US Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis met with Colombia Minister of Labor Rafael Pardo and announced a $2 million grant for the International Labor Organization (ILO) to assist with the Labor Action Plan, in a press release, Wednesday.
The ILO is a is a UN agency whose responsibilities include creating and overseeing international labor standards.
The $2 million grant will finance ILO’s “robust presence in Colombia,” as it assists in the implementation of the Labor Action Plan, a labor plan which took effect in April 2011 as part of the Colombian-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
According to the press release under the plan “Colombia committed to a series of measures to improve protection of labor rights, prevent labor violence and increase prosecution of the perpetrators of such violence.”
The press release concluded that “To date, Colombia has met each milestone in the action plan.”
The passage of the FTA has been highly controversial due to Colombia’s record of violence and intimidation against labor officials and activists.
At least 15 Colombian unionists have been murdered since the implementation of the Labor Action Plan.