Justice for Colombia (JFC) is a British NGO that campaigns for human rights, workers' rights and the search for peace with social justice in Colombia.
Established in 2002 by the British trade union movement, JFC was created in response to the appalling human rights crisis in Colombia, and particularly the abuses committed against trade unionists and other civil society actors. Though our core backing continues to come predominantly from the trade unions, JFC’s support base has expanded to include the legal profession, the student movement and numerous politicians, journalists and academics and we now also have a chapter in the Republic of Ireland – JFC Ireland – and supporters in several other European countries.
International pressure, including from JFC, has led to some improvements in the situation in Colombia although in other areas the situation has deteriorated and Colombia remains the most dangerous place on earth in which to be a trade unionist or a human rights defender.
JFC runs several campaigns in the UK and Europe and has various projects on the ground in Colombia including one to promote a free press, a project to assist trade unionists and others that have been victims of human rights abuses, a project working with displaced agricultural workers to protect their human rights, and a project to help trade unions improve their recruitment and organising activities.
The JFC office is in London and all staff speak fluent Spanish and have lived and/or worked in Colombia. Our management committee, which decides what campaigns and projects we will prioritise, is made up of prominent trade union leaders, lawyers and politicians.
The four founding aims of Justice for Colombia are:
- To provide concrete support to trade unions and other civil society organisations in Colombia in their struggle for human rights, trade union rights, democracy, peace and social justice and to promote links between progressive organisations in Britain and Colombia.
- To campaign against the systematic human rights abuses carried out against trade unionists and other civil society activists in Colombia and to highlight the regular collusion between the Colombian state security forces and illegal paramilitary groups and the impunity which the perpetrators benefit from.
- To support and promote a peaceful politically negotiated settlement to the conflict in Colombia and express opposition to foreign military intervention in Colombia.
- To insist that UN and ILO conventions and recommendations are implemented in Colombia in both law and practice.
The President of Justice for Colombia is Brendan Barber, the General Secretary of the British Trades Union Congress (TUC) which represents nearly seven million working people. Brendan was one of the founders of JFC and has visited Colombia.
We have three Vice-Presidents, all of whom have also visited Colombia:
- Tony Lloyd MP, the Member of Parliament for Manchester Central who is also the Chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party and a former Foreign Office Minister;
- Richard Howitt MEP, a Labour Member of the European Parliament representing the East of England who is also the Vice-Chair of the Human Rights Committee of the European Parliament and the Labour European spokesman on Foreign Affairs.
- Frances O’Grady, the Deputy General Secretary of the British Trades Union Congress (TUC)
For more information feel free to contact us.