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Colombia: Environment Protection

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN 56331, tabled on 15 October 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what diplomatic steps she is taking to help protect environmental defenders in Colombia who are being threatened by international companies as a result of their lawful and legitimate protest against illicit activities on their land.

Answered on

25 October 2021

UK ministers and senior officials regularly raise human rights issues, as well as specific cases of concern, with the Colombian Government. The UK's Minister for the Environment, Lord Goldsmith, raised our concerns around violence and threats toward environmental defenders on a visit to Colombia from 5-8 October.

Colombia is a UK 'Human Rights Priority Country' and we consistently raise our concerns regarding violence against human rights defenders and social leaders at the UN Security Council, as we did at meetings in July and on 14 October. We will continue to raise our concerns with the relevant state actors in Colombia.

Through our Conflict, Stability, and Security Fund (CSSF) programme, which has provided £63 million in support of peace agreement implementation, security, and stability in Colombia since 2015, we will continue to prioritise funding interventions to protect human rights defenders, including environmental activists, and social leaders.