Time for Europe to put human rights above commercial advantage
Free trade or slave trade? How the EU's free trade agreements in Colombia and Peru reward human rights abuses, destroy livelihoods, promote land grabbing and strip governments of their sovereignty to regulate capital flows.
Over 200 civil society organisations and the International and European Trade Union Confederations are opposing the EU-Colombia/Peru FTA because it will:
- Reward a Colombian government responsible for the highest level of trade unionist assassinations worldwide and ongoing disappearances and forced displacement.
- Expand investment in areas of mining and biofuels, which the European Commission’s (EC) own evidence suggests will increase land grabbing and further forced displacement.
- Undermine indigenous rights in Colombia and Peru, in particular those under ILO Convention 169 that require prior, free and informed consent by indigenous peoples.
- Prevent Peru and Colombia from imposing essential capital controls or taking necessary measures to boost employment in local industries during a period of global financial and economic instability.
- Further undermine regional integration in Latin America’s oldest regional trading block, which has already been divided by the EC’s refusal to negotiate flexibly with the region and its member countries’ particular needs and contexts.
- Destroy Peru and Colombia’s dairy industries and threaten the livelihoods connected to other agricultural industries.
- Damage European Union’s international reputation. The US, the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and the Flemish regional government have refused to ratify agreements with Colombia; the EU should not either.
It's time for Europe to put values and human rights above commercial advantage.
Published by TNI with partners: AITEC (France), ATTAC (France), Ecologistas en Accion (Spain), FDCL (Germany), Glopolis (Czech Republic), MAIS (Italy), Power Shift (Germany), Vedegylet (Hungary), WEED (Germany)