Members of the Government do not, by convention, sign any Early Day Motions, as doing so is likely to breach the Ministerial Code’s rules on collective responsibility. However, I share your concern about human rights defenders in Colombia. Over the past year, they have faced increasing levels of threats, intimidation and killings.
I understand that the UK regularly expresses its concerns to the Colombian authorities over the fate of human rights defenders. The UK Embassy in Bogotá funds human rights programmes that help human rights defenders, and the UK works closely with civil society groups to bring individual cases to the Colombian government’s attention.
At a Ministerial level, this Spring, the Minister of State for the Commonwealth and the UN, Lord Ahmad, met with the Colombian High Counsellor for Stabilisation, Emilio Archila, and directly raised the issue of human rights defenders.
I am encouraged that the UK has reaffirmed its unwavering support to the Colombian authorities as they seek to ensure sustainable peace in Colombia. The UK has reiterated the importance of pressing ahead with work to implement the peace agreement in order to consolidate peace and build stability.
At the same time, the UK, alongside international partners, has continued to urge a negotiated end to the conflict.