Conectando Caminos por los Derechos (CCD) is funded by the United States Agency for International Development under the Human Rights Support Mechanism. The project is implemented by a consortium led by Pact that includes the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative, Freedom House and Internews. The program supports Colombia’s efforts to prevent and respond to human rights violations, particularly among Venezuelan migrants, Colombian returnees and receptor communities, with the aim of increasing community cohesion and citizen security. CCD works with government and civil society to address labor exploitation, sexual exploitation, forced recruitment, human trafficking, forced disappearance, and gender-based violence among vulnerable populations in Colombia’s communities, including women, children and youth, indigenous persons, people of African descent, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people. The four-year program prevents and responds to human rights violations, strengthens human rights protection systems, and rapidly responds to changing human rights circumstances and needs in the context of mixed migration flows.
This project is empowering women, girls and their families and communities by providing them with a better understanding of labor rights and improved access to labor and social protections. In partnership with Escuela Nacional Sindical (ENS), Pact works with the Colombian government, private sector and civil society organizations to reduce the vulnerability of women and girls to labor violations in the cut flower and panela sectors, and is increasing job training and economic opportunities for more than 2,000 women and girls.
The Strengthening the Capacity of Indigenous Organizations in the Amazon project, or SCIOA, is increasing indigenous people's influence in the governance of the Amazon region in order to protect the region's environment and the rights of its indigenous people. As part of USAID's Human Rights Support Mechanism, the project is reducing the negative impacts of economic development, including infrastructure projects and extractive activities, on Amazon forests and water resources. Through evidence-based programming, an emphasis on learning by doing and adapted, culturally relevant capacity development tools, Pact is building the capacities of indigenous organizations to access and manage financial resources and take ownership of their own development planning and priorities in the Amazon rainforest of Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Suriname, Guyana and Ecuador.
In Colombia's Bajo Cauca and South Bolivar regions, where gold mining is a critical livelihood, Pact leads the Pilares project in partnership with the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) to improve capacities of civil society to better understand and address child labor and promote acceptable conditions of work in the artisanal and small-scale gold mining sector. Through a collective impact approach, Pact enables the development of a flourishing system of interconnected civil society actors and supports actions for the rights of children and workers.
From 2013 to 2021, Somos Tesoro—We are Treasure—worked to strategically reduce child labor in Colombian mining areas and improve health and safety in artisanal and small-scale mines. With its local partners, Alliance for Responsible Mining, Fondo Acción and Fundación Mi Sangre, Pact used an integrated approach, addressing the many factors that lead to child labor, including economic instability, challenges in implementing public policies favoring child protection, and a lack of quality education in rural mining areas. The project focused on two geographic areas where families rely on mining for their livelihoods: the coal mining communities of Boyacá and the gold mining communities of Antioquia. Somos Tesoro decreased the numbers of children working in mines and benefited thousands of households. In addition to benefitting children and families vulnerable to child labor, the program helped adult miners, teachers, educational institutions and local government. Somos Tesoro worked to strengthen schools, promote greater economic stability in mining families, apply labor and mining health and safety standards, strengthen child protection policies and formalize artisanal mining in the two mining regions. The project developed a comprehensive livelihoods program, including savings and microfinance and increased opportunities to generate income and assets. Learn more at somostesoro.org.