Social Watch in Colombia

Colombia, August 28 - The Social Watch Report on Privatizations was considered the subject of the day on today's issue of El Colombiano, the second newspaper of greater circulation at national level.

On August 21, a National Forum on Privatizations and Human Rights took place and was attended by 150 people including authorities, academics, political leaders, and members of social and human rights organizations.

The interest of the media in this subject and in the positions of Social Watch occurs in the middle of the struggle that at the moment the government maintains to try to privatize the national telephone company (TELECOM), sectors of exploration and hydrocarbon operation and great part of the services provided by the Social Security Institute (ISS).

Nowadays the opposition to privatization constitutes one of the reasons for increased social conflicts, political mobilization and a dirty war fought against social and union leaders all over the country. Thus the importance of having placed these debates at the centre of the agenda.

Social Watch Report shows that it can be become an important tool to broaden the public debate around policies that affect poverty and create inequalities. The report also plays an important role in fostering a critical public opinion, committed to demand accountability from the State regarding the population's social rights. Thus, the work with the media allows the Social Watch Report to be used and invoked in order to strengthen social organizations' arguments regarding their fight against policies that affect the conditions of life of society in general and unload the responsibility for the provision of basic social goods in the markets. As they become commodities, these goods begin to lose their nature of inalienable rights accessible to all, regardless of social condition or income level.

The media inform on the Impact of Privatizations regarding poverty growth, and on the Social Watch activities for the promotion of monitoring policies and lobbying the governments with the purpose of achieving poverty eradication and gender equity in the world.