I am writing in my capacity as Chair of the Regional International Relations Committee to ask for support from all branches in the South East region.
Nick MacWilliam from Justice For Colombia (JFC) attended our committee’s last meeting to update us on the current situation in Colombia.
As you will be aware, Colombia remains the most dangerous place in the world to be a social activist or trade unionist.
During January 2020, every 18 hours an activist was murdered in Colombia – more than one a day. Although the peace process between the Colombian Government and the FARC is in place, it is clearly not working!
JFC was set up in 2002 by the British union movement to support Colombian civil society in its struggle for human rights, labour rights, peace and social justice.
JFC promotes links of solidarity between British and Irish trade unions and organisations in Colombia and gives a political voice internationally to Colombian civil society through their work in the British, Irish and EU Parliaments.
JFC also works closely with Parliamentary Friends of Colombia – a multi-party group of over 60 MPs in Westminster.
The majority of JFC funding comes from the British trade union movement, by means of affiliation at a branch, regional and national level. Some of their funding comes from specialist labour law firms and donations from individuals.
We can all help to support the fantastic work JFC undertake by branches affiliating to JFC.
Given that there are 109 UNISON branches in the South East Region, the Committee was saddened to learn that only 5 branches currently affiliate to JFC.
I would like to urge all branches to consider affiliating to JFC to ensure their work can continue.
Supporting JFC is one of the UNISON’s national international relations priorities.
Please look at the JFC website where you will find further information on the work JFC do, and how you can support them through affiliation.
I would also like to encourage BIROs to consider nominating themselves for the Regional International Relations Committee – we would welcome new members!
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
Yours in solidarity
Chair | Regional International Relations Committee