Brussels, 31st of July, 2013

The civil society organisations Alianza por la Solidaridad, ALOP, APRODEV, CIFCA y GRUPO SUR have closely followed the negotiations of the Association Agreement between the European Union and Central American countries, and have expressed on several occasions our serious concerns over the economic, social and environmental consequences and, in particular, the negative impacts on human rights this Agreement could cause.

We strongly reiterate our recommendations to the European Union and its Member States to: 1. Establish urgent measures to prevent and overcome the possible negative impacts, based on the warnings showed in the social and environmental impacts report mentioned above. 2. Ensure that the EU is acting according to the recommendations of the United Nations in relation to the rights to food, labour, sovereignty in the exploitation of natural resources and of access to informed consultations of indigenous communities prior to the establishment of European investments. 3. Establish monitoring mechanisms and bodies that allow a substantiated revision of the human rights clauses. 4. Adopt a binding normative framework that obliges European companies and their subsidiaries to take responsibility in case of violations of human rights and environmental laws in third countries, and does not allow the import of products related to human rights and environmental rights violations. 5. Ensure the establishment of institutional mechanisms for the effective participation of civil society in the framework of the agreement.

The signatory civil society organisations and their members will continue to monitor the implementation of the commercial pillar of the Association Agreement with the Central American region, in particular the negative effects it could have with regard to the rights to food and labour and to human rights, as well as on the environment.

Related documents:

CSO statement on provisional implementation of the commercial pillar of the Association Agreement with con Honduras, Panama and Nicaragua (PDF / Not yet available)

Reply letter from the European Commission to civil society (PDF / Not yet available)

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