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Cablegate: Ilo Regional Reps Request U.S. Funding For

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS BOGOTA 010447

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELAB PHUM PGOV CO ILO
SUBJECT: ILO REGIONAL REPS REQUEST U.S. FUNDING FOR
COLOMBIA PROGRAMS

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SUMMARY
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1. (U) On October 26, Director of the Andean Subregional
Office for the International Labor Organization J. Ricardo
Hernandez met with Political Counselor to review ILO's
Colombia program and solicit continued U.S. support. The
program has sought to promote dialogue between enterprise and
labor via international forums. The ILO is proposing four
projects that promote labor rights and assist vulnerable
groups, each with an estimated cost of $1 million. Hernandez
said he is seeking financing from countries that have
expressed interest in promoting labor rights, and expects the
ILO to schedule a donor's roundtable on the margins of the
Governing Body session in November in Geneva. End Summary.

--------------------------------------------- ------
PROGRAM EXPANDS ILO ASSISTANCE TO VULNERABLE GROUPS
--------------------------------------------- ------

2. (U) Hernandez explained that the ILO has recommended a
second phase to their Special Program for Colombia, which was
initiated in 2003 and consisted of a series of international
forums aimed at promoting dialogue betwen enterprise and
labor. The second phase would cost $1 million for each
project over two years. The projects include:

--Strengthening worker's rights through promoting the right
to organize and bargain collectively, as well as "increasing
social dialogue";
--Promoting economic opportunities for women heads of
household through microfinance;
--Generating opportunities for displaced and demobilized
youth; and
--Strengthening local government's ability to develop
employment opportunitites.

3. (U) The second phase, according to Hernandez, places a
new emphasis on assisting the most vulnerable subgroups of
Colombian society, such as disenfranchised youth and women,
while maintaining the program's focus on social dialogue and
traditional labor rights. Hernandez explained that the
details are in the final stages of discussion with the
Ministry of Social Protection.

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SOLICITING DONORS
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4. (SBU) Hernandez said the ILO, with the consent of the
GOC, will convene a donor's roundtable in November, inviting
the United States, Germany, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Denmark,
France, and Spain. He commented that during his visit to
Bogota he had met with and received a positive response from
the Spanish and Swedish ambassadors. Hernandez said his visit
with the French Embassy resulted in a lukewarm response to
the projects.

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NEXT STEPS
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5. (U) Rodriguez requested U.S. support for the projects and
also asked that we promote them with other donor country
representatives. Rodriguez said the donor's roundtable would
be finalized soon. The Embassy will forward electronic
copies of the ILO project proposals to WHA/AND and IO/T.
WOOD

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