Colombia, US, ILO sign pact in defense of labor rights

Colombia, the U.S. Labor Department and the International Labour Organisation (ILO)  signed a pact on Monday to protect labor rights in Colombia.

According to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, the pact “is a ratification of the commitment of the government and the Colombian people to protect human rights and the rights of workers increasingly effectively.”

Additionally, the agreement seeks to guarantee labor rights “during the implementation of the free trade agreement with the U.S. and prevent violence against unionists.”

The pact was signed by Santos, U.S. ambassador to Bogota Michael McKinley and ILO chairwoman Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry who on Thursday said the labor rights situation in Colombia had improved “significantly.”

The labor agreement came days after an assassination attempt on a unionist in the department of Caldas and complaints by Colombia’s biggest union that the government fails to protect labor rights workers.

According to a report released in early June by the International Trade Union Confederation, Colombia is the most dangerous country in the world for unionist workers. The report showed that in 2011 at least 29 union workers were killed in Colombia because of their union work.

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