Colombian Congress members approved the human rights section of a free trade deal with Canada, and the agreement will now be considered by the Constitutional Court.
Members of Congress approved a section of the treaty which specifies that both countries must produce annual reports on how the deal is impacting on human rights. This was the only section pending between the two countries from the pact, written in 2008.
The treaty provides measures providing for labor and environmental cooperation between the two countries and is expected to come into effect early next year. The agreement will provide Colombian exporters with a market of nearly 34 million people.
Sectors that stand to gain from the treaty include products from the agricultural sector including cocoa, chocolate, fats, oils, meat, auto parts, and clothing.
The government hopes the treaty will not only benefit the mining and oil sector, but also other areas of production. The two countries have been considering the treaty since 2007. The agreement had previously been stalled due to criticism in Canada over Colombia’s human rights record.