The EU intends to ‘refresh’ its relations with the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries to ‘expand cooperation and build stronger partnerships with Latin America and the Caribbean, grounded on shared values and interests’[1]. SOLIDAR Members have a long record of cooperation with partners in the region, where they work to promote the full realisation of political, civil, economic and social rights through empowering and organising people and collectives at risk of exclusion, discrimination, and harassment. SOLIDAR members consider that the future EU-LAC relations should be based on alternatives aimed at transforming the current unsustainable growth-at-any-cost economic model into a sustainable one, in line with the 2030 Agenda’s motto to “leave no one behind” and to respect planetary boundaries.

 In particular SOLIDAR members

  • Believe that the fight against inequalities and the promotion of human rights – including labour and environmental rights – as well as the support to independent and representative civil society organisations, trade unions, community based organisations and social movements involved – should remain at the centre of future EU-LAC relations.
  • Consider that EU and LAC countries should promote the implementation of the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) international labour standards, such as the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining (ILO C87 and C98) and social protection for all. Moreover, they should work towards the conclusion of a UN legally binding treaty obliging companies to mandatory human rights due diligence.
  • Recall the urgency, for all countries, to elaborate and implement public policies for the protection of human rights defenders and ensure that independent CSOs and trade unions are able to organise and to work freely and safely.
  • Call on the EU and LAC governments to promote a global human rights’ based approach to migration instead of a mere border control and securitarian approach. 
  • Call on the EU and LAC governments to work towards the full achievement of gender equality, and the empowerment of all women and girls. With the regard to the bi-regional dialogue on gender equality and equity it should be operationalised in appropriate public policies and budgets to guarantee the human rights of women, including sexual and reproductive rights.

Check the SOLIDAR Network’s vision for stronger and fairer EU-LAC relations as well as the network’s contribution to the EU-LAC Civil Society Forum jointly organised by CONCORD and MESA de Articulación (7-8 September, San Salvador).

[1] ‘The Global Strategy for the European Union’s Foreign and Security Policy’, June 2016.