,739,935.3-3.7%
Over 10% Reductions163,821,711.0154,922,911.0-8,898,800.0-5.4%
(No match)1,920,739.31,787,536.7-133,202.7-6.9%
Total626,403,403.3750,368,824.7123,965,421.319.8%

Source: Statistics Canada and Global Affairs Canada’s calculations. Note: Sector figures do not add to the total due to the fact that some trade figures cannot match to tariff lines and trade under Chapters 98 and 99 are not included in the tariff schedules. 

Canada’s export gains for the products that were already duty-free were dominated by exports of paper and paperboard. Other products that also experienced significant export gains included residues and waste from the food industries, live animals, nuclear reactors and machinery, vehicles (except railways and parts), and organic chemicals (see Annex 2).

Products that received tariff reductions up to 5.0 percentage points saw a largest increase of export gains. The top sectors to experience such export growth were cereals, fertilizers, inorganic chemicals, tanning or dyeing extracts, and railway or tramway locomotives (see Annex 3).

The top products of export gains with tariff reductions of 5.1 to 10.0 percentage points were pharmaceutical products, explosives and pyrotechnic products, paper and paperboard, pulp of wood and paper waste, and plastics (see Annex 4).

The key sectors that experienced gains under the category of over-10-percentage points of tariff reductions were edible vegetables; meat and edible meat offal; cosmetic and toilet preparations; grains, seeds, and fruits (see Annex 5)

6.2 Canadian Imports from Colombia

In 2017, Canadian merchandise imports from Colombia were valued at $985 million, making Colombia Canada’s fifth largest import source in South America.

Overall, on an annual basis, average imports from Colombia increased by 14.8 percent between the pre-CCOFTA level of $691.1 million and the post-CCOFTA level of $842.7 million. The utilization rates of the CCOFTA for Canadian imports from Colombia remained high with the products facing larger tariff reductions having higher utilization rates, indicating that importers are well aware of the tariff concessions offered by CCOFTA and they take advantage of what the Agreement offers. The total utilization rate for duty-free products was 0.2 percent; 25.0 percent for products with 0.1 to 5.0 percentage points of tariff reductions; 58.0 percent for the products with 5.1 to 10.0 percentage points of reductions; and 82.3 percent for the products with more than 10.0 percentage points of reductions.

It is important to note that more than 80 percent of all Canadian imports from Colombia were duty-free even before the entry into force of the CCOFTA. The products that gained the most under the duty-free category were coffee, tea and spices (see Annex 7).

Products that had the largest import gains under the category of 0.1 to 5.0 percentage points of tariff reductions were articles of stone, plaster and cement; textile fabrics; and residues and waste from the food industries (see Annex 8).

Products that had the largest import gains under the category of 5.1 to 10.0 percentage points of tariff reductions were live trees and other plans; cocoa and cocoa preparations; and preparations of vegetables, fruit, nuts or other parts of plants (see Annex 9). Utilization rates were quite high in this category, with many experiencing rates over 70 percent.

Products that had the most gains in imports under the category over 10 percentage points of tariff reductions included live trees and other plants, knitted articles of apparel and clothing, and animal or vegetable fats and oils. The utilization rates for these articles were fairly high with a peak utilization rate of 91.9 for preparations of cereals (see Annex 10).

Exempted products experienced declines in imports.

Table 2: Annual Average Canadian Imports from Colombia by the Extent of Tariff Reductions, Can$

Tariff ReductionsPre-CCOFTA 2008-2010Post-CCOFTA 2015-2017GrowthPercentage ChangeUtilization Rate (%)[4]
Duty-Free Goods572,157,346.00692,468,094.03120,310,748.0321.0%0.2%
Exempted Goods7,043,611.331,638,148.67-5,405,462.67-76.7%0.0%
0.1 – 5% Reductions1,047,243.33673,233.00-374,010.33-35.7%25.0%
5.1 – 10% Reductions79,634,159.3391,940,264.0412,306,104.7115.5%58.0%
Over 10% Reductions31,302,196.0055,726,761.8124,424,565.8178.0%82.3%
(No Match)-216,868.67216,868.67No Pre-CCOFTA value100.0%
Total691,184,556.00842,663,370.21151,478,814.2121.9%14.8%

Source: Statistics Canada and Global Affairs Canada calculations. Note: Sector figures do not add to the total due to the fact that some trade figures cannot match to tariff lines. 

6.3 Overall Impact of the CCOFTA on Trade Flows

The comparison of trade flows between the pre- and post-CCOFTA periods shows that the Canada-Colombia bilateral trade relationship has benefited from the agreement. Canadian exports to Colombia grew more quickly in the sectors that were liberalized, supporting the premise that reducing tariffs has a stimulatory impact on trade. While imports have fluctuated over the years, the average impact has been positive. The utilization rates of the CCOFTA for the affected imports have also remained at very high levels and progressed with the extent of tariff concessions provided to Colombian products.  This indicates that Canadian businesses have adjusted well to the changing trading environment under the CCOFTA and are benefiting from the trade agreement. Without controlling for other non-free trade agreement influenced factors, the above simple data comparison is supportive of the view that the CCOFTA is working as intended. 

7. Actions Taken by Canada under its Agreements on Labour Cooperation and Environment, and in Association with the CCOFTA

In order to support Colombia with its efforts to address strengthening of the protection and promotion of human rights, Canada leverages various aspects of its bilateral engagement and programming tools including those found in the provisions of the two CCOFTA-related agreements on Labour Cooperation and Environment and also under special programming directly related to its free trade relationship with Colombia.

7.1 The Labour Cooperation Agreement

The Canada-Colombia Agreement on Labour Cooperation commits the parties to ensuring that their laws not only respect the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work (1998), but also provide acceptable protections for occupational health and safety, hours of work, wages and migrant workers. The CCOFTA itself also includes a principles-based labour chapter.

Specifically, the Labour Cooperation Agreement commits both countries to: 

  • Promote compliance with and effectively enforce their domestic labour laws through appropriate government actions. These laws must embody the following internationally recognized labour principles and rights:
    • freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining;
    • the elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour;
    • the effective abolition of child labour;
    • the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation;
    • acceptable conditions of work with respect to minimum wages, hours of work and occupational health and safety; and
    • providing migrant workers with the same legal protections as citizens in regards to working conditions. 
  • Ensure that they do not waive or otherwise derogate from their labour laws in a manner that weakens or reduces adherence to the internationally recognized labour principles as an encouragement for trade or investment.
  • Ensure that requests for labour inspections are given due consideration and that a person with a legally-recognized interest has appropriate access to proceedings before a tribunal which can enforce national labour law.
  • Make information publicly available in relation to their labour laws and enforcement and compliance procedures.

Encourage the use of voluntary best practices of corporate social responsibility (CSR) by enterprises.

The Labour Cooperation Agreement contains institutional mechanisms to ensure its effective implementation. These include a dispute resolution process to ensure compliance with the possibility of up to $15 million in fines for non-compliance in any one year. All monetary assessments would be paid into a cooperation fund to be expended in the territory of the party complained-against in order to address labour issues. The Labour Cooperation Agreement also provides for a Ministerial Council, comprised of Labour Ministers from both Canada and Colombia, that is required to meet within the first year after its entry into force and thereafter, as necessary, in order to oversee its implementation.

Actions Taken under the Labour Cooperation Agreement

Projects: The provisions of the Labour Cooperation Agreement are complemented by concrete actions to address the labour situation in Colombia, notably through labour-related information sharing and technical assistance (TA). Since the coming into force of the Labour Cooperation Agreement, the Government of Canada, through the Labour Program of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), has focused on capacity building, project monitoring missions, and other opportunities to foster relationships and encourage effective implementation. Since 2011, the Labour Program of ESDC has funded three labour-related TA projects in Colombia totaling approximately $950,000. For project details, see Annex 11.

Bilateral Dialogue: In addition to these projects, the Canadian and Colombian Ministries of Labour have maintained close relations and ongoing discussions to advance the bilateral dialogue on implementation of the Labour Cooperation Agreement and issues of common interest, including proactive monitoring of Colombia’s labour situation. Three Ministerial Council meetings have taken place under the Labour Cooperation Agreement where Ministers reviewed progress and discussed labour-related TA programming in Colombia. Ministers also approved Plans of Action for cooperative labour activities and committed to sharing information in specific areas such as labour inspection, occupational health and safety, trade and labour, employment opportunities, labour statistics, migrant workers and child labour.

Public Communications: The Labour Cooperation Agreement also allows for complaints, technically known as “Public Communications”, to be raised by citizens, enterprises or organizations, when they believe certain obligations of the Agreement have not been met.

In this context, the Canadian National Administrative Office (NAO), housed within the Labour Program and responsible for the review and management of complaints filed under Canada’s Labour Agreements, received a complaint in May 2016. The complaint (Public Communication CAN 2016-1), which was submitted by the Canadian Labour Congress and five Colombian labour organizations, alleged that the Government of Colombia had failed to comply with the obligations of the Agreement, particularly in the areas of freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining. The complaint was accepted for review in July 2016. As part of the review process, Canadian NAO officials visited Colombia with a view to examining the allegations and learning first-hand from stakeholders involved in the complaint. The review process allowed NAO officials to identify prevalent and systemic labour issues such as the misuse of subcontracting, discriminatory anti-union practices and the climate of violence against trade unionists, which ultimately undermine the exercise of freedom of association and collective bargaining rights for Colombian workers.

In January 2017, the NAO issued a report concluding that the current Colombian labour law framework is not sufficient to effectively protect the full exercise of freedom of association and collective bargaining rights and that additional efforts by Colombian authorities are required to prevent abuse, violence and discriminatory labour practices.  The report provided the Government of Colombia with a series of recommendations to address these issues.  The report also recommended that Canada’s Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour seek consultations with her counterpart, the Minister of Labour of Colombia.

In March 2017, both the Canadian and Colombian Labour Ministers agreed to hold ministerial consultations.  Throughout 2017, Canada and Colombia held six consultation meetings with a view to developing a joint multi-year action plan which would serve as a roadmap for implementing concrete actions to address the issues and recommendations identified in the Canadian NAO’s report. 

Moving Forward:  The Labour Program will continue to work with Colombia to ensure that concrete actions and measures are taken as part of the action plan to guarantee the protection of fundamental labour rights. 

7.2 The Environment Agreement

The Environment Agreement, signed in parallel to the CCOFTA, reinforces the concept that free trade should not take place at the expense of the environment. The CCOFTA itself also includes an environment chapter and environment provisions. The Canada-Colombia Environment Agreement commits both countries to encouraging high levels of domestic environmental protection, to fostering good environmental governance, to continuing to develop and improve their environmental laws and policies, and to promoting transparency and public participation. It requires each country to:

  • effectively enforce its domestic environmental laws through appropriate government actions;
  • neither weaken nor reduce levels of protection afforded in its domestic environment laws to encourage trade or investment;
  • ensure that proceedings are available to sanction or remedy violations of its environmental laws;
  • ensure that interested persons residing in or established in its territory may request investigations of alleged violations of its environmental laws, and to give such requests due consideration, in accordance with its law;
  • promote public awareness and transparency by ensuring that information regarding environmental laws and policies is available to the public;
  • ensure that environmental impact assessment processes are in place;
  • encourage the use of voluntary best practices of CSR by enterprises;
  • promote the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity; and
  • respect, preserve, and maintain traditional knowledge, innovations and practices of Indigenous and local communities that contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, subject to national legislation.

The Environment Agreement commits both countries to make every attempt, through consultations and the exchange of information, with an emphasis on cooperation, to address any matter concerning the environment which may arise between them. If the countries fail to resolve the matter, either of them may seek consultations at the ministerial level.

Actions Taken under the Environment Agreement

Projects: With the goal of promoting high levels of environmental protection, the Canada-Colombia Environment Agreement also provides a framework within which to undertake environmental cooperation activities aimed at supporting the Environment Agreement’s objectives and obligations usually through technical exchanges and information sharing. Since the entry into force of the Environment Agreement in 2011, Environment and Climate Change Canada has funded a total of thirteen environmental projects in Colombia, and has contributed over $3 million in funding. In 2017-2018, Canada is supporting one project, under the Environment Agreement, related to Financing and Measuring Black Carbon Emission Reductions in the Oil and Gas Sector. For a description of all initiatives, see Annex 12. Funding for Latin American regional programming (which also benefits Colombia) amounts to $7.8 million.

Bilateral Dialogue: The Canada-Colombia Environment Agreement provides a framework within which to address key environmental issues of mutual interest to Canada and Colombia via the creation of a Committee on Environment. The Committee on Environment meets on an as-needed basis, with the most recent meeting having taken place on March 4, 2015 in Bogotá, Colombia. At this meeting, Canadian and Colombian officials reviewed the key commitments and institutional arrangements required under the Environment Agreement, undertook a policy dialogue on environmental priorities, reviewed cooperative work, and jointly began work on setting priorities for future cooperative activities.

In requesting another meeting of the Canada-Colombia Committee on the Environment, Colombian officials have shared their proposed priorities for discussion, which include: a) establishing criteria and the basic components of risk evaluation of chemical products; b) exchanging information on how to design and operate a registry of industrial chemical products; c) developing control instruments and regulations on nanomaterials; d) sharing lessons learned from the implementation process of the Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR); and, e) allocating resources to evaluate the impact of fracking in the country. Since the last bilateral discussions were held in Colombia in 2015, it will be Canada’s turn to host the Committee meeting in 2018.

Actions Taken under Climate Finance

Through its $2.65 billion commitment, Canada is providing support to developing countries on climate change through key multilateral contributions, such as the Green Climate Fund (GCF). For example, in September 2017, the GCF approved USD 38.5 million to support the Government of Colombia in scaling up climate resilient integrated water resource management practices in La Mojana - one of the poorest and most climate vulnerable regions in Colombia.

Bilaterally, Canada has provided over $ 7million to climate change projects in Colombia over 2011-2016. For example, Canada provided $900,000 to enhance the resilience of ecosystems and local communities to climate change effects by conserving and restoring protected areas in Colombia. Going forward, Canada is continuing to support Colombia address climate change. For example, under Canada’s $2.65 billion commitment, Canada recently announced that is providing $1.6 million for a partnership with Pacific Alliance countries, which includes Colombia,  to reduce climate pollutants and attract investment to support climate change actions and help create a cleaner environment (see following section for more details).

7.3 The Pacific Alliance Partnership

The Pacific Alliance is a regional integration initiative founded in 2011 by Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, to promote greater economic growth and competitiveness and economic growth for member countries. In 2012, Canada became the first non-Latin American observer to the Pacific Alliance and in 2016, the Joint Declaration on a Partnership between Canada and the members of the Pacific Alliance (“Partnership”) was signed. In June 2017, the Pacific Alliance invited Canada to become an Associated State, along with Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, a process that involves the negotiation of a comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) with the Pacific Alliance as a bloc.

A free trade agreement with the Pacific Alliance offers the prospect to modernize and streamline our existing agreements, including the CCOFTA, expand key elements of these agreements, as well as potentially include new progressive trade elements, which support social inclusion, such as gender and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises. Strategic allies for Canada in the hemisphere, the Pacific Alliance countries share our commitment to open markets, social inclusion, human rights, democratic principles and a clean environment.

Actions Taken under the Pacific Alliance Partnership

Under the Partnership, Canada and the Pacific Alliance have outlined six broad areas for increased cooperation: trade facilitation and promotion; education and training; small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); science, technology and innovation; responsible natural resource development and corporate social responsibility; and environmental cooperation (including climate change and ocean conservation).

Projects: On June 29, 2016, Canada confirmed its commitment to the Partnership by announcing funding for three cooperation projects worth more than $21 million over five years. In October 2017, during Colombian President Santos’ State visit to Canada, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change announced that the Government of Canada would invest $1.6 million to help the Pacific Alliance countries address climate change, reduce climate pollutants, attract investment-supporting climate actions, and help create a cleaner environment. These four projects will support the Pacific Alliance in its efforts towards becoming a more competitive and inclusive region and deepen our mutual commitment to a progressive and inclusive trade agenda. (See Annex 13 for project details.)

Bilateral Dialogue: Since the signing of the Partnership, Canada has made presentations to several of the Pacific Alliance’s Technical Groups in order to share Canadian experiences and to keep the Pacific Alliance informed on progress related to the four cooperation projects. Canada has also provided ongoing updates on the cooperation projects to the Pacific Alliance’s External Relations Technical Group, the main point of contact for observer countries, in October 2016 and in May 2017.   

8. Public Consultations

In accordance with the tenets of open and accountable government, we have continued to consult broadly in the preparation of this report.

8.1 Public Call for Submissions

On February, 7, 2018, the Government of Canada issued a public call for submissions to inform the analysis of the report (see Annex 14). The public call for submissions was posted online on the Global Affairs Canada website and the website of the Embassy of Canada to Colombia for a period covering four weeks. Key stakeholders were also contacted individually to inform them of the launch of consultations. One written submission was received in response to the public call for submissions.

In parallel to the public call for submissions, additional comments were gathered through in-person meetings with members of Canadian civil society groups with close ties to Colombian civil society and who expressed an interest in seeing a fair, just and prosperous democracy in Colombia. These groups have worked closely with communities in Colombia for many years, providing relief and development assistance. They continue to monitor the human rights situation in Colombia through regular exchanges and in-country visits.

Comments gathered expressed serious and ongoing concerns regarding broader human rights issues in Colombia, including the Government of Canada’s overall approach to business and human rights, especially in the extractive sector. Civil society organisations also outlined that violence and human rights’ violations not only persisted in 2017 despite the conclusion of the Peace Accord a year earlier, but seemed to have intensified in some parts of the country. More specifically, they noted that civilian populations, especially Indigenous peoples, Afro-Colombians, peasant farmer communities and human rights defenders continued to be the main victims of the armed conflict.

Critical of the report’s scope and methodology over the years, a few civil society organisations have taken the opportunity of this year’s public call for submissions to inform Global Affairs Canada that they would no longer contribute to the consultation process of the annual report in its current form. These organizations have expressed a preference for a broader human rights impact assessment which would include an analysis of the impacts of private investment on the human rights situation in Colombia – elements that are outside the scope of this report.

8.2 Consultations with Provinces and Territories

The Government of Canada consulted with provincial and territorial governments with regard to whether any of their respective human rights commissions (or equivalent bodies) had raised or received any comments, questions or expressions of concern, regarding effects on human rights in Canada related to Canada’s tariff reductions under the CCOFTA during the period January 1, 2017 – December 31, 2017. The Government of Canada received feedback from a total of nine provinces and territories indicating that none of their human rights commissions (or equivalent bodies) had raised or received any such comment or expression of concern. Since the entry into force of the CCOFTA on August 15, 2011, no concerns have ever been registered via these mechanisms.

9. Government of Canada Programming, Advocacy, and Capacity Building Activities for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in Colombia

The Government of Canada takes a whole-of-government approach to its bilateral relations with Colombia through its political, consular, commercial, development, and peace and security programming. In recognition of the challenges that Colombia faces in the area of human rights, and in order to support Colombia in its efforts to address these issues, Canada leverages various aspects of its bilateral engagement and programming tools via its political, development and commercial programming in Colombia.

9.1 Canadian Advocacy and Engagement on Human Rights in Colombia

Canada plays a leading role within the international community in Colombia regarding the promotion and protection of human rights.

In addition to significant programming aimed directly at improving human rights conditions in Colombia, the Government of Canada holds regular human rights consultations with the Government of Colombia as part of its broader bilateral consultations. Canada also regularly engages with Colombian civil society organizations, human rights defenders, unions, journalists, women’s organizations, international humanitarian agencies, UN agencies and government bodies. Canada has raised concerns with the Government of Colombia regarding marginalized and vulnerable populations and specific cases of imminent threat against members of civil society organizations, so that corrective action can be taken. Where appropriate, Canada acknowledges the improvements in human rights and security resulting from initiatives undertaken by the Government of Colombia.

Since 2015, alongside the Embassy of the Netherlands to Colombia, Canada has chaired the G24 Sub-Committee on Human Rights, and in 2017 Canada also chaired the broader framework of the Donors’ Group (Grupo de Cooperantes, or GRUC) made up of foreign embassies and multilateral organizations which provide international assistance to Colombia. The Sub-Committee meets on a regular basis to discuss collective action on a number of human rights issues (see below). The Sub-Committee meets with Colombian civil society and government officials, international human rights observers, and it coordinates efforts to raise cases of human rights defenders with Colombian authorities.

The Sub-Committee gave particular focus in 2017 to themes including human rights defenders, land restitution, transitional justice, new dynamics of violence, business and human rights, and coordination with international human rights non-governmental organizations.  At the level of Ambassadors, the Sub-Committee also facilitated a key meeting with the Attorney-General to discuss investigations of priority cases involving human rights defenders.

Canada is also actively advocating for the promotion and protection of women’s rights and gender equality in Colombia in its capacity as Chair of the International Cooperation Gender Roundtable.

Supporting the work of human rights defenders is an integral part of the human rights work undertaken by the Embassy of Canada to Colombia. Embassy representatives meet regularly with human rights officials such as the Presidential Counsellor on Human Rights, the Representative of the Colombian Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the Human Rights Ombudsperson (Defensor del Pueblo), the Inspector General (Procurador General) in addition to numerous civil society organizations.

In 2017, in addition to meeting with threatened individuals and groups in Colombia, Canadian officials made frequent visits to regions most affected by the conflict. These visits, often in the company of representatives of the United Nations, the Peace Process Support Mission of the Organization of the American States (OAS), the International Committee of the Red Cross as well as other agencies and foreign embassies, enable officials to meet with local government and security authorities, civil society organizations, rural communities including women, Indigenous and Afro-Colombians, regional human rights ombudspersons and members of international non‑governmental organizations active in the field.

Through such visits, the Government of Canada is able to gain first‑hand knowledge of the complicated situation in these regions, monitor the progress of investigations, and bring greater awareness and transparency to these situations. Canada recognizes the considerable progress made by the Colombian government with respect to human rights, but it is clear that much work remains to be done, particularly in those regions in the post-conflict context where a meaningful state presence has been historically weak due to the internal armed conflict. These regions are vulnerable to threats and violence from a range of actors, as is documented by the Colombian Office of the OHCHR in its annual reporting. In a spirit of constructive cooperation, Government of Canada officials will continue to raise human rights issues with the Government of Colombia at all levels, including with ministries with responsibilities relating to trade, to discuss ways to effectively implement recommendations and findings from the international human rights system and to uphold international human rights obligations, particularly as the country works to implement an ambitious, historic, and multi-faceted post-conflict peacebuilding implementation plan.

Of particular interest is the Embassy of Canada to Colombia’s participation in an initiative called Embajadores con Defensores (Ambassadors with Defenders), an initiative aimed at bringing attention to specific situations and cases where human rights defenders are at risk.  As part of this initiative, four field trips took place in 2017 to highlight the many challenges facing communities in Cauca, Sur de Bolivar, Catatumbo and Urabá. 

Canada will continue to play a leading role within the international community in Colombia regarding the promotion and protection of human rights. It will continue to pursue the above-mentioned activities in order to monitor the human rights situation in the post-conflict context, particularly in remote areas where Canadian companies are located.

9.2 Canada’s Support for the Peace Process

In 2017, Canada followed-up with the implementation of several initiatives announced in 2016 to provide concrete and direct support to the peace process, committing over $78 million in funding for peacebuilding efforts in Colombia:

  • Five development projects to support Colombia’s peace efforts totalling $57.4 million. These projects are focused on demining, child protection, credit for farmers in areas affected by the conflict, and rural education, and include a $20 million contribution to the United Nations Multi-Partner Trust Fund for Post-Conflict in Colombia.
  • The Peace and Stabilization Operations Program (PSOPs) is contributing $21 million over 3 years to fund peace implementation projects. Programming has included support for military transformation, strengthening national demining capacity, and transitional justice. PSOPs has also provided key support to the OAS’ Mission to Support the Peace Process in Colombia (OAS-MAPP) and the Office of the OHCHR to monitor and promote human rights and the protection of vulnerable communities and individuals in the post-conflict context.

To mark the 20th anniversary of the Ottawa Treaty to Ban Landmines, Canada announced further support in 2017, including additional funding to the Integral Mine Action initiative in Colombia. As Colombia is one of the countries with the highest number of landmines, mine clearance is a large-scale endeavour that is essential to laying the groundwork for long-term development and sustainable peace.

Canada’s Department of National Defence and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have delivered training to the Colombian military and police officers to enhance their ability to participate in United Nations Peacekeeping Missions abroad, a priority as part of their transition into their peacetime roles. This training not only allows for the Colombian military and police to participate in United Nations missions but also improves capacity in Colombia, including through passing on newly gained knowledge to other colleagues.

Under the Canadian Police Arrangement, a deployment of up to ten Canadian police officers to Colombia was announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in October 2017 during the visit of President Santos.  The authorization includes deployments to the United Nations Special Political Mission where Canada deployed two police officers as observers between February 2017 and January 2018. An additional bilateral deployment, which is currently being negotiated with the Government of Colombia, aims to provide training, mentorship and advice to the Colombian National Police in support of their post-conflict policing priorities.

9.3 Canada’s International Assistance to Colombia

Since 2011, Canada’s total official international assistance to Colombia amounts to $ 306 million. Assistance is delivered via civil society, multilateral, private sector and government partners. Programming is provided through mechanisms such as the Global Affairs Canada’s Bilateral Development Program, the International Humanitarian Assistance Program, Partnerships for Development Innovation, the Inter-American Program, the International Development Research Centre, the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI), and the PSOPs.

Canada and Colombia share over 40 years of collaborative engagement on development cooperation. Colombia is a priority country for Canadian development funding and Canada’s bilateral development programming in Colombia is significant. According to Colombian figures, Canada is Colombia’s fourth largest development donor after the United States, the European Union and Germany, and was the largest donor to the UN Multi-Partner Trust fund until the end of 2017.

Canada has contributed $179 million to Colombia since 2011 via its bilateral development programming. There are three priority areas for Canada’s development programming in Colombia: 1) creating and promoting economic opportunities for poor and vulnerable groups via supporting sustainable rural development, youth employment and entrepreneurship and improved natural resources governance;  2) protecting the rights of Colombia’s most vulnerable groups (especially children, Afro-Colombians) by improving access to quality education and protection services, and 3) supporting the Government of Colombia’s peace building efforts via rapid response initiatives in conflict-affected areas and demining activities. Canada has traditionally been an important partner in addressing the protection needs of internally displaced persons, working closely with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). See Annex 15 for selected examples of international assistance programming.

Colombia’s Presidential Advisor for Post-Conflict, responsible for the overall implementation of the Peace Accord, is regularly in touch with the Bilateral Development Program and in 2017, he participated in multiple Embassy events, including visits to demining sites and presentations to donors on the status of funding for the Post-Conflict agenda.

Over the last six years, Canada has contributed approximately $32 million to Colombia through its International Humanitarian Assistance program, in response to the annual appeals of humanitarian organizations. This support responds to conflict-related needs, natural disasters and, increasingly, regional support to attend the growing migrant flows from Venezuela.

Through the CFLI, Canada also supports local development assistance initiatives in Colombia, mostly aimed at promoting human rights (particularly those of Indigenous peoples and LGBTI groups) governance and democracy.

The Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force (START), its Global Peace and Security Fund (GPSF) and its successor PSOP, have provided over $31 million in funding to peace and security initiatives in Colombia since 2011. Through this engagement in Colombia, Canada has provided critical support to local civil society, multilateral and government partners working on issues including transitional justice, conflict prevention, police reform, human rights, land restitution, mine action, support to the peace process, preparations for post-conflict and support to peace implementation initiatives.

Since 2011, Canada has also provided $54 million in official development assistance via other channels such as through the International Development Research Centre, multi-country initiatives via multilateral and non-governmental organizations, and other government departments.

Bilateral development programming is also leveraged to address issues of a cross-cutting nature that affect human rights, as well as labour rights, empowerment of women, poverty reduction, economic diversification and corporate social responsibility through collaboration with other Government of Canada programming in Colombia as well as the private sector.

In 2017, Canada also adopted the Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP) that seeks to reduce extreme poverty and build a more peaceful, inclusive and prosperous world. Recognizing that promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls is the most effective approach to achieving this goal, this policy will also help protect and promote the human rights of all vulnerable and marginalized groups and increase their participation in equal decision making. It will help women and girls achieve more equitable access to and control over the resources they need to secure ongoing economic and social equality.

9.4 Corporate Social Responsibility: Canada’s Support and International Collaboration with Colombia

a) Canada’s Support in Colombia

Canada’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Strategy sets clear expectations for Canadian companies to respect human rights, operate within all applicable laws and international standards and operate transparently and in consultation with host governments and local communities. Canada’s CSR Strategy also outlines the Government of Canada’s initiatives to help Canadian companies strengthen their CSR practices and maximize the benefits their investments can provide to those in host countries.

The Strategy, Doing Business the Canadian Way: A Strategy to Advance Corporate Social Responsibility in Canada’s Extractive Sector Abroad, is built on advancing widely-recognized international CSR standards while fostering networks and partnerships with stakeholders and helping resolve differences between Canadian extractive sector companies and those affected by their operations abroad. 

The Embassy of Canada to Colombia implements this strategy by providing a high level of CSR-related service to the Canadian business community in Colombia, building networks with key stakeholders and engaging communities, and reinforcing Canadian leadership, excellence and best practices in the extractive sector. This is achieved through regular meetings with Canadian companies and through specific initiatives such as workshops and facilitating forums for open dialogue. 

Two dispute resolution mechanisms exist. The first is housed in Canada’s National Contact Point (NCP), established in 2000 as part of Canada’s commitment to the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises on responsible business conduct and applies to all sectors. The second is the Office of the Extractive Sector CSR Counsellor, established as part of Canada’s CSR Strategy, with an emphasis placed on early dialogue and providing advice on CSR best practices for companies and communities to address issues before they have a chance to escalate. It is important to note that Canada is the only known country to link the provision of trade advocacy and economic support in foreign markets for its companies to their constructive engagement with its dispute resolution mechanisms when concerns about their operations abroad are brought forward.

In June 2017, Canada’s Extractive Sector CSR Counsellor, supported by the Embassy of Canada, visited Colombia where he moderated a multi-stakeholder dialogue session on the “Roles and Responsibilities of Public, Private and Civil Society Actors in Post-Conflict Peacebuilding Processes”. The session was held in the context of the annual Sustainability Exchange organized by the International Finance Corporation (IFC). Some of the main challenges raised during the session included: the Colombian government’s need to fill the political and economic spaces vacated by former combatants and to put in place policies and administrative structures that will open the way for private sector initiatives and partnerships that support peace building processes; private sector capacity to adjust its practices and implement investments in ways that will contribute to the social and economic rehabilitation of post-conflict areas; potential for Chief Sustainable Officers to assume roles as bridge builders and facilitators between communities, ex-combatants, government and business in war traumatized areas.

Five months later, the Embassy supported the CSR Counsellor’s second visit to Colombia in November 2017, with the principal objective of understanding the ways in which three Canadian gold mining companies with projects in Antioquia province are actually contributing, and could enhance their contribution, to local, social and economic development and the strengthening of local area institutions, as well as their governance capacities.  One of the major challenges faced by two of the project sites visited is how the companies can work constructively with local communities and artisanal mining populations to bring them into the government's formalization program and support them in their own efforts to develop sustainable, legal, and environmentally responsible small mining enterprises.  These efforts are supported by other independent interventions sponsored by the bilateral development assistance programs a number of countries, including Canada, that address: challenges relating to mercury reduction in artisanal mining operations; improving marketing opportunities for mining cooperatives to allow them to use “responsible” mineral processing methods while improving their chances of becoming sustainable enterprises; and preparing local government authorities and communities in existing and potential mining areas to be better able to make informed decisions about exploration and mining projects and negotiate appropriate safeguards and benefit sharing arrangements with potential developers. During the CSR Counsellor’s visit, discussions focussing on these and associated themes were also held with local government authorities and key state and central government agencies.

In June 2017, the Minister of International Trade also engaged with key Canadian investors in Colombia to discuss the Government of Canada’s CSR Strategy. This commitment was further underscored by the Minister’s signing of a Declaration of a Memorandum of Understanding with Colombia’s Vice Minister of Mines, to ensure a more transparent and effective governance of the extractive sector so that the economic opportunities and benefits produced by the sector may be better shared among all segments of society.

Throughout the year, the Embassy also engaged the Government of Colombia and Canadian extractive sector companies in a variety of initiatives to provide support for responsible natural resource development. Such initiatives are often carried out in collaboration with Canadian partners, such as provinces and territories, universities and other government departments, and included knowledge transfer of models, and sharing of best practices and expertise between Colombian and international entities.  In 2017, the Bilateral Development Program has led efforts to provide comments from federal departments, including Natural Resources Canada and Canadian stakeholders on a draft bill being discussed in Colombia’s Congress, which aims to provide a framework for prior consultation with Indigenous peoples in the extractive sector. In addition, the Bilateral Development Program is supporting Colombian efforts to comply with its law on mercury used in illegal gold mining.

b) Canada’s International Collaboration with Colombia

Internationally, Canada is engaged in a range of multi-stakeholder initiatives to actively promote international standards, guidelines, and best practices with the objective of increasing effective governance in resource-rich developing countries and enabling communities (including women, girls and other marginalized groups) to maximize benefits from natural resources development while respecting human rights, with a gender-based approach.

Canada and Colombia actively collaborate in the following international Corporate Social Responsibility forums:

The OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises are recommendations addressed by governments to multinational enterprises operating in or from adhering countries which provide voluntary principles and standards for responsible business conduct in a variety of areas including employment and industrial relations, human rights, environment, information disclosure, competition, taxation, and science and technology. Adhering governments have an obligation to set up and maintain a National Contact Point (NCP). NCPs are the only governmental, non-judicial grievance mechanism providing access to remedy to stakeholders wishing to raise issues related to operations of companies operating in or from adhering countries.

The OECD Due Diligence Guidance on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas is a collection of detailed recommendations to help companies respect human rights and avoid contributing to conflict through their mineral purchasing decisions and practices. Canada co-facilitated the negotiation of the gold supplement and has actively engaged in the governance of the multi-stakeholder forum set up to support the implementation programme of the Guidance. Colombia adhered to this Guidance in 2012, and has since implemented initiatives that aim to improve traceability of the country’s gold supply chain and has increased its efforts to curb the influence of illegal armed groups and criminal organization over gold mining operations.

The Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights Initiative (VPI) is a multi-stakeholder initiative that oversees the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPs), a set of principles designed to help extractive sector actors anticipate and mitigate risks related to the deployment of public and private security, such that operations can be protected without excessive force or human rights abuses. The Government of Colombia, like Canada, has been a member of the VPI since 2009. The Government of Canada assumed the Chair of the VPI in 2011-2012 and 2016-2017.

During his June 2017 visit to Colombia, Canada’s Extractive Sector CSR Counsellor met with the Comité Minero Energético en Seguridad y Derechos Humanos – a Colombian initiative which brings together the private sector, civil society, and the government, to encourage membership and implementation of the voluntary principles at the local level. Canada’s Embassy to Colombia also organized a CSR Seminar with the Colombia Chamber of Commerce on June 9, 2017, with various speakers including Canada’s CSR Counsellor, and Canada and Colombia’s OECD NCPs. The Embassy also participated in a panel discussion with mining, oil and gas companies on issues in the extractive sector, including security and human rights.

The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) is a multi-stakeholder initiative to support improved governance in resource-rich countries through the verification and full publication of company payments and government revenues from oil, gas, and mining. Canada strongly supports the EITI and its aim of strengthening governance by improving transparency and accountability in the extractive sector. Canada is not an EITI Implementing Country, but rather a Supporting Country.  As a resource-rich country, this role provides Canada with the opportunity to use its domestic experience to promote effective resource management in a global forum through the Board’s deliberations and committees.

Canada is a donor to the World Bank’s Extractive Global Programmatic Support (EGPS), which supports EITI implementation and natural resources governance. Between 2007 and 2015, Canada was a leading donor to the EITI Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF), providing a total of USD 12.5 million and was the largest donor to the Extractives Industries Technical Advisory Facility (EI-TAF), with a contribution of USD 10 million. In 2016, Canada’s outstanding balance (USD 4.5 million) committed to the now-closed MDTF and EI-TAF was re-profiled to the World Bank’s new Extractive Global Programmatic Support (EGPS). 

Colombia has been a state member of the EITI since 2014 and Canada is supportive of its continued efforts to implement the EITI Standard. Colombia’s participation in the EITI process reflects its commitment to improve transparency, particularly in the management of natural resource revenues. Canada’s “Building Extractive Sector Governance” project in Colombia will also contribute to helping address recommendations of the EITI process by working to improve multi-stakeholder collaboration and increase transparency.  

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is one of the five institutions of the World Bank Group, which are committed to reducing poverty, increasing shared prosperity, and promoting sustainable development. The IFC is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. It helps developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. Canada and Colombia have both been members of the IFC since its inception in 1956. In June 2017, the IFC held its annual Sustainability Exchange in Cartagena, Colombia, which was the first time the event was conducted outside of Washington D.C. The theme of the 2017 Exchange was ''Taking it to the Streets'' and touched on priorities, such as: creating business opportunities through sustainability; women in leadership; innovation through inclusion; and peacebuilding. As noted above, Canada’s Extractive Sector CSR Counsellor moderated a multi-stakeholder dialogue session during the event.

The Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB) Transparency Trust Fund (TTF) provides assistance to Latin America and the Caribbean countries, including Colombia, which are committed to strengthening the governance of their extractive industries and to ensuring that the resulting economic growth tangibly benefits entire communities. Canada’s financial contribution to the TTF leverages the Fund’s four strategic priority areas: the strengthening of audit and control systems; financial integrity; open government initiatives; and natural resource governance. To date, technical cooperation projects have helped strengthen Colombia’s public financial management system, particularly audit, as well as increase its level of involvement in extractives governance and transparency, which contributed to Colombia becoming admitted as an EITI state member candidate in 2014. Most notably, through the TTF, the Government of Colombia created a technological platform to improve the transparency and management of royalties, allowing citizens to track royalties from their source to the final investment.

Conclusion

The Agreement obligates the parties to provide a summary of actions taken under the CCOFTA and related side agreements as well as provide an analysis of any impact these actions may have had on human rights in Canada and the Republic of Colombia. 

As per previous years, it is not possible to demonstrate that such actions taken in the implementation of the CCOFTA (i.e. tariff reductions related to the CCOFTA as well as actions taken under the Labour Cooperation Agreement and the Environment Agreement) have had a direct impact on human rights in Canada or Colombia.

Nonetheless, the Government of Canada takes the concerns expressed during consultations with stakeholders seriously and will continue to address human rights issues in its ongoing engagement and programming in Colombia.

In this spirit, and cognisant of the current legislation , the Government of Canada, in consultation with stakeholders, will look into ways to continue to improve the Annual Reports on Human Rights and Free Trade between Canada and the Republic of Colombia for future years, including as regards process, methodology and scope. We will continue to report on actions taken under the free trade agreement and their impact on human rights and we will explore options on how this report could help to further promote respect for human rights and responsible business conduct by Canadian companies in Colombia. In that regard, the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise (CORE) and the Multi-stakeholder Advisory Body on Responsible Business Conduct (MSAB), which were recently announced, could help in advising the government on an efficient, practical and responsible way forward.

In closing, and as a long-standing partner of Colombia, Canada will continue to do what it can to support the Government of Colombia in its efforts to build and implement a sustainable peace and long-lasting prosperity, as well as its ongoing efforts to promote and protect human rights.

Annexes

  • Annex 1 : Canada’s Merchandise Trade with Colombia, 2001-2017, Can$ million
  • Annex 2: Top 10 Annual Average Export Gains from the Duty Free Category, Can$
  • Annex 3: Top 10 Annual Average Export Gains from the Sectors with 0.1 - 5.0 percentage Points Tariff Reductions, Can$
  • Annex 4: Top 10 Annual Average Export Gains from the Sectors with 5.1-10.0 percentage Points Tariff Reductions, Can$
  • Annex 5: Top 10 Annual Average Exports Gains from the Sectors More Than 10.0 percentage Points Tariff Reductions, Can$
  • Annex 6: Top 10 Annual Average Export Gains from the Exempt Category, Can$
  • Annex 7: Top 10 Annual Average Import Gains from the Duty Free Category, Can$
  • Annex 8: Top 10 Annual Average Import Gains from the Sectors with 0.1 - 5.0 percentage Points Tariff Reductions, Can$
  • Annex 9: Top 10 Annual Average Import Gains with the Sectors with 5.1-10.0 percentage Point Tariff Reductions, Can$
  • Annex 10: Top 10 Annual Average Import Gains from the Sectors with More Than 10 percentage Point Tariff Reductions, Can$
  • Annex 11: Activities under the Canada-Colombia Labour Cooperation Agreement
  • Annex 12: Activities under the Canada-Colombia Environment Agreement
  • Annex 13: Canada’s Cooperation Projects with the Pacific Alliance
  • Annex 14:  Public Call for Submissions
  • Annex 15: Canada’s International Assistance Programming

 Annex 1: Canada’s Merchandise Trade with Colombia, 2001-2017, Can$ million.

YearExportsImportsTotal tradeTrade balance
2001365.9451.5781.3-49.6
2002343.5393.0736.5-49.5
2003307.6373.9681.5-66.2
2004387.1418.6805.7-34.5
2005448.2583.61,031.8-135.4
2006513.2640.41,153.6-127.2
2007662.2468.61,130.8193.7
2008708.8638.81,347.670.1
2009592.0733.61,325.6-141.6
2010642.3717.31,359.5-75.0
2011760.9799.41,560.3-38.5
2012828.2664.71,492.8169.5
2013711.5691.31,402.820.1
2014935.8891.81,827.644.0
2015782.8829.01,611.8-46.2
2016783.7788.01,571.7-4.2
2017745.8985.01730.8-239.2

Source: Statistics Canada 

Annex 2: Top 10 Annual Average Export Gains from the Duty Free Category, Can$

HS02 Sector

Sector Name

Pre-CCOFTA 2008-2010

Post-CCOFTA 2015-2017

Growth

48

Paper and paperboard

33,780,569.67

35,145,820.00

1,365,250.33

23

Residues and waste from the food industries

441,609.67

1,594,130.33

1,152,520.67

1

Live animals

554,139.67

758,663.00

204,523.33

84

Nuclear Reactors, boilers and machinery

106,116.00

185,809.67

79,693.67

29

Organic chemicals

600.67

16,800.00

16,199.33

26

Ores, slag and ash

-

16,134.00

16,134.00

27

Mineral fuels and oils

-

12,570.33

12,570.33

31

Fertilizers

-

6,901.00

6,901.00

86

Railway or tramway locomotives, rolling-stock and parts thereof

-

5,392.33

5,392.33

72

Iron and steel

-

4,059.67

4,059.67

SUM

Duty-Free

34,883,035.67

37,746,280.33

2,863,244.67

Source: Statistics Canada and Global Affairs Canada calculations

Annex 3: Top 10 Annual Average Export Gains from the Sectors with 0.1 - 5.0 Percentage Points Tariff Reductions, Can$

HS02 Sector

Sector Name

Pre-CCOFTA 2008-2010

Post-CCOFTA 2015-2017

Growth

10

Cereals

135,202,243.33

295,268,936.67

160,066,693.33

31

Fertilizers

34,521,962.33

45,088,572.67

10,566,610.33

28

Inorganic chemicals and rare-earth metals

407,942.00

3,045,903.33

2,637,961.33

32

Tanning or dyeing extracts

508,552.00

3,102,281.00

2,593,729.00

86

Railway or tramway locomotives, rolling-stock and parts thereof

248,112.67

506,793.00

258,680.33

27

Mineral fuels and oils

883,498.67

1,080,899.67

197,401.00

75

Nickel and articles thereof

2,685.67

159,185.67

156,500.00

39

Plastics and articles thereof

53,015.33

199,755.00

146,739.67

73

Articles of iron or steel

152,149.00

270,863.33

118,714.33

2

Meat and edible meat offal

25,226.67

103,835.33

78,608.67

SUM

0.1% - 5.0%

172,005,387.67

348,827,025.67

176,821,638.00

Source: Statistics Canada and Global Affairs Canada calculations

Annex 4: Top 10 Annual Average Export Gains from the Sectors with 5.1-10.0 Percentage Points Tariff Reductions, Can$

HS02 Sector

Sector Name

Pre-CCOFTA 2008-2010

Post-CCOFTA 2015-2017

Growth

30

Pharmaceutical products

2,452,465.00

17,733,147.67

15,280,682.67

36

Explosives and pyrotechnic products

1,940,970.67

10,199,375.00

8,258,404.33

48

Paper and paperboard

13,723,273.33

19,970,415.33

6,247,142.00

47

Pulp of wood and paper waste

1,532,828.67

4,555,666.33

3,022,837.67

39

Plastics and articles thereof

3,695,291.67

6,021,206.33

2,325,914.67

68

Articles of stone, plaster, and cement

260,217.33

2,337,477.67

2,077,260.33

76

Aluminum and articles thereof

971,663.67

2,603,009.33

1,631,345.67

28

Inorganic chemicals and rare-earth metals

508,903.00

2,080,022.67

1,571,119.67

34

Soap, washing preparations, waxes, and dental preparations

526,580.67

1,621,004.00

1,094,423.33

95

Toys, games and sports accessories

345,534.00

1,397,845.33

1,052,311.33

SUM

5.1% - 10.0%

25,957,728.00

68,519,169.67

42,561,441.67

Source: Statistics Canada and Global Affairs Canada calculations

Annex 5: Top 10 Annual Average Exports Gains from the Sectors More Than 10.0 Percentage Points Tariff Reductions, Can$

HS02 Sector

Sector Name

Pre-CCOFTA 2008-2010

Post-CCOFTA 2015-2017

Growth

7

Edible vegetables

66,628,738.67

75,845,790.67

9,217,052.00

2

Meat and edible meat offal

3,303,877.00

10,918,313.00

7,614,436.00

33

Cosmetic or toilet preparations

1,988,114.33

8,519,634.33

6,531,520.00

12

Grains, seeds and fruit

58,770.33

4,582,376.00

4,523,605.67

95

Toys, games and sports accessories

105,717.67

3,004,335.67

2,898,618.00

39

Plastics and articles thereof

5,008,797.67

7,447,170.33

2,438,372.67

13

Gums, resins and other vegetable saps and extracts

461,370.67

1,032,541.67

571,171.00

48

Paper and paperboard

128,298.33

534,935.00

406,636.67

59

Impregnated, coated, covered or laminated textile fabrics

20,440.67

205,214.33

184,773.67

54

Man-made filaments

317,501.33

468,822.33

151,321.00

SUM

Over 10%

78,021,626.67

112,559,133.33

34,537,506.67

Source: Statistics Canada and Global Affairs Canada calculations

Annex 6: Top 10* Annual Average Export Gains from the Exempt Category, Can$

HS02 Sector

Sector Name

Pre-CCOFTA 2008-2010

Post-CCOFTA 2015-2017

Growth

11

Products of the milling industry

33,326.67

827,952.33

794,625.67

48

Paper and paperboard

-

545,524.00

545,524.00

1

Live animals

-

431,110.67

431,110.67

87

Vehicles, except railway, and parts thereof

-

152,721.33

152,721.33

32

Tanning or dyeing extracts

-

43,369.67

43,369.67

28

Inorganic chemicals and rare-earth metals

-

1,770.67

1,770.67

11

Products of the milling industry

33,326.67

827,952.33

794,625.67

SUM

Exempt

33,326.67

2,002,448.67

1,969,122.00

Source: Statistics Canada and Global Affairs Canada calculations
* There were only 7 sectors with positive growth in this category

Annex 7: Top 10 Annual Average Import Gains from the Duty Free Category, Can$

HS02 Sector

Sector Name

Pre-CCOFTA 2008-2010

Post-CCOFTA 2015-2017

Growth

Utilization Rate (%)

9

Coffee, tea, and spices

12,119,399.58

21,437,192.33

9,317,792.75

0.1

27

Mineral fuels and oils

24,634,798.92

26,391,010.78

1,756,211.86

0.0

3

Fish and crustaceans, molluscs and other aquatic invertebrates

81,999.19

677,114.33

595,115.14

0.0

73

Articles of iron or steel

207,217.33

545,330.26

338,112.93

0.0

12

Grains, seeds and fruit

113,916.67

261,099.69

147,183.03

0.0

70

Glass and glassware

101,302.11

238,735.86

137,433.74

6.2

30

Pharmaceutical products

217,056.64

339,828.85

122,772.21

8.0

18

Cocoa and cocoa preparations

90,232.22

193,669.72

103,437.50

0.7

21

Miscellaneous edible preparations

440,449.64

514,731.50

74,281.86

0.8

48

Paper and paperboard

46,469.33

109,968.11

63,498.78

0.0

SUM

Duty-Free

38,052,841.64

50,708,681.44

12,655,839.80

Source: Statistics Canada and Global Affairs Canada calculations

Annex 8: Top 10 Annual Average Import Gains from the Sectors with 0.1 - 5.0 Percentage Points Tariff Reductions, Can$

HS02 Sector

Sector Name

Pre-CCOFTA 2008-2010

Post-CCOFTA 2015-2017

Growth

Utilization Rate (%)

68

Articles of stone, plaster, and cement

23,473.14

400,115.22

376,642.08

0.0

59

Impregnated, coated, covered or laminated textile fabrics

23,383.39

72,972.08

49,588.69

0.0

23

Residues and waste from the food industries

1,436.94

35,156.56

33,719.61

100.0

41

Raw hides, skins, and leather

42,748.03

76,152.02

33,403.99

0.0

19

Preparations of cereals, flour, starch or milk

14,272.39

44,666.56

30,394.17

94.9

17

Sugars and sugar confectionery

56,602.44

77,159.22

20,556.78

66.5

85

Electrical machinery and equipment

31,914.78

51,566.50

19,651.72

0.0

54

Man-made filaments

8,278.50

26,745.00

18,466.50

0.0

39

Plastics and articles thereof

118.06

8,420.21

8,302.16

0.0

73

Articles of iron or steel

7.67

4,980.98

4,973.31

0.0

SUM

0.1% - 5.0%

202,235.33

797,934.35

595,699.01

Source: Statistics Canada and Global Affairs Canada calculations

Annex 9: Top 10 Annual Average Import Gains with the Sectors with 5.1-10.0 Percentage Point Tariff Reductions, Can$

HS02 Sector

Sector Name

Pre-CCOFTA 2008-2010

Post-CCOFTA 2015-2017

Growth

Utilization Rate (%)

6

Live trees and other plants

3,948,236.61

5,077,647.72

1,129,411.11

88.0

18

Cocoa and cocoa preparations

10,092.31

349,775.42

339,683.11

97.8

20

Preparations of vegetables, fruit, nuts or other parts of plants

24,201.86

189,404.00

165,202.14

69.7

32

Tanning or dyeing extracts

15,524.97

88,725.31

73,200.33

4.7

89

Ships, boats and floating structures

14,155.83

62,522.06

48,366.22

97.8

40

Rubber and articles thereof

2,133.50

33,158.21

31,024.71

51.6

87

Vehicles, except railway, and parts thereof

18,296.72

45,424.33

27,127.61

0.0

34

Soap, washing preparations, waxes, and dental preparations

145.08

26,599.08

26,454.00

79.1

73

Articles of iron or steel

17,171.31

41,661.15

24,489.84

0.3

42

Articles of leather

46,004.92

63,524.00

17,519.08

81.7

SUM

5.1% - 10.0%

4,095,963.11

5,978,441.27

1,882,478.16

Source: Statistics Canada and Global Affairs Canada calculations

Annex 10: Top 10 Annual Average Import Gains from the Sectors with More Than 10 Percentage Point Tariff Reductions, Can$

HS02 Sector

Sector Name

Pre-CCOFTA 2008-2010

Post-CCOFTA 2015-2017

Growth

Utilization Rate (%)

6

Live trees and other plants

1,817,623.78

3,572,631.17

1,755,007.39

91.1

61

Articles of apparel and clothing accessories, knitted

236,567.53

446,245.94

209,678.42

61.1

15

Animal or vegetable fats and oils

37,229.97

143,892.56

106,662.58

3.9

63

Other made up textile articles

19,370.39

37,122.42

17,752.03

11.4

64

Footwear, gaiters and the like

4,030.28

15,027.50

10,997.22

65.8

22

Beverages, spirits and vinegar

5,660.39

9,929.56

4,269.17

64.6

82

Tools of base metal

4,268.56

7,235.00

2,966.44

0.0

65

Headgear and parts thereof

1,338.31

3,069.58

1,731.28

74.1

19

Preparations of cereals, flour, starch or milk

1,582.67

3,116.64

1,533.97

91.9

91

Clocks and watches and parts thereof

-

1,435.97

1,435.97

0.0

SUM

Over 10%

2,127,671.86

4,239,706.33

2,112,034.47

Source: Statistics Canada and Global Affairs Canada calculations

Annex 11: Activities under the Canada-Colombia Labour Cooperation Agreement

The provisions of the Labour Cooperation Agreement are complemented by concrete actions to address the labour situation in Colombia, notably through labour-related information sharing and technical assistance (TA). Since the coming into force of the Labour Cooperation Agreement, the Government of Canada, through the Labour Program of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) has focused on capacity building, project monitoring missions, and opportunities to foster relationships and encourage effective implementation. Since 2011, the Labour Program of ESDC has funded three labour-related TA projects in Colombia totaling approximately $950,000.

Title

Key Objectives/Results

Constructing Decent Work Agendas at Local and Regional Levels in Colombia

$330,000

(2011-2013)

This two-year project was implemented by the ILO in select Colombian departments (regions) and focused on strengthening Colombia’s departmental sub-commissions of the National Permanent Commission on Wage and Labour Policies.  It further facilitated interactions between government and employer and employee organizations at the local and departmental level. An analysis of local labour conditions led to the development of a training program under which more than 200 government officials, workers and employers received training in the areas of fundamental labour rights, child labour, collective bargaining and strategic planning.  Project results also included the approval by the Assembly of the Department of Magdalena of specific sections in its Departmental Development Plan on issues such as employment promotion, social security, social dialogue and child labour.

Social Dialogue and Occupational Health and Safety in the Mining Sector

$300, 000

(2013-2015)

This project, implemented by the ILO, aimed to improve the social and economic conditions of coal mining sector stakeholders in the La Guajira region through enhanced occupational health and safety practices (OHS) and through strengthened respect for fundamental rights at work.

It arose from the need to improve labour relations and OHS in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) operating in the extractive sector.  To ensure continued relevance, the project extended its scope beyond the extractive sector (coal, gas and salt), which led to the inclusion of other productive sectors such as construction, tourism, health, and electrification sectors, all relevant to the extractive sector supply chain.

This project utilized the ILO Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprises (SCORE) training methodology and deployed modules on workplace cooperation and safety and health at work, with the latter one proving to be particularly relevant to local SMEs.  Participating small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) expressed a high level of satisfaction with the OHS focused component, stating that it enabled them to implement sustainable OHS practices in their workplaces that resulted in safer working conditions and had real, positive and lasting impact on their employees and the enterprise.  The project also facilitated public dissemination of OHS information, and development of a decent work manual, both in Spanish and Wayuunaiki (the local Indigenous language in the La Guajira region).

National Strategy for the Prevention and Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Colombia

$318,395

(2015-2017)

This project, implemented by the ILO, facilitated the development and initial implementation of Colombia’s 2017-2027 National Strategy Against Child Labour. This project assessed the National Strategy for the Prevention and Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour and Protection of Young Workers 2008-2015 and identified best practices and implementation challenges with a view to informing the development and operationalization of the 2017-2027 Strategy. The bulk of project activities focused on capacity building of the Interagency Committee for the Prevention and Eradication of Child Labour (CIETI, by its Spanish acronym) which is comprised of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Communications, the Colombian Institute for Family Welfare, the Colombian Institute for Youth and Sports, the National Learning Institute, trade unions, and the Council of Employers. Key highlights of this project include implementation of a model to predict child labour, and the National Policy for the Prevention and Eradication of Child Labour and the Protection of Adolescent Workers approved in November 2017.

Annex 12: Activities under the Canada-Colombia Environment Agreement

This table includes a selection of environmental projects undertaken by Canada in Colombia. Total Canadian funding for environmental projects in Colombia exceeds $ 3 million. Canadian funding for Latin American regional programming (which benefited Colombia as a recipient) amounted to approximately $7.8 million.

Title

Key Objectives/Results

Development and Implementation of Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions in the Oil and Gas Sector *

(FSF)

$3,000,000

(2011-2013)

Canada provided support to the Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada (PTAC) to deliver technical advice to countries to help them flesh out implementable mitigation actions in the oil and gas sector, including actions that will significantly reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants, notably BC and methane.

Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions in the Waste and Landfill Sector*

(FSF)

$3,155,000

(2011-2013)

In partnership with the Center for Clean Air Policy, Colombia’s Ministry of Environment, private sector stakeholders and local industry experts, Canada supported the implementation of an integrated solid waste management demonstration project. The Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMA) project in the Waste and Landfill Sector, aimed to maximize economic value from waste streams and to reduce SLCP emissions as well as explore options for improving the quality of life of the city’s informal waste pickers. SLCP emissions were reduced by (1) diverting solid waste away from landfills; (2) creating market opportunities for compost (instead of artificial fertilizers); (3) increasing recycling thereby avoiding production of new materials, (4) using refuse-derived fuel for industrial purposes thus displacing coal and gas and (5) analyzing health and social impacts on the Colombian population. On social impact specifically, the project explored opportunities and options to improve the quality of life of the city’s informal waste picker by, for example, formalizing policies to provide health and social benefits.

Support for the Programmatic Activities of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves*

(ECCC – FSF)

$1,900,000

(2011-2013)

This project supported the development and implementation of long term strategies for replacing traditional cookstoves with cleaner and efficient units, including for countries in Latin America (among them, Colombia, Mexico and Peru).

Enhancing Biodiversity through Working Landscapes in Colombia

(GAC –  Canada Americas Trade-Related Technical Assistance)

$282,766

(2012-2015)

Supporting conservation of critical habitats for resident and migratory birds in working landscapes in Colombia by supporting the establishment of and working through a new regional conservation network to promote beneficial agroforestry practices that improve migratory bird habitat in Colombia’s tropical Andean forests and provide economic benefits for rural agricultural communities. 

Climate Change Resilience in Protected Areas

$850,000

(2012-2013)

The Climate Change Resilience in Protected Areas project provided support to Parques Nacionales Naturales to enhance the resilience of ecosystems and local communities to climate change effects by conserving and restoring protected areas and increasing adaptive capacities to climate change. This project aimed to minimize the impacts of climate change on ecosystems by developing and implementing good practices to safeguard and restore the ecological integrity of protected areas in Colombia and increase the adaptive capacities to climate change.

Climate Change Adaptation Educational Program

$265,241

(2012-2013)

Canada provided support to the Climate Change Adaptation Educational Program (CCAR) del Alto Magdalena to support environmental education of municipal and regional government officials, citizen groups and journalists of the Alto Magdalena. The project focused on building participants’ capacity to mitigate the effects of natural disasters that arise due to changing weather conditions such as increased flooding.

Conservation of Biological Diversity

$264,485

(2013-2016)

This project was initiated under the Canada-Americas Trade-Related Technical Assistance (CATRTA) program and focused on conservation of biological diversity. The project aimed to establish a regional conservation alliance to conserve critical habitats for birds by improving habitat and economic returns in working landscapes in Colombia. This project was concluded in Spring 2016.

Private Sector Contribution to Protected Areas: Case Studies in Colombia*

(ECCC – G&C)

$150,000

(2013-2014)

Supported the International Union for the Conservation of Nature to facilitate environmental cooperation under the Canada-Colombia Environment Agreement cooperative work programs.  The project aimed to identify and recommend a way forward to promote private sector contributions to protected areas financing in Colombia. This project was delivered in conjunction with work in Peru.

Coastal Blue Carbon Project*

(ECCC – G&C)

$75,000

(2013-2014)

Supported the International Union for the Conservation of Nature for a project that aims to support the development of effective strategies for the management of coastal blue carbon ecosystems in Panama and Colombia in order to improve the resilience of such ecosystems and dependent livelihoods, as part of broader climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts.

Reduction of Short Lived Climate Pollutant (SLCP) Emissions from Oil and Gas Operations

$400,000

(2014-2015)

Under the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) Oil and Gas Initiative, Canada led the development and implementation of multilateral demonstration project with two companies (Pacific Exploration and Mansarovar). This project focused on reducing methane and BC emissions from flaring and venting practices. Results clearly indicated that SLCPs could be minimized or eliminated through the implementation of innovative technologies that both decrease BC emissions and conserve non-renewable energy in a cost-effective manner. For example, technologies deployed at one oil terminal and gas processing facility resulted in savings of $53 million annually and an immediate return on investment.  This project builds on a previous Canadian contribution through which the Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada (PTAC) delivered technical advice to Colombia for the development of implementable mitigation actions in the oil and gas sector.

Recovery of Hydrocarbon Liquids

(CCAC Trust Fund)

$1,000,000

(2014-2016)

Under the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) Oil and Gas Initiative, Canada led the development and implementation of a multilateral demonstration project with Pacific Exploration and Mansarovar to reduce methane and BC emissions from flaring and venting practices. 

Results clearly indicate that SLCPs could be minimized or eliminated through the implementation of innovative technologies that both decreased BC emissions and conserved non-renewable energy in a cost-effective manner. For example, technologies deployed at one oil terminal and gas processing facility in Mexico resulted in savings of $53 million annually for the producer and an immediate payback of investment costs. This project builds on a previous Canadian contribution enabling the Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada (PTAC) to deliver technical advice to Colombia to develop implementable mitigation actions in the oil and gas sector. 

Pollutant Release and Transfer Registries (PRTR) workshop

$12,500

(2015)

A Pollutant Release and Transfer Registries (PRTR) workshop was held in August 2015 in Bogotá, Colombia. This binational training workshop focused on building government capacity on design and implementation of PRTRs to meet standards set by the OECD. This initiative supports commitments under the Environment Agreement related to transparency and high level environmental protection.

Financing and Measuring Black Carbon Emission Reductions in the Oil and Gas Sector*

(CCAC Trust Fund)

$845,000

(2017-2018)

The purpose of the project is to measurably reduce black carbon (BC) emissions from flaring at oil and natural gas operations with Mansarovar in Colombia; especially in cases where the flared gas is rich in heavier-than-methane hydrocarbons since such hydrocarbons contribute to increased BC emission intensities when flared and offer improved economics due to their greater market value compared to methane.

The project addresses barriers for reducing BC emissions identified in the first phase of the project by mobilizing finance and investment, and developing best practices and policies for related BC mitigation in accordance with the CCAC’s Oil and Gas Initiative’s Medium Term and the Coalition’s Five Year Plan.

Additionally, to provide improved economies of scale and effectiveness, as well as help reduce methane emissions – a Short Lived Climate Pollutant (SLCP) – vent gas and leak reduction strategies will also be considered as part of the flare gas reduction strategies.  

*Denotes programming also benefitting regional partners besides Colombia.

Annex 13: Canada’s Cooperation Projects with the Pacific Alliance

Project

Description

Improving Market Access and Export Readiness for Pacific Alliance Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

$524,000

(2016-2018)

The Improving Market Access and Export Readiness project is a two-year initiative (2016-2018) designed to support Pacific Alliance export agencies (ProChile, ProColombia, ProMéxico and PromPerú) and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in accessing Canadian markets in the agro-food sector. Through this project, Trade Facilitation Office Canada is working with the trade support institutions of the Pacific Alliance countries to provide tools, advice and training to exporter companies, particularly SMEs, on how to enter the Canadian market. This assistance is being provided through the delivery of trade capacity workshops, seminars, and a unified Pacific Alliance presence at the 2017 Grocery Innovations Show in Canada.

Canada-Pacific Alliance Scholarships

$5 million

(2016-2021)

The Canada-Pacific Alliance Scholarships project is a five-year (2016-2021) initiative designed to support Pacific Alliance countries to sustainably manage and regulate their extractive sectors. Training at Canadian universities will be offered through a scholarship program to Pacific Alliance public sector professionals who will have the opportunity to participate in masters or certificate programs, as well as short courses that focus on topics directly relevant to the effective governance and technical management of the extractive sector. The first set of short-term scholarships will be awarded in early 2018 for the school year commencing in September 2018.

Skills for Employment for the Extractives Sector of the Pacific Alliance

$16.2 million

(2016-2021)

The Skills for Employment for the Extractives Sector project is a five-year (2016-2021) initiative designed to support Pacific Alliance countries in strengthening their technical and vocational education and training, and establishing strong, demand-driven and industry-responsive training systems in the extractive sector. This project demonstrates Canada’s commitment to support clean development and inclusive growth in Pacific Alliance countries, by partnering with civil society and the private sector, and promoting responsible natural resource management and commercial practices. This will be achieved by providing training for the qualification and employability of vulnerable women and on environmental management and rehabilitation of mining sites; by sharing best practices in Canadian and Pacific Alliance institutions on self-employment; and by organizing thematic forums to disseminate policies developed on themes common to all Pacific Alliance countries.Terms of Reference are being finalized in each of the Pacific Alliance countries.

Support to enhance measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) mechanisms in collaboration with the Pacific Alliance

$1.6 million

(2017-2021)

The Support to enhance measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) mechanisms in collaboration with the Pacific Alliance project is a four-year (2017-2021) initiative aligns with the June 2017 Cali Declaration in which the Pacific Alliance countries pledged to cooperate on GHG MRV and to develop a more efficient networked carbon market by not only strengthening, but also ensuring underlying environmental integrity and consistency, across MRV activities, it also supports the UNFCCC Paris Agreement goals.The first of four workshops took place in Chile in January 2018. A second workshop will take place in Colombia in May 2018. Workshops are currently being planned for the other two Pacific Alliance countries.

Annex 14: Public Call for Submissions

On February 7th, 2018, the following public call for submissions was posted both on the website of Global Affairs Canada and also on the website of the Embassy of Canada to Colombia.

Public Call for Submissions regarding Canada’s Annual Report on Human Rights and Free Trade between Canada and the Republic of Colombia

The Government of Canada is seeking the input of interested parties pursuant to the provisions of the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (Implementation Act), which entered into force on August 15, 2011.

The Implementation Act includes the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, the Canada-Colombia Agreement on Labour Cooperation and the Canada-Colombia Environment Agreement.

The Implementation Act requires the Minister for International Trade to "...cause to be laid before each House of Parliament by May 15 of each year or, if that House is not then sitting, on any of the 30 days next thereafter that it is sitting, a report on the operation of this Act during the previous calendar year, containing a general summary of all actions taken under the authority of this Act, and an analysis of the impact of these actions on human rights in Canada and the Republic of Colombia."   

Interested parties are invited to provide written submissions to help inform the analysis of the impact of the actions taken under the Implementation Act being developed for the Government of Canada’s 2018 annual report. The 2018 annual report will cover the period from January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017. 

For reasons of confidentiality and security, the submissions and names of contributors to this consultation process will not be released to the public by the Government of Canada.

Contributions can be sent by e-mail, facsimile or mail to:

Consultations - Agreement concerning Annual Reports on Human Rights and Free Trade between Canada and the Republic of Colombia
South America Relations (NLA)
Global Affairs Canada
125 Sussex Drive, Ottawa ON  K1A 0G2
Fax: 613-996-3406
Email: NLA@international.gc.ca

Submissions should be e-mailed, faxed, or postmarked no later than February 26, 2018.

Annex 15: Canada’s International Assistance Programming

The following projects are examples of Canada’s International Assistance Programming in Colombia through which support is provided for human rights

Title

Key Objectives/Results

Human Rights Protection in Colombia

$8 million

(2010 to 2014)

Through the “Human Rights Protection in Colombia” project, Global Affairs Canada supported the United Nations OHCHR in Colombia to enhance the understanding of the Government of Colombia and stakeholders of the human rights situation in Colombia and how best to improve it; enhance the protection of Colombia’s citizens from human rights violations and improved responses by the Government of Colombia and its oversight institutions to human rights violations; and increase the use of human rights protection and prosecution mechanisms by victims, civil society organizations and the general public.

Andean Regional Initiative (ARI) for Strategic Partnerships for Local Development

$7 million

(2010 to 2017)

Through Global Affair’s Andean Regional Initiative (ARI) for Strategic Partnerships for Local Development, the Government of Canada is helping to improve the social and economic well-being of targeted communities in partnership with the private sector. ARI seeks to increase the capacity of local and regional governments to make sustainable development investments in collaboration with the private sector. ARI Colombia is supporting six sub-projects in Colombia with contributions from the Government of Canada totaling $ 4.1 million and contributions from the private sector (mainly from the extractive industry) totaling $ 3.3 million. The six sub-projects directly supported 2,236 families in improving the agricultural production and commercialization of their products (such as pepper, sugar cane, dairy and forestry products, fruit and coffee), as well as providing education for employment and technical vocational training to 700 youth from vulnerable communities on tourism and port logistics.

Assistance to Landmine Survivors

$2.9 million

(2012 to 2016)

The “Assistance to Landmine Survivors” project advances the rights of civilian landmine survivors in Colombia by ensuring that they benefit from services to which they are legally entitled, thereby supporting their recovery and socio-economic reintegration into Colombian society. Support includes: (1) increased access to services for civilian landmine survivors, with a focus on children and youth; and (2) increased capacity of the Colombian stakeholders engaged in victim assistance to respond to the survivors' needs.

Protection Children Education in Southwest Colombia – Phase 2

$19.5 million

(2013 to 2019)

The “Protection Children Education in Southwest Colombia” project supports access to safe and quality education in the departments of Cauca, Nariño and Caquetá. The project improves the quality of education of 80,800 children and youth that are in school. It will also reintegrate 38,800 out-of-school children and youth in formal schools or in flexible education models. Access to quality education gives children and youth a better chance of avoiding recruitment by illegal armed groups, participation in illicit activities, and involvement in violence. Flexible Education Models provide alternative educational opportunities for out-of-school Indigenous, Afro-Colombian, displaced, and generally vulnerable children and youth.

Transitional Solutions Initiative for the Displaced

$9 million

(2013 to 2016)

With the “Transitional Solutions Initiative for the Displaced” Global Affairs Canada is financing the UNHCR programme “Transitional Solutions for Displaced” (TSI). This project seeks to ensure that internally displaced persons, who have been forced to leave their homes because of the armed conflict in Colombia, benefit from basic protection and economic opportunities via community-based plans.

Protection and Education of Vulnerable Children and Youth in Colombia

$17.2 million

(2014-2019)

The Protection and Education of Vulnerable Children and Youth in Colombia project, implemented by a consortium of Mercy Corps and War Child Holland, aims to provide security, education and after-school activities for at-risk children and youth in the conflict-affected departments of Putumayo and Choco. It will protect 48,000 children and youth at risk of violence and recruitment by illegal armed groups via access to a safe school environment and a quality education. The project also strengthens the capacities of 1,200 teachers to protect and respect the rights of children and youth and to use teaching methods that improve student learning; and reinforces the capacities of departmental Secretariats of Education to integrate child protection and education quality improvement in their plans.

Building Extractive Sector Governance in Colombia

$18.9 million

(2015 – 2020)

The Building Extractive Sector Governance in Colombia project, implemented by Agriteam, aims to strengthen the capacities of the government entities at national and local levels to enable the Colombian extractive sector to contribute to more environmentally sustainable and equitable economic growth. Project activities include: (1) reviewing extractive sector policies and regulations related to environmental management and Indigenous community consultation; (2) establishing training and tools to prevent conflict at the community level; (3) developing government information systems to improve decision making and transparency on environmental impacts, revenues and land use planning; and (4) creating a learning program on Canadian best practices in community relations and environmental management for communities in the departments of Putumayo, Meta and Antioquia.

Sustainable Colombian Opportunities for Peacebuilding and Employment

$15.2 million

(2015-2020)

The Sustainable Colombian Opportunities for Peacebuilding and Employment project, implemented by Cuso International, aims to improve inclusive economic growth and support peacebuilding in Colombia by providing market-driven training and employment opportunities for conflict-affected people and at-risk youth in eight cities: Soacha, Bogotá, Medellín, Cali, Cartagena, Barranquilla, Buenaventura y Quibdó. The project also aims to increase the ability of local authorities and private sector partners to develop and implement inclusive employment policies and practices for vulnerable populations. The project is expected to reach 4,000 vulnerable youth and their families, and at least 80 percent will receive a guaranteed job placement with private sector partners.

Leading for Peace – Supporting the Rights of Children and Youth in Colombia

$18.9 million

(2016-2021)

The Leading for Peace project, implemented by Plan International Canada, will strengthen the capacity of the Government of Colombia to deliver protection and compensation services to victims of armed conflict, particularly children and youth. It benefits 84,000 children and youth and 56,000 women in three conflict-affected municipalities in Colombia’s Pacific Coast: Buenaventura, Tumaco and Quibdó. The project is training 1,640 national and local government officials to deliver protection and compensation services, via a community outreach strategy that ensures that social services are inclusive and accessible for hard-to-reach beneficiaries. It is also training youth networks, community leaders, and community-based organizations to participate in municipal planning. Training for youth focusses on entrepreneurship, peacebuilding, life skills and community leadership.

United Nations Multi-Partner Trust Fund for Post-Conflict in Colombia

$20 million

(2016-2019)

The United Nations Multi-Partner Trust Fund project, administered via the United Nations Development Programme, supports the Government of Colombia’s peace implementation efforts via technical assistance and rapid-response initiatives in communities directly affected by armed conflict. Areas of support include demining, transitional justice, governance, prevention and management of local conflicts, and reintegration and socio-economic development of former combatants. Assistance is delivered via United Nations agencies in Colombia, Colombian and international non-governmental organizations and the Government of Colombia.

Landmine Action in Colombia

$12.5 million

(2016-2021)

The Landmine Action in Colombia project, implemented by The Halo Trust, will conduct humanitarian demining activities in ten mine-affected municipalities. It will recruit, train and deploy civilian landmine survey and manual clearance teams from local communities, including ex-combatants. By surveying vulnerable communities and removing landmines in targeted municipalities, the project will prevent further accidents; identify safe areas for land restitution; enable the return of internally displaced persons; and restore access to farmland, public services, and safe routes to markets and schools. The project will benefit over 27,000 people living in some of Colombia’s poorest rural municipalities. It will also create safe conditions for 60,000 displaced persons to return home safely.

Peace Process in Colombia: Building Confidence in Transitional Justice

$2 million

(2016-2019)

Transitional justice arrangements are a key component of the peace agreement in Colombia. Canada is supporting the Victims’ Chapter of the agreement through a project with Lawyers without Borders to support civil society and Colombia’s government with the implementation and monitoring of transitional justice mechanisms. This project will contribute to building the confidence of Colombian society, particularly of women and girls, in the transitional justice system and contribute to the reaffirmation of the rule of law.

Strengthening the National Center for Historical Memory in Readiness for the establishment of the Truth Commission

$1.2 million

(2017-2018)

Truth and reconciliation initiatives have been a proven and effective component in peace processes worldwide. Canada is supporting this process in Colombia through funding the National Center for Historical Memory’s project to recognize the impact of the conflict on individuals, which will lay the basis for the establishment of a truth commission under Colombia’s peace agreement.

Enhanced Respect, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in the Post-Accord Period in Colombia

$2 million

(2017-2019)

The Enhanced Respect, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in the Post-Accord Period in Colombia project will: (1) support a robust UN human rights presence in post-accord Colombia that complements the peace and security work of the UN’s political mission; (2) support the work of Government of Colombia institutions and civil society groups who work for the promotion and protection of human rights; and (3) demonstrate the dividends of peace given the critical nature of the short period immediately after the signing of a peace agreement.

[1] - Note: All amounts in this report are in Canadian dollars unless otherwise indicated.

[2] - Trade analysis for this section was conducted using Canadian dollars to minimize the impact of the fluctuating value of the Canadian dollar.

[3] - Because of a transversal clause triggered by the entry into force of the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement in 2012, this tariff line is now subject to accelerated tariff elimination and is being phased-out with yearly tariff reductions to be duty-free by 2025 instead of 2027 as prescribed under Staging Category D.

[4] - The utilization rate is a measure that determines how widespread the use of CCOFTA is in bilateral trade between Canada and Colombia. It is calculated as the percentage of trade that takes advantage of the reduced tariffs of the CCOFTA.