A Citizens’ Pact to Strengthen Public Management and Active Citizenship in Puerto Tejada, Cauca
Increasing awareness, Stimulating Appropriation
Methodological booklet for action and reflection on the Charter
Presentation of the Charter to Colombian officers, May 2008
The Charter of Human responsibilities in Colombia: a strategy for empowering civil society
The International Congress of Bogota: Focus on the Charter of Human Responsibilities
Objectives and strategies
The Charter of Responsibilities must enable civil society to develop its own capacity for organisational and institutional empowerment and change stereotypes of political action that have existed up until now. Civil society must, in fact, contribute to the creation of a new type of governance by, for instance, reinforcing mechanisms of control over the communication media and over the activities of local, regional, national and supranational authorities, private companies and social movements in regards to issues of major importance such as health, education, the environment, justice and peace.
Drug-trafficking, war, poverty and violence are ever-present problems. Although there is no short-term solution for them, it is essential that over the medium and long term they are approached from different perspectives and standpoints, such as that based on the notion of responsibility. In reality, other than being political, economic and social problems, they reveal a profound ethical crisis reflected by attitudes of impunity, depreciation and contempt concerning human and political rights, insufficient opportunities, intolerance, discrimination and inequality. In addition to the overexploitation of people and of the environment, these key issues should be looked at as a whole in an inherent reflection over power practices, moral and ethical referents and finally, citizen action itself.
In order to go further into this fundamental issue, the CINEP set up a specific work team entitled: citizenship, rights and responsibilities. It aims to promote and develop active social citizenship based on an integral perspective of human rights and responsibilities through education, with a focus on accountability and political impact on the public.
We are thus counting on this team and its specific work on responsibility to take up this challenge. Three strategies have been defined:
Objectives, social sectors and processes encompassed by the initiative
Since the initiative began in 2003, we have achieved much better results than expected. We in fact designed and based the project around the diffusion of the Charter but it ended up being oriented much more around the building and rebuilding of ethical parameters. These will definitely form a solid basis for designing guiding principles for the conception and implementation of citizen changes needed to succeed in creating a more just and united democracy, while considering the challenge of putting values into practice.