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, 2018 to December 31, 2018

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Canada’s eighth report pursuant to the Agreement concerning Annual Reports on Human Rights and Free Trade between Canada and the Republic of Colombia includes a review of actions taken by the Government of Canada in the context of the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (CCOFTA) and any potential impact of such actions on human rights in Canada and Colombia.

In accordance with the report’s implementing legislation, the scope of this annual report has focused on the impacts of tariff reductions undertaken under the CCOFTA in the previous year according to the Tariff Elimination Schedule of Canada.  Given only one tariff line remains to be liberalised under the CCOFTA (refined sugar), the report found no human rights impacts which could be directly associated with Canada’s 2018 tariff reductions.

In preparing this year’s report, the Government of Canada received feedback from seven provinces and territories indicating that none of their human rights commissions (or equivalent bodies) had raised or received any expression of concern related to human rights and the implementation of the CCOFTA. Since the entry into force of the CCOFTA, no concerns have been registered via these mechanisms which form part of the obligations under the agreement.  A public call for submissions was also issued to inform the analysis of the report.

This year the Government of Canada followed-up on a commitment from the 2018 report to consult with a range of domestic stakeholders on ways to improve the scope, process and methodology of the annual reports with a view to inform future departmental recommendations and advice to the Minister of International Trade Diversification. Consultations were undertaken in early 2019 and allowed Global Affairs Canada to seek the views of civil society organisations and non-governmental organisations, the private sector and the academic community. 

The promotion and protection of human rights is a key pillar of Canadian foreign policy and Government of Canada officials will continue to raise human rights issues with the Government of Colombia at all levels, particularly as the country works to implement an ambitious, historic, and multi-faceted peace implementation process. Canada will also continue to support the work of human rights defenders in Colombia, which remains an integral part of the human rights work undertaken by the Embassy of Canada to Colombia.

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 effects that actions taken under the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and the Republic of Colombia (Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, “CCOFTA”) have on human rights in both countries.

The Agreement entered into force on August 15, 2011, concurrently with the CCOFTA, alongside 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”).

This report is part of a broader dialogue between Canada and Colombia on human rights. A shared commitment to human rights is an essential aspect of the multifaceted Canada-Colombia relationship, which also includes close economic ties, longstanding development cooperation, support for Colombia’s peacebuilding and stabilization efforts, and cooperation on regional and multilateral issues. This year was one of transition in Colombia with the election of Iván Duque Márquez as President of the Republic of Colombia on June 17, 2018.

This year’s report includes economic baseline information on the global economy, as well as the Canadian and Colombian economies. It reviews the actions taken under the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement – including its side agreements on labour cooperation and the environment – and provides an analysis on trade gains for the different tariff categories. The report also includes Canada’s contributions to advance human rights in Colombia, including through our continued support to the implementation of the peace agreement signed in 2016 between the Government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). In highlighting the challenges and risks associated with Colombia’s peace implementation, the report underlines the importance of bringing increased attention to the situation of human rights defenders and community leaders who have unfortunately remained under constant and systematic threat.

Finally, this year’s report features a new section entitled “Consultations on the Future of the Report”.  Stemming from a commitment made last year, the Government of Canada proactively launched consultations with a range of domestic stakeholders, including civil society and non-governmental organisations, the private sector and the academic community, to discuss how to continue to improve the scope, process and methodology related to these annual reports. The outcome of these consultations can be found in Section 10 of this report.

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”):

15.1Pursuant 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 actions taken under the authority of this Act, which include an analysis of the impact of these actions on human rights in Canada and the Republic of Colombia. 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 the three agreements, this report will only consider the impact of actions taken by the Government of Canada under these agreements. These include tariff reductions related to the CCOFTA as well as actions taken under the Labour Cooperation Agreement and the Environment Agreement.

While this report also includes additional features such as the Colombian human rights context, information on the implementation of the Colombian peace accord and a summary of Canada’s bilateral programming in support of human rights, it is important to note that private sector activities are not within the scope of the report. However, this year’s report includes a new section entitled “Consultations on the Future of the report” which discusses potential modifications that could be made to the report in future years, including in regards to scope, process and methodology.  

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 2019 annual report is, therefore, required to cover the period from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018.  

Of note, section 10 of the report entitled “Consultations on the Future of the report” exceptionally covers initiatives undertaken in the early months of 2019. This was done with the specific objective of following-up on a clear commitment made in last year’s report.

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 by promoting human rights, women’s empowerment and gender equality, 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.

Internationally, 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.

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

Prior to reviewing the potential impact on human rights of actions taken in the context of the CCOFTA, it is important to understand the broader Colombian context, including the political, economic, social, security and developmental situation.

Colombia is a large, geographically and ethnically diverse country with a population of 45.5 million people. As a democratic country with an emerging and free market economy, Colombia has great potential and has made significant strides in recent years in reducing poverty and violence through growth and social investment. It has also made important progress in strengthening peace, security and the rule of law. On May 25, 2018, Colombia was officially invited to become a member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Despite progress, Colombia remains the ninth most unequal country in the world – and second in the Americas – according to the World BankFootnote 1. Its rural and remote areas are often characterized by higher levels of poverty and violence, limited state presence, and illicit economies that fuel illegal armed groups.

In 2018, the implementation of the historic peace agreement signed in 2016 between the Government of Colombia and the largest guerrilla group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) continued, centered on the rights of victims. However, many significant challenges remain, including delays in government investments, as well as tensions and violence surrounding the coca eradication process. The increase in killings and threats against community and social leaders is a particular concern, occurring mostly in rural settings. The ongoing work of the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia has allowed for an exhaustive assessment of the progress made in implementation of the Peace Agreement, with a focus on verifying 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.

In 2018, Colombia was particularly marked by events in neighboring Venezuela, including effects from the increased number of dual citizens and Venezuelans crossing into Colombia as a result of the humanitarian crisis. Official figures show that between 2017 and 2018, Colombia welcomed more than one million Venezuelans. This flow of migrants has nonetheless placed additional strains on the health and education systems across the country, in particular in border areas. There is also an important security dimension to the Venezuelan crisis with some detrimental effects on Colombia’s peace process.

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, having introduced a number of precedent-setting initiatives and instruments to assist victims of the armed conflict, such as the Victims’ Law (1468) and the Land Restitution Law (1448) of 2011. However, implementation of these laws since 2012 has been slow, especially considering they will remain valid until 2021. By August 2018, only 962,000 victims (mostly forced displacements) have received compensation from the state. This only accounts for 13% of the total 7 million registered victims, according to the government’s Unit for Victims. Meanwhile, over 112,939 land restitution claims had been registered by July 2018, with only a small percentage (2.3%) having 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 July 2018, 326 land restitution leaders have been killed. 

While a national strategy with a 20-year action plan for improving human rights was put in place in 2014, the Colombian government presented a new comprehensive plan at the end of 2018 entitled “Plan de Acción Oportuna”. The objective is to prevent threats and protect human rights defenders through an early warning system, investigations, and the application of exemplary sanctions.

Key developments this past year in the context of the peace implementation process include the first anniversary of 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. As called for in the Peace Agreement, these key elements are part of a broader vision for an “Integrated System of Justice, Truth, Reparations and Guarantees of Non-Repetition” (Integrated System), with the rights of victims as its guiding principle. So far, the JEP has heard testimonies from 11,650 people (9,676 ex-FARC and 1,927 military and police officers who have voluntarily submitted themselves to the transitional justice system).

For its part, 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, UNICEF, as well as direct assistance to the JEP itself. This support has been essential to ensure access to the JEP by the most vulnerable victims, particularly women, children and minorities. Technical assistance has also been offered to the JEP magistrates for cases of grave human rights violations.

Canada has carefully noted the concerns of international and national experts regarding the exclusion of non-military state agents and private individuals from the scope of the mandatory application of the Integrated System, and the definition of criminal responsibility of military superiors.

Colombia has strong laws protecting human rights, but issues remain with their implementation and enforcement. While mechanisms exist to signal and 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; many investigations do not result in formal charges. Human rights advocacy organizations, both international and national, frequently lament the lack of adequate investigations and protection measures. Colombia has the eighth highest level of impunity in the world according to the Global Impunity Index (2017).

Other statistics point to a deteriorating situation of human rights and violence in Colombia in 2018. According to official figures, the homicide rate in 2018 increased for the first time in 7 years (the homicide rate in 2018 was of 25 per 100,000 compared to 23.6 per 100,000 in 2017, an increase of 3.25%).  The situation is particularly complex in rural areas which have been vacated by the FARC, as other armed groups attempt to fill the void. According to the Attorney General’s office, there were 2,957 homicides in areas with previous FARC influence in 2018, compared to the 916 registered in 2016. Key concerns include child recruitment by illegal armed groups; high-levels of sexual and gender-based violence; as well as homicides and threats against marginalized and vulnerable groups (Indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities in particular).

Forced displacements also remain a concern, with 85,942 displaced persons in 2018 according to Colombia’s Victims’ Unit. While this number is down from 2016, and at its lowest level since 1994, an uptick in 2018 has been noticed in massive displacements (defined as 10 families or more). According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), a total of 23 massive displacements occurred in 2018, affecting 4,781 people.

In the case of human rights defenders, although the peace agreement includes mechanisms intended to guarantee their physical protection and their ability to conduct their work, statistics continue to illustrate a worrying trend. Between January 1st 2016 and December 31st 2018, 431 human rights defenders have been killed. This trend intensified in 2018 with 172 deaths (158 men and 14 women), compared to 133 in 2016 and 126 in 2017. The categories of defenders most affected by attacks were community/social, agrarian, Indigenous, Afro-Colombian, and union leaders. The great majority of killings were in rural areas or towns near the former conflict zones. Alleged authors of killings were mainly members of criminal organizations that may include former members and structures of paramilitary organizations, and remaining insurgents. The international non-governmental organization “Frontline Defenders” again documented Colombia to be the most dangerous country for human rights defenders in the world in 2018.

Two and a half years since the signing of the Peace Accord, many significant challenges remain with the implementation of the peace process. Challenges continue to include delays in bringing a meaningful and integrated state presence through rural development, as well as continued hostilities from remaining insurgencies, especially the National Liberation Army (ELN) and FARC dissidents. Many of these challenges are compounded by increasing migratory pressures from Venezuela. Genuine 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

This section will outline the overall global, Canadian and Colombian economic contexts, as well as the trade relationship between Canada and Colombia.

4.1 Global economic trends 

The global economy has experienced a slowdown in both trade and gross domestic product (GDP) growth in recent years, but started to improve in 2017. World merchandise trade growth increased from 1.8 percent in 2016 to 4.7 percent in 2017. Concurrently, global GDP growth also saw an increase from its rate of 2.3 percent in 2016 to 3.0 percent in 2017. 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 a rate of 2.5 percent in 2017, up from 1.9 percent in 2016. 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 2018 experienced a slight recovery with a 9 percent increase from the 2017 levels, they were still 26 percent lower than in 2014. Similarly, energy prices in 2018 were 11 percent higher than in 2017, but they were 36 percent lower than in 2014. Prevailing low commodity prices, particularly oil prices, are a worldwide challenge for commodity producing countries (See Figure 1).

Figure 1: Commodity Price Index

Text Alternative Figure 1
All CommoditiesEnergyMetals and MineralsForestryAgricultureFishBase
2012-01-01100100100100100100100
2012-02-0199.8840197.25498103.2438101.8785104.4505107.8961100
2012-03-01101.458499.34574101.0741104.3546108.125108.2321100
2012-04-01101.379599.7218398.47678105.4989108.956106.4769100
2012-05-0197.893695.1089595.47715109.9806105.7967100.0074100
2012-06-0188.5276880.6965692.90892108.6202105.693797.22946100
2012-07-0191.6455387.9943884.27818107.263108.811895.45628100
2012-08-0198.1085796.4240992.43956108.3437107.03394.47059100
2012-09-01100.250599.3048897.61522105.0729104.663599.80074100
2012-10-0197.0105293.5565196.97106.5414106.263793.469100
2012-11-0192.6538886.4052895.20008113.2259104.869594.68786100
2012-12-0192.936985.8819996.71318118.3465104.756299.07578100
2013-01-0194.0921789.6471588.75296119.9231105.522108.5692100
2013-02-0197.0661994.0960288.39745121.5664106.875110.6041100
2013-03-0197.4605695.8599485.60783124.8466104.1999115.6481100
2013-04-0197.847297.7956983.14715120.9815103.6813120.0159100
2013-05-0196.9486597.5229481.3456112.3232105.546112.4059100
2013-06-0197.4234599.7620978.99118107.53105.5632113.522100
2013-07-01100.3433106.196677.10993110.8388101.6621114.3137100
2013-08-01100.0325105.374779.03293113.24598.58173117.4902100
2013-09-0198.56016104.016978.43579116.890893.32761116.885100
2013-10-0194.3690196.7767578.58381120.177491.12981118.1155100
2013-11-0189.7401889.0685976.9695123.982190.62157121.3789100
2013-12-0194.6566798.7473576.12945121.64988.20398124.1431100
2014-01-0195.7346199.623977.20861123.559389.15522145.0715100
2014-02-0199.56542106.792675.24259122.542290.21978140.5999100
2014-03-0199.40148104.288575.06547122.605899.75275139.1298100
2014-04-01100.9078106.276577.56032119.338299.42651156.194100
2014-05-01100.9697106.08678.24349120.0629100.3812134.3381100
2014-06-01102.4049108.62278.47248117.18101.9025125.8474100
2014-07-01100.0541103.35679.51621121.5282102.1532148.194100
2014-08-0196.5774898.5430879.1392123.425898.12843127.9014100
2014-09-0194.9845397.4730776.9948121.881194.79052129.362100
2014-10-0189.2313688.7501774.93643120.577995.10302128.1812100
2014-11-0183.8942280.273674.73021118.30296.69299124.053100
2014-12-0171.302261.9650773.44989118.867895.86195124.6953100
2015-01-0162.398749.8272772.73762116.363190.3331139.5156100
2015-02-0163.7967853.1808972.07849113.925288.07349132.159100
2015-03-0161.5728450.0387570.79185108.098989.81456135.7075100
2015-04-0165.2613756.7393871.87733103.512388.53709152.9878100
2015-05-0169.4494363.5487672.88311103.261290.66621149.2295100
2015-06-0169.372163.4255970.43002108.817392.21154124.2332100
2015-07-0162.9570153.2349667.4734108.903190.60783126.2342100
2015-08-0155.3758143.3471364.73818103.40184.56731119.2761100
2015-09-0156.9022647.1994165.2492999.3166180.07555107.4224100
2015-10-0156.6996646.6665165.71866102.097878.83585110.4547100
2015-11-0153.7503943.0905962.78608100.969576.93338111.4446100
2015-12-0149.4788137.4347461.56902102.151972.22871113.6015100
2016-01-0145.7825532.2180661.17556100.584970.54602130.1537100
2016-02-0145.3077630.4733664.02971101.719671.56937145.4012100
2016-03-0151.0284637.7940165.53522107.968673.42376143.4022100
2016-04-0153.4735541.2119266.55997108.391374.81799137.6375100
2016-05-0157.534847.3694366.96861112.485375.81044125.4955100
2016-06-0159.5839850.8462267.96048113.585174.90041119.4944100
2016-07-0157.2007446.88770.47303115.040869.90385125.2189100
2016-08-0156.4924246.4123768.35773115.088569.49863123.2146100
2016-09-0156.3640647.4877967.4228113.581965.72115130.018100
2016-10-0158.9498952.5518666.53973114.230365.4636126.7133100
2016-11-0156.4769647.5809167.858112.542566.28777126.3869100
2016-12-0160.9913455.4218566.14627114.169.13462131.4319100
2017-01-0162.2440557.1467267.09639113.502470.82074139.8887100
2017-02-0164.0457856.9226272.23916125.275772.5206144.0064100
2017-03-0161.4398453.7498469.27622123.613471.22253150.0244100
2017-04-0164.3550957.4453170.44014132.319471.14011152.0964100
2017-05-0163.0173255.0469569.88095129.808374.55014129.7668100
2017-06-0160.8552450.7272669.95812127.675579.66346123.6375100
2017-07-0162.6724452.3722370.20862133.206282.85027129.5443100
2017-08-0163.4163353.4794973.62701131.645579.55014128.106100
2017-09-0164.2885954.78275.22741136.111476.0989125.3302100
2017-10-0165.5490356.3332575.05282142.814975.63187124.9836100
2017-11-0168.5988260.1026275.10849149.826878.30701127.469100
2017-12-0165.9619556.6150273.98378146.959776.70673131.1362100
2018-01-0170.1376461.4796377.10866153.612478.34821142.4102100
2018-02-0168.2183757.739777.20481159.24879.0728141.2613100
2018-03-0169.5638760.2377975.62466159.931378.38942155.6884100
2018-04-0174.4123166.7005178.1486165.76478.08723190.4928100
2018-05-0177.30970.4284278.46742179.77580.12706124.0816100
2018-06-0175.1778567.2304178.40796179.234679.01786121.6121100
2018-07-0174.4293268.2679874.56195172.29976.18475129.8453100
2018-08-0170.3943763.9218572.80847159.104973.69505117.982100
2018-09-0170.1763164.8945371.90264150.014372.56181125.9576100
2018-10-0166.0872359.1125172.68449132.265374.55701130.0456100
2018-11-0159.1896148.3721571.36875136.756673.17308122.2533100
2018-12-0161.3238552.2911271.5446133.091871.19162127.6842100

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 23 percent against the US dollar. Similarly, the value of the Colombian peso relative to the US dollar has depreciated by 39 percent over the same period (See Figure 2). In 2018, the values of the Colombian peso and the Canadian dollar stabilized relative to the US dollar. However, it is too soon to tell whether these stable ratios will continue in future years.

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

Text Alternative Figure 2
CAD/USDCOP/USD
2012100100
201397.0546496.18462
201490.5034489.8746
201578.1709365.53162
201675.4510358.9249
201776.9736760.91458
201877.1459560.80934

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 1.65 trillion in 2017, or about five times that of the Colombian economy. With a population of 36.5 million in 2017, Canada’s per capita GDP in 2017 stood at USD 46,596.

Canada is one of the most open economies in the world, with few barriers to trade and investment. In 2018, international trade in goods and services accounted for 64.8 percent of GDP. The United States is Canada’s largest trading partner, with 75.1 percent of all Canadian merchandise exports destined to that market.

Service-producing industries are the leading sectors in the Canadian economy, making up 70.2 percent of Canada’s GDP in 2018, and employing 78.9 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. Trade in services makes up 15.1% of the value of Canada’s 2018 trade balance.

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 45.5 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, as well as significant improvements in domestic security. GDP surged from USD 145.1 billion in 2005 to USD 381.8 billion in 2013. However, this impressive period 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 381.8 billion in 2013 to USD 283.1 billion in 2016, before increasing to USD 314.5 billion in 2017. This dramatic downturn and subsequent upturn in Colombia’s macroeconomic environment has broad implications, particularly for Colombia’s international trade.

Figure 3: Colombian Merchandise Exports to World, 2000-2018

Text Alternative Figure 3
YearExports (USD)
200013,131,568,057
200112,182,700,012
2002 11,576,165,555
2003 12,855,171,820
2004 16,440,655,256
2005 21,092,337,868
2006 23,729,883,976
2007 29,076,398,886
2008 37,625,882,065
2009 32,852,994,732
2010 39,552,276,352
2011 56,508,869,776
2012 60,666,536,850
2013 58,821,869,987
2014 54,795,323,733
2015 35,690,775,971
2016 31,756,807,252
2017 37,770,122,739
201841,835,130,248

The Colombian economy depends heavily on exports of energy and agricultural commodities. Colombia is a major global supplier of coffee, 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 were on a downward path from 2012 until 2016, before increasing in the following two years. In 2018, Colombia’s total exports were USD 41.8 billion. Similarly, Colombia’s imports from the world increased steadily from USD 11.5 billion in 2000 to USD 64.0 billion in 2014 but decreased until 2016. In 2018, Colombia had exports of USD 51.2 billion.

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 2018, total bilateral merchandise trade between the two countries reached $2.04 billionFootnote 2, representing an increase from relatively recent lows. It increased by 18.2 percent from $1.73 billion in 2017. Bilateral merchandise trade has increased by approximately 50 percent overall since 2010, the year prior to the entry into force of the CCOFTA (See Figure 4).

Between 2017 and 2018, Canada’s imports from Colombia increased by 5.7 percent, from $982.4 million to $1.0 billion. This increase was largely due to an increase in imports of mineral fuels and oils from Colombia ($60.1 million). In addition, significant increases in imports from Colombia are observed in articles of iron or steel and edible fruit and nuts.

Canada’s exports to Colombia, on the other hand, increased by 34.7 percent – from 745.7 million to 1.0 billion – between 2017 and 2018. Canadian exports to Colombia covered a broad range of products including cereals (wheat), vehicles, machinery, vegetables (pulses), paper and paperboard and fertilizers.

Figure 4: Bilateral Trade between Canada and Colombia 2010-2018, Can$ million

Source: Statistics Canada and Global Affairs Canada calculations.Footnote 3

Text Alternative Figure 4
ExportsImportsTrade Balance
2010 642,274,846  17,265,857-  74,991,011
2011 760,898,173 799,377,118- 38,478,945
2012 828,167,327 664,667,425 163,499,902
2013711,467,141 691,362,113 20,105,028
2014 935,792,356 891,827,729 43,964,627
2015 782,812,678 829,013,665- 46,200,987
2016 783,757,321 786,980,098- 3,222,777
2017745,717,357  982,351,584- 236,634,227
2018 1,004,747,212 1,038,162,728- 33,415,516

5. Actions Taken by Canada under the CCOFTA Implementation Act in 2018

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 2018

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 2018
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, 2018-December 31, 2018 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).Footnote 4 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 Colombia
Product 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
D17
(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
Total8424100.0%606.141100.0%

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 2018

As noted above, the actions taken by Canada under the CCOFTA in 2018 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

Canada’s tariff on refined sugar will continue to be reduced annually (for 2019, the preferential tariff for originating Colombian refined sugar is $14.40/tonne, compared, while the MFN tariff is $30.86/tonne) 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 $2.04 billion in 2018, an increase of approximately 50 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 3 and 4 below, the annual trade statistics are first divided into the pre-CCOFTA period (January 2008 to December 2010) and post-CCOFTA period (January 2016 to December 2018) 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 $629.6 million to the post-CCOFTA level of $832.5 million, representing an increase of 32.2 percent. As shown in Table 3, 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 $177.2 million.

Table 3: Annual Average Canadian Exports to Colombia by the Extent of Tariff Reductions, Can$

Tariff ReductionsPre-CCOFTA 2008-2010Post-CCOFTA 2016-2018GrowthPercentage Change
Duty-Free Goods42,333,564.6737,979,143.67-4,354,421.00-10.3%
Exempted Goods689,176.33928,016.67238,840.3334.7%
0.1 – 5 p.p. Reductions266,326,077.67443,487,480.67177,161,403.0066.5%
5.1 – 10 p.p. Reductions156,136,364.67192,772,340.0036,635,975.3323.5%
Over 10 p.p. Reductions164,085,734.33157,333,115.00-6,752,619.33-4.1%
Total629,570,917.67832,500,096.00202,929,178.3332.2%

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 nuclear reactors, boilers and machinery. Other products that also experienced significant export gains included residues and waste from the food industries, fertilizers, ores, slag and ash, tanning or dyeing extracts, and aircraft, spacecraft, and parts thereof (see Annex 2).

Products that received tariff reductions up to 5.0 percentage points saw the largest increase of export gains. The top sectors to experience such export growth were cereals, fertilizers, precious stones, metals, and pearls, inorganic chemicals and rare-earth metals, and tanning or dyeing extracts (see Annex 3).

The top products of export gains with tariff reductions of 5.1 to 10.0 percentage points were mineral fuels and oils, pharmaceutical products, explosives and pyrotechnic products, paper and paperboard, and plastics and articles thereof (see Annex 4).

The key sectors that experienced gains under the category of over-10-percentage points of tariff reductions were meat and edible meat offal, cosmetic or toilet preparations, edible vegetables, and plastics and articles thereof (see Annex 5).

6.2 Canadian Imports from Colombia

In 2018, Canadian merchandise imports from Colombia were valued at $1.0 billion, making Colombia Canada’s fifth largest import source in South America.

Overall, on an annual basis, average imports from Colombia increased by 34.4 percent between the pre-CCOFTA level of $696.4 million and the post-CCOFTA level of $935.6 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 12.2 percent, 21.0 percent for products with 0.1 to 5.0 percentage points of tariff reductions, 54.9 percent for the products with 5.1 to 10.0 percentage points of reductions, and 82.5 percent for the products with more than 10.0 percentage points of reductions. The utilization rate for all dutiable products was 61.3 percent.

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, plastics and articles thereof, and man-made filaments (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 plants, articles of iron or steel, and cocoa and cocoa preparations (see Annex 9). Various 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 of over 10 percentage points of tariff reductions included live trees and other plants, knitted articles of apparel and clothing accessories, and animal or vegetable fats and oils. The utilization rates for these articles were fairly high, with some being over 90 percent (see Annex 10).

Products exempt from tariff reductions experienced a decline in imports.

Table 4: Annual Average Canadian Imports from Colombia by the Extent of Tariff Reductions, Can$

Tariff ReductionsPre-CCOFTA 2008-2010Post-CCOFTA 2016-2018GrowthPercentage ChangeUtilization Rate (%)Footnote 5
Duty-Free Goods572,406,010.33752,431,170.59180,025,160.2531.5%12.2%
Exempted Goods7,043,611.332,024,772.00-5,018,839.33-71.3%0.0%
0.1 – 5 p.p. Reductions4,102,391.0017,703,188.0013,600,797.00331.5%21.0%
5.1 – 10 p.p.  Reductions79,855,482.33102,554,620.8122,699,138.4728.4%54.9%
Over 10 p.p.  Reductions32,977,606.6760,886,539.6027,908,932.9484.6%82.5%
Total696,385,101.67935,600,291.00239,215,189.3334.4%61.3%*

Source: Statistics Canada and Global Affairs Canada calculations.
*This is the total utilization rate of all goods that experienced tariff reductions.

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 (including protection of the right to organize and the right to strike);
    • 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. To date, the Labour Program of ESDC has funded three labour-related TA projects in Colombia totaling approximately $950,000.

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.

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 May 2018, Canada and Colombia signed an Action Plan marking the conclusion of the ministerial consultations process initiated in 2017. These consultations took place as recommended in the Review Report published by the Canadian National Administrative Office in response to a complaint submitted in 2016 under the Labour Cooperation Agreement.

The three-year Action Plan includes concrete actions the Government of Colombia must undertake to improve the labour situation in Colombia in the areas of collective rights, enforcement of labour laws and violence against trade unionists. Labour issues such as the misuse of subcontracting, union contracts and collective pacts, discriminatory anti-union practices, are priority areas under the Action Plan, which can be found at: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/labour-relations/international/agreements/colombia-action-plan.html

Moving Forward:  Labour Program officials will continue working with their Colombian counterparts in the implementation 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

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, composed of senior officials from Environment and Climate Change Canada and Colombia’s Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, meets on an as-needed basis. The most recent meeting of the Committee on Environment took place on May 16, 2018, in Gatineau (QC), Canada. At this meeting, Canadian and Colombian officials reviewed the bilateral and regional initiatives that were carried out within the framework of the Environmental Cooperation Agreement since the last Committee meeting in 2015, undertook a policy dialogue on environmental priorities, and jointly began work on setting priorities for future cooperative activities.

During the discussions, the following areas for cooperation were prioritized: 1) chemicals management, 2) conserving biodiversity, 3) mitigating environmental impacts of mining, and 4) management and reduction of forest fires.

It will be Colombia’s turn to host the next meeting of the Committee on the Environment.

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 (see annex 14 for recent activities).

Since the entry into force of the Environment Agreement in 2011, Canada has funded six environmental projects in Colombia amounting to over $2.5 million. During this period, Canadian funding for Latin American regional programming, which also benefitted Colombia, exceeded $9 million. For example, in 2018, Environment and Climate Change Canada organized two environmental cooperation activities that benefited Colombia: a Regional Workshop on Climate Change and Building Resilience at the Organization of American States, and a Regional Workshop on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers.

Projects funded through Climate Finance: Canada is delivering $2.65 billion over five years to help developing countries transition to low-carbon, sustainable and resilient growth, focusing on mitigation as well as increasing adaptation support to the poorest and most vulnerable populations impacted by climate change. This support is delivered through a number of multilateral and bilateral initiatives.

Canada supports Colombia through a number of multilateral organizations, including $300 million to the Green Climate Fund (GCF). For example, the GCF is investing $117.2 million in support of scaling up climate resilient water management practice in La Mojana, one of the poorest and most climate vulnerable regions in Colombia.

In addition to supporting Colombia through bilateral initiatives, Canada is also working with Colombia and other Pacific Alliance partners on a $1.6 million project to support climate action (please see the following section 7.3 for more details on the Pacific Alliance Partnership).

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 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 requires the negotiation of a comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) with the Pacific Alliance.

A FTA with the Pacific Alliance offers the prospect to modernize and streamline our existing agreements, including the CCOFTA, achieve incremental market access improvements, as well as potentially include elements that reflect Canada’s inclusive approach to trade, such as those relating to trade and gender, small and medium-sized enterprises, and trade and Indigenous peoples. It is also an opportunity to send a strong signal to the world on our belief in the benefits of free trade, and the importance that these benefits be widely shared. As 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 (2016-2021). In October 2017, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change announced an investment of $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 support the Pacific Alliance in its efforts towards becoming a more competitive and inclusive region and deepen our mutual commitment to inclusive trade. (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.   

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 21, 2019, 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 three weeks. Two written submissions were received in response to the public call for submissions: the first touched upon the positive commercial and diplomatic relations between the two countries, while the second raised concerns over the negative social and environmental impacts of an infrastructure project in Colombia, which has received financial support from Canadian investors.

Interested parties were also invited to specifically provide their comments and views on how we can continue to improve the Annual Reports for future years (See Section 10 for more information).

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, 2018 – December 31, 2018. The Government of Canada received feedback from a total of seven 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 maintains a whole-of-government approach to its bilateral relations with Colombia through its political, consular, commercial, development, and peace and security programming. Recognizing the challenges that Colombia faces in the area of human rights, and in order to support its efforts in addressing 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 actions 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 Sub-Committee on Human Rights of the Donors’ Group (Grupo de Cooperantes, or GRUC) in Colombia, which consists 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. The Sub-Committee meets with Colombian civil society and government officials, international human rights observers, and coordinates efforts to raise cases of human rights defenders before Colombian authorities. The Sub-Committee gave particular focus in 2018 to themes such as human rights defenders (including legal proceedings against them), Colombia’s Universal Periodic Review, the implementation of the Transitional Justice mechanisms and recommendations from the official visit to Colombia of Michel Forst, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders. The Sub-Committee also visited Bojayá in March 2018 to demonstrate international attention and support to human rights defenders in this region.

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 (term finished in December 2018).

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 2018, as part of International Women’s Day celebrations, Canada presented a Human Rights Award to Teófila Betancurt of the Chiyangua Foundation (Guapi). Ms. Betancurt works to strengthen the ethnic and cultural identity of Afro-descendant women through the recovery of traditional practices and knowledge. In 2018, 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 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 that are 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. These are often conducted in partnership with 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 or other agencies and foreign embassies.

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 where a meaningful state presence has been historically weak due to the internal armed conflict. Such regions are vulnerable to threats and violence from a range of actors, as 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, particularly as the country works to implement an ambitious, historic, and multi-faceted post-conflict peacebuilding implementation plan. Canada will also continue to play a leading role within the international community and 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 2018, Canada continued delivering upon its 2016 commitment in funding over $78 million dollars for peacebuilding efforts in Colombia through initiatives that provide concrete and direct support to the peace process. This includes:

  • 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.
  • A contribution of $21 million over 3 years through the Peace and Stabilization Operations Program (PSOPs) to fund peace implementation projects. Programming has included strengthening of national demining capacity, transitional justice, and support to women’s participation in the implementation of the peace process. PSOPs has also provided key support to the OAS’ Mission to Support the Peace Process in Colombia (OAS-MAPP) and the local 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 Women’s Foreign Ministers Meeting held in Montreal in September 2018, Canada announced support to the Afro-Colombian community initiative for sustainable and inclusive peace in Colombia, which supports the implementation of the ethnic chapter of the agreement through an Afro-Colombian feminist lens. The Afro-Colombian community and its women in particular, suffered systematic violence during the conflict between the Government of Colombia and the FARC. Support to the participation of these groups is vital to pave the way for long-term peacebuilding in the affected communities.

Canada’s Department of National Defence has delivered training to the Colombian military to enhance its ability to participate in United Nations Peacekeeping Missions abroad, a priority as part of their transition into peacetime roles.

Under the Canadian Police Arrangement, a deployment of up to ten Canadian police officers to Colombia was announced in 2017.  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

Canada and Colombia share over 40 years of collaborative engagement on development cooperation. According to the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (OECD-DAC), Canada is Colombia’s fifth largest donor of international assistance after the United States, Germany, the European Union and Norway. Canada’s international assistance in Colombia averages $30 to 40 million and stems from various sources.

Since 2011, Canada’s total official international assistance to Colombia amounts to almost $350 million, delivered via a diverse range of civil society, multilateral, private sector and government partners. This includes over $200 million in bilateral assistance; over $45 million in funding to peace and security initiatives; approximately $36 million in humanitarian assistance; and approximately $67 million in official development assistance via other channels such as the International Development Research Centre, multi-country initiatives or through other government departments. Through its investments, Canada supports Colombia’s ambitious and transformational peace and development agenda, including through a focus on peacebuilding, inclusive economic growth, human rights, women’s empowerment and rural education.

Decades of violence have deeply impacted Colombia, resulting in inequality, poverty and insecurity being concentrated in particular regions. Canada’s international assistance focuses on supporting the conditions for lasting peace, especially in rural and conflict-affected areas, and harnessing innovation for long term sustainable development. In keeping with Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy, Canada works in partnership with Colombia to ensure that gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls is central to the transition away from conflict and towards middle-income prosperity.

Supporting Conditions for Lasting Peace: Working together, Canada and Colombia are striving to reach the most vulnerable women, girls and families in Colombia’s conflict-affected regions. This includes efforts to provide higher quality and more accessible rural education, as well as sexual and reproductive health and rights, in order to break the cycle of poverty and gender-based violence and tackle some of the barriers, which prevent women and girls from reaching their full potential. Canada also supports efforts to respond to emergency needs through the provision of gender-responsive humanitarian assistance, particularly along Colombia’s Pacific coast and border regions.

Canada is working to leverage private sector relationships and civil society expertise to bring economic opportunities to rural women and underemployed youth, while supporting Colombia’s labour reform agenda. These efforts are employing proven models for agricultural cooperatives and rural financing and are focussed in conflict-affected areas where illicit economies have too often been the only employment option available.

Through the implementation of Canada’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, Canada is supporting stabilization and longer-term peacebuilding efforts, including transitional justice, human rights and security sector transformation. Canada’s support is contributing to efforts to counter potential threats to Colombia’s peace process, such as corruption and illicit drug trafficking.

Harnessing Innovation for Sustainable Development: As poverty levels improve, Colombia is expected to transition away from international assistance. Canada and Colombia are considering innovative approaches to leverage new funding sources and new partners to support rural and conflict-affected areas.  Canada is harnessing international assistance to bring new partnerships to Colombia’s priority sectors and regions, including rural education and rural economic development, and to build the evidence-base to ensure that investments are having an impact and can be scaled-up.

Colombia’s ambitious stabilization and rural reform agenda requires improved access to financing – including through partnerships that reach beyond the donor community, particularly with the private sector. Canada and Colombia are working together to implement this ambitious agenda. In doing so, Canada is ensuring that human rights issues are at the centre of financing decisions for development outcomes.

Canada continues to invest in issues that support human rights promotion in Colombia, as well as labour rights, the empowerment of women, poverty reduction, economic diversification and responsible business conduct, including through collaboration with the private sector. Canada has traditionally supported the protection needs of internally displaced persons and children, particularly in terms of preventing recruitment into armed conflict. Through the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI), Canada also supports local development assistance initiatives in Colombia aimed at promoting human rights (particularly those of women, Indigenous peoples and LGBTI groups), governance and democracy. Under Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy, Canadian international assistance has an even stronger focus on helping protect and promote the human rights of all vulnerable and marginalized groups and increase their participation in equal decision making.

Selected examples of international assistance programming linked to human rights promotion in Colombia can be found in Annex 15.

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 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. Canada first implemented its CSR Strategy in 2009 and reviewed it in 2014.  The strategy will be reviewed again in 2019 to examine the degree to which it continues to enhance the ability of Canadian extractive sector companies to improve their CSR performance and provide benefits for host countries and local communities.

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, 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 forums for open dialogue. 

The Government of Canada has two dispute resolution mechanisms to address issues when they arise.  The first is Canada’s National Contact Point (NCP), established in the year 2000 as part of Canada’s commitment to the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises on responsible business conduct (RBC) and applies to all sectors (www.ncp.gc.ca). The second mechanism will be the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise (CORE) who will be able to review allegations of human rights abuses arising from the operations of Canadian companies abroad in the oil and gas, mining and garment sectors.    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.

Throughout the year, the Embassy of Canada to Colombia 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, as well as sharing of best practices and expertise between Colombian and international entities. In 2018, these initiatives included:  

  • Forums on CSR Public Policy and tools (March and November 2018)

    Through these forums, the Embassy met with representatives of the extractive sector, the national government and local communities, and presented updates on the ongoing changes on the Canadian CSR Strategy, including the creation of the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise (CORE) and the Multi-stakeholder Advisory Body on Responsible Business Conduct abroad. Participants were also updated on the tools and standards publicly available to facilitate the implementation of international standards at a local level. Implementing partners of ongoing official development assistance (ODA)-funded extractive projects also participated in both events.

    Roundtable with the Minister of Mines and Energy (August 2018)

    The Embassy facilitated a meeting between representatives of Canadian mining and energy sector companies operating in Colombia and the Minister of Mines and Energy to discuss key issues affecting the extractive industry in Colombia. Participants received a presentation on the key elements of the CSR Strategy, which positioned the strategy as a competitive advantage that Canadian operators could offer.

    External consultancy on RBC (October 2018 - March 2019)

    The Embassy worked with an external consultant to identify ways to improve coordination on RBC initiatives amongst Embassy program teams. The result was a roadmap for improvement in key areas and specific tasks for each section.  The Embassy will implement the changes in 2019.

    Workshop on TSM (May 2018)

    In partnership with the Colombian Mining Association, the Embassy organized a workshop to present the Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) Standard implemented by the Mining Association of Canada.  The goal was to promote the exchange of best practices on RBC and facilitate potential partnerships and transfer of knowledge between companies operating in Canada and Colombia.

b) Canada’s International Collaboration with Colombia

Canada is helping to build Colombia’s capacity for governance of natural resources.  For example, the Effective Partnerships for Local Development project ($6.5 million) aims to improve the social and economic well-being of communities living in areas where there are extractive activities.  In addition, the Building Extractive Sector Governance project ($19 million) provides technical assistance to Colombian government agencies responsible for natural resource management.

Internationally, Canada is engaged in a range of multi-stakeholder initiatives to promote international standards, guidelines, and best practices with the objective of improving governance in resource-rich developing countries.  Canada’s approach aims to ensure women, girls, and other traditionally-marginalized groups are able to engage in decision-making on natural resources governance and overcome discrimination in the administration of benefits from natural resource development.

Canada and Colombia actively collaborate on Corporate Social Responsibility forums through the following mechanisms:

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD):

  • 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.

    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 established 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. Colombia has additionally 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). The VPI contains a set of principles designed to help governments, NGOs and companies in the businesses of extracting, harvesting, or developing natural resources or energy to anticipate and mitigate human rights risks related to the deployment of public and private security.  The Government of Colombia, like Canada, has been a member of the VPI since 2009.

The Canadian Embassy held a CSR event in Bogota in November 2018, which featured the VPIs and a panel on Responsible Practices for the Inclusive Development of Extractive Territories in Colombia. The event gathered key Canadians companies, as well as actors from national government, local government and local communities. Implementing partners of ongoing ODA-funded extractive projects also participated. Canada continued to regularly participate in Colombia’s Comité Minero-Energético (CME), a multi-sector initiative which aims to facilitate dialogue around the protection of human rights and promotion of security guarantees for parties impacted by the mining and energy sectors.

Canada encourages the Government of Colombia to take advantage of its membership in the Voluntary Principles Initiative and actively participate in the multi-stakeholder group.

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 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 is the first country in the Americas to reach the highest level of progress in implementing the EITI Standard. In June 2018, the EITI Board found that Colombia had demonstrated satisfactory progress in all requirements of 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 (See Annex 15 for more details).    

The Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB):

  • Transparency Trust Fund (TTF) provides assistance to countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, including Colombia, which are committed to strengthening the governance of their extractive industries and 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 in the area of audit. Cooperation also helped to increase Colombia’s level of involvement in extractives governance and transparency, which in turn contributed to Colombia being admitted to the EITI as 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.

    Canadian Extractive Sector Facility (CANEF) supports countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, mainly Colombia, Peru and the Dominican Republic, in managing their extractive sectors through evidence based decision-making and improved regulations. Program activities include: developing decision-making tools and information products; supporting dialogue and efforts to influence the regulatory environment; and providing country-level technical assistance to foster modernization in the sector.  CANEF activities contributed to strengthening the governance of natural resources by improving regulatory and institutional frameworks and improving infrastructure information management. CANEF specifically contributed to the Human Rights Policy for Mining and Energy in Colombia by hiring a local Gender and Human Rights expert who, alongside the Ministry of Mines and Energy, supported the development of the policy and inclusion of key components, such as gender equality and diversity.

10. Consultations on the Future of the report

Since 2016, successive Annual Reports on Human Rights and Free Trade between Canada and the Republic of Colombia have been expanded to include other elements pertaining to human rights. These elements include the broader Colombian human rights context; an overview of Colombia’s peace implementation process; public consultations; and a summary of Canada’s bilateral programming in support of human rights (including corporate social responsibility and responsible business conduct). Despite these adjustments, there is recognition that the report’s scope and related methodology could be further improved.

As such, the Government of Canada included the following commitment in last year’s report (conclusion):

“…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.”

Discussion with stakeholders

Accordingly, this year the Government of Canada – through Global Affairs Canada –launched consultations with a range of domestic stakeholders, including civil society organisations and non-governmental organisations, the private sector and the academic community. These allowed Global Affairs Canada to seek a diverse set of views on how future reports could be improved and how these reports could be leveraged to further promote respect for human rights and responsible business conduct by Canadian companies in Colombia.

Many of the participants expressed the view that the report’s scope could be expanded and that future reports could be more comprehensive by, inter alia:

  • examining all Canadian economic activities and their effects on human rights in Colombia, specifically from the perspective of victims;
  • including an analysis of Canadian private sector investments and an assessment of their impact on human rights; and
  • integrating proactive information on the activities and initiatives from Canadian businesses operating in Colombia.

Other suggestions from participants included:

  • the need for a clearer definition of “human rights” within the report;
  • revising future methodology so that it draws from existing United Nations’ guiding principles on human rights impact assessments of trade and investment agreements;
  • having an independent third party prepare the reports, and;
  • reducing the frequency at which the report is tabled to once every 3 to 5 years to allow for more comprehensive reporting and the development of concrete solutions and recommendations.

Conclusion

In developing the Annual Reports on Human Rights and Free Trade between Canada and the Republic of Colombia in recent years, the Government of Canada has made efforts to go beyond basic legislative reporting requirements. These requirements are presently limited to actions taken under the CCOFTA such as tariff reductions and initiatives under the side agreements on labour cooperation and environment. For example, the Government of Canada has included other elements pertaining to human rights in Colombia in the annual reports since 2016. This has included a review of the broader Colombian human rights context, Colombia’s peace implementation process, and Canada’s bilateral programming in support of human rights.

Despite these adjustments, there is a recognition that the report’s scope and related methodology could be further improved. Over the next few months, Global Affairs Canada will review and analyze in greater detail the information collected throughout its consultations with a range of domestic stakeholders on how to improve future reports, including with respect to scope, process and methodology. All submissions and comments received during these consultations with civil society and non-governmental organisations, the private sector and the academic community will be taken into account and used to inform recommendations to the Minister of International Trade Diversification aimed at concrete and valuable improvements to the annual report in the years to come.

We will also continue to engage relevant stakeholders as required, including the recently appointed Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise and the Multi-stakeholder Advisory Body on Responsible Business conduct.

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
2001365.9415.5781.3-49.6
2002343.5393.0736.5-49.5
2003307.6373.9681.5-66.2
2004387.1418.6805.7-31.5
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
2012828.2664.71,492.8163.5
2013711.5691.41,402.820.1
2014935.8891.81,827.644.0
2015782.8829.01,611.8-46.2
2016783.8787.01,570.7-3.2
2017745.7982.41,728.1-236.6
20181,004.71,038.22,042.9-33.4

Source: Statistics Canada

Annex 2: Top 9* Annual Average Export Gains from the Duty Free Category, Can$

HS02 SectorSector NamePre-CCOFTA 2008-2010Post-CCOFTA 2016-2018Growth
84Nuclear Reactors, boilers and machinery106,116.002,372,859.002,266,743.00
23Residues and waste from the food industries441,609.671,552,181.671,110,572.00
31Fertilizers 30,382.3330,382.33
26Ores, slag and ash &nb17,013.6717,013.67
32Tanning or dyeing extracts9,243.3325,274.33&nb 16,031.00
88Aircraft, spacecraft, and parts thereof   8,467.33  8,467.33
49Printed books, newspapers, pictures and other products of the printing industry & 228.67  3,445.33 &n 3,216.67
29Organic chemicals  688.67  3,811.00  3,122.33
86Railway or tramway locomotives, rolling-stock and parts thereof             &nbs            &nbsp 767.33767.33
Total42,333,564.67     37,979,143.67-4,354,421.00

Source: Statistics Canada and Global Affairs Canada calculations

*There were only 9 sectors with positive growth in this category.

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

HS02 SectorSector NamePre-CCOFTA 2008-2010Post-CCOFTA 2016-2018Growth
10Cereals   135,202,893.67   333,392,028.00198,189,134.33
31Fertilizers34,521,962.3344,354,888.679,832,926.33
71Precious stones, metals, and pearls 2,910,007.002,910,007.00
28Inorganic chemicals and rare-earth metals947,238.673,437,388.002,490,149.33
32Tanning or dyeing extracts508,955.002,904,614.332,395,659.33
72Iron and steel234,768.672,101,974.331,867,205.67
88Aircraft, spacecraft, and parts thereof3,804,166.004,200,505.00396,339.00
27Mineral fuels and oils883,498.671,260,150.67376,652.00
73Articles of iron or steel152,149.00366,357.00214,208.00
75Nickel and articles thereof2,685.67173,425.00170,739.33
Total266,326,077.67443,487,480.67177,161,403.00

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 SectorSector NamePre-CCOFTA 2008-2010Post-CCOFTA 2016-2018Growth
27Mineral fuels and oils16,076,367.0039,022,106.0022,945,739.00
30Pharmaceutical products2,493,685.0020,576,260.6718,082,575.67
36Explosives and pyrotechnic products1,940,970.6713,357,224.0011,416,253.33
48Paper and paperboard13,749,809.6721,483,399.677,733,590.00
39Plastics and articles thereof3,696,485.677,316,747.003,620,261.33
94Furniture and bedding3,526,708.676,191,666.002,664,957.33
47Pulp of wood and paper waste1,543,607.004,186,344.672,642,737.67
68Articles of stone, plaster, and cement289,475.672,847,908.002,558,432.33
95Toys, games and sports accessories345,534.002,035,246.671,689,712.67
28Inorganic chemicals and rare-earth metals529,645.671,814,340.001,284,694.33
Total156,136,364.67   192,772,340.0036,635,975.33

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 SectorSector NamePre-CCOFTA 2008-2010Post-CCOFTA 2016-2018Growth
2Meat and edible meat offal3,430,396.0011,537,819.008,107,423.00
33Cosmetic or toilet preparations1,988,114.338,180,342.676,192,228.33
7Edible vegetables66,628,738.6771,757,132.335,128,393.67
39Plastics and articles thereof5,008,797.679,597,484.674,588,687.00
12Grains, seeds and fruit58,770.334,608,601.004,549,830.67
95Toys, games and sports accessories105,717.671,860,068.001,754,350.33
73Articles of iron or steel28,964.33568,974.33540,010.00
59Impregnated, coated, covered or laminated textile fabrics20,440.67449,880.33429,439.67
22Beverages, spirits and vinegar196.00373,229.00373,033.00
48Paper and paperboard128,298.33486,448.67358,150.33
Total164,085,734.33157,333,115.00-6,752,619.33

Source: Statistics Canada and Global Affairs Canada calculations

Annex 6: Top 3* Annual Average Export Gains from the Exempt Category, Can$

HS02 SectorSector NamePre-CCOFTA 2008-2010Post-CCOFTA 2016-2018Growth
11Products of the milling industry33,326.67666,693.67633,367.00
2Meat and edible meat offal 102,076.00102,076.00
32Tanning or dyeing extracts 9,247.009,247.00
Total689,176.33928,016.67238,840.33

Source: Statistics Canada and Global Affairs Canada calculations
* There were only 3 sectors with positive growth in this category.

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

HS02 SectorSector NamePre-CCOFTA 2008-2010Post-CCOFTA 2014-2016GrowthUtilization Rate (%)
9Coffee, tea, and spices145,432,795.00   266,697,673.67121,264,878.670.3
27Mineral fuels and oils295,617,824.00   354,056,033.67            58,438,209.6724.0
73Articles of iron or steel           2,517,558.00     10,448,431.06               7,930,873.060.0
3Fish and crustaceans, molluscs and other aquatic invertebrates               984,906.33        7,786,380.836,801,474.500.0
18Cocoa and cocoa preparations1,082,786.673,917,466.672,834,680.000.9
12Grains, seeds and fruit           1,367,004.00        3,217,547.33               1,850,543.330.1
70Glass and glassware           1,216,044.67        2,972,649.81               1,756,605.1416.3
15Animal or vegetable fats and oils                    5,297.33        1,740,913.67               1,735,616.330.0
7Edible vegetables               741,549.33        2,449,295.67               1,707,746.330.0
30Pharmaceutical products           2,604,679.67        4,052,654.67               1,447,975.009.3
Total 572,406,010.33 752,431,170.59 180,025,160.25 

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 SectorSector NamePre-CCOFTA 2008-2010Post-CCOFTA 2014-2016GrowthUtilization Rate (%)
68Articles of stone, plaster, and cement281,677.675,021,813.564,740,135.890.0
39Plastics and articles thereof1,416.673,644,762.783,643,346.110.0
54Man-made filaments99,349.331,822,786.001,723,436.670.0
17Sugars and sugar confectionery679,229.332,205,218.401,525,989.0762.1
59Impregnated, coated, covered or laminated textile fabrics280,600.671,063,883.00783,282.330.0
85Electrical machinery and equipment383,042.33903,175.27520,132.930.0
19Preparations of cereals, flour, starch or milk171,268.67670,328.33499,059.6787.7
23Residues and waste from the food industries17,243.33138,953.33121,710.00100.0
22Beverages, spirits and vinegar427,131.33521,783.0094,651.670.0
73Articles of iron or steel92.0087,792.8987,700.890.0
Total4,102,391.00 17,703,188.00 13,600,797.00

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 SectorSector NamePre-CCOFTA 2008-2010Post-CCOFTA 2014-2016GrowthUtilization Rate (%)
6Live trees and other plants47,378,839.3361,218,120.3313,839,281.0089.5
73Articles of iron or steel206,130.338,056,192.067,850,061.720.3
18Cocoa and cocoa preparations121,107.673,885,361.003,764,253.3398.0
20Preparations of vegetables, fruit, nuts or other parts of plants290,422.332,467,602.672,177,180.3370.1
33Cosmetic or toilet preparations2,163,801.672,912,323.33748,521.6796.7
85Electrical machinery and equipment51,545.33737,489.00685,943.670.0
40Rubber and articles thereof151,576.00785,636.06634,060.0612.8
32Tanning or dyeing extracts186,332.67807,263.39620,930.720.0
89Ships, boats and floating structures178,038.67751,078.33573,039.6798.5
34Soap, washing preparations, waxes, and dental preparations1,741.00433,668.67431,927.6785.7
Total79,855,482.33102,554,620.8122,699,138.47

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 SectorSector NamePre-CCOFTA 2008-2010Post-CCOFTA 2014-2016GrowthUtilization Rate (%)
6Live trees and other plants         21,811,485.33     46,848,415.33            25,036,930.0092.8
61Articles of apparel and clothing accessories, knitted           2,840,583.67        6,153,456.33               3,312,872.6757.1
15Animal or vegetable fats and oils               446,759.67        1,148,912.67                  702,153.0017.4
64Footwear, gaiters and the like                 48,363.33           290,912.67                  242,549.3351.8
63Other made up textile articles               232,463.00           460,719.00                  228,256.0010.4
89Ships, boats and floating structures                                 -             180,582.67                  180,582.670.0
22Beverages, spirits and vinegar                 68,793.67           156,175.33                     87,381.6748.4
62Articles of apparel and clothing accessories, not knitted           4,296,291.67        4,360,443.33                     64,151.6777.7
82Tools of base metal                 51,596.67              89,319.00                     37,722.330.0
91Clocks and watches and parts thereof                                 -                34,575.33                     34,575.330.0
Total 32,977,606.67 60,886,539.60 27,908,932.94

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. To date, the Labour Program of ESDC has funded three labour-related TA projects in Colombia totaling approximately $950,000. Additional capacity-building projects are expected to be funded as the implementation of the Action Plan agreed upon under the Labour Cooperation Agreement unfolds. 

Annex 12: Activities under the Canada-Colombia Environment Agreement

This table includes a selection of environmental cooperation activities undertaken by Canada with Colombia.

Title

Key Objectives/Results

Regional Workshop on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTR)*

$20,000

(2018)

The Regional Workshop on PRTR, held on December 6, 2018, consisted of presentations and roundtable discussion with experts from Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Panama, Peru, as well as from the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC). Representatives from Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Science and Technology Branch who work on Canada’s National Pollutant Release Inventory, presented a comprehensive overview of Canada’s PRTR system and PRTR experts from the region discussed the status of development of their own PRTR systems; greater comparability of PRTR systems; and how to lay the groundwork for harmonization within Latin America.

Regional Workshop on Climate Change and Building Resilience*

$16,300

(2018)

On November 6, 2018, Environment and Climate Change Canada  and Canada’s Permanent Mission to the Organization of American States (OAS) co-hosted the Regional Workshop on Climate Change and Building Resilience with the support of the OAS Department for Sustainable Development at OAS headquarters in Washington, DC.

The workshop was an opportunity for member states to discuss: 1) the link between climate change and extreme weather events; 2) the importance of regional initiatives in building resilience to climate change in coastal communities; 3) best practices in the development of national climate change policies; 4) international climate finance mechanisms for adaptation to climate change; and, 5) the role of different stakeholders in supporting climate action, including parliaments, multilateral institutions, and civil society organizations.

Pacific Alliance*

(Climate Finance)

See under Annex 13 for more details – Canada’s Cooperation Projects with the Pacific Alliance

*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.

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 two of four workshops took place in Chile in January 2018 and in Colombia in March 2018.

Annex 14: Public Call for Submissions

On February 21, 2019, the following public call for submissions was posted on the websites of Global Affairs Canada and 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 2019 annual report. The 2019 annual report will cover the period from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018. 

Last year’s report (2018) also indicated that “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”, as well as “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 respect, interested parties are invited to also provide comments and views on these specific issues.

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 March 8, 2019.

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

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.

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.

Delivering Rights for Girls through Improved Comprehensive Sexuality Education

$10 million

(2018-2023)

The “Valiente” project, implemented by Profamilia, will reach 7,800 boys and girls aged 10 to 14 in 55 schools to increase their decision-making power and leadership to exercise their sexual and reproductive rights, improve provision and access to rights-based and gender sensitive, youth friendly services, and promote positive transformations in attitudes and behaviours around gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights. At least 240 government officials will improve their delivery capacity in sexual and reproductive health and rights with youth as well.

Applying a Child and Gender Focus in Reporting, and Judicial and Truth Processes in Colombia

$440,789

(2018-2019)

The project, implemented by UNICEF, will contribute technically to creating better mechanisms of transitional justice for children and more effective child rights monitoring in Colombia.  At a national level, it will provide the Special Peace Jurisdictional body (JEP) with a combination of training, legal concepts, technical advice and advocacy, to promote a better awareness and understanding of the gender-focus and child-focus within transitional justice, and at a local level will provide child-focused guidelines to the Humanitarian Local Coordination Teams to strengthen the information gathering function for the Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM).

Indigenous women building peace in Colombia

$542,613

(2017-2020)

By focusing on the empowerment of indigenous women this initiative, implemented by Conciliation Resources in partnership with CIASE, aims at operationalizing their rights granted by the Colombian Constitution and universal norms. At the same time the project will contribute to monitoring the transition from war to peace, as well as to evolving global policy-discussions on inclusion, resilience, women’s rights, indigenous people’s rights, and practical innovations for more transformative and sustainable peace processes.

Strengthening Human Rights Education Globally

$1M

(2013-2019)

The project, implemented by Equitas in Colombia focuses at engaging and strengthening the capacity of local community leaders and representatives of community based organizations to lead actions that integrate a human rights based approach (HRBA) to advance gender equality and the meaningful participation, inclusion and non-discrimination of women, youth and children in decision-making. This is done through human rights education processes.

Footnotes

Footnote 1

Based on World Bank estimates (Gini index) and for countries for which latest data are available (ranging from 1990 to 2017).

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Footnote 2

All amounts in this report are in Canadian dollars unless otherwise indicated.

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Footnote 3

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

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Footnote 4

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.

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Footnote 5

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.

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