OECD Reviews of Labour Market and Social Policies: Colombia 2016

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Colombia has made major economic and social advances in recent years. The combination of strong economic growth and policies targeted at the most vulnerable groups improved considerably the living standards of the Colombian population. Today, the country enjoys higher employment and labour force participation rates than the average of OECD countries and unemployment is steadily declining. Nevertheless, despite these positive trends, deep structural problems remain. Labour informality is widespread, the rate of self-employment is high and many employees have non-regular contracts. Income inequality is higher than in any OECD country and redistribution through taxes and benefits is almost negligible. In addition, half a century of internal conflict and violence has displaced a significant part of the population, and many of them are living in extreme poverty. Despite considerable progress, violence continues to be a challenge and also affects trade union members and leaders. The Colombian Government has undertaken important reforms in recent years to address these labour market and social challenges, and the efforts are gradually paying off. However, further progress is needed to enhance the quality of jobs and well-being for all. The main trust of this report is to support the Colombian Government in tackling labour market duality, generate trust between the social partners, develop inclusive and active social policies, and get the most out of international migration.




This volume consists of a background report prepared by the OECD Secretariat to support the Labour Market and Social Policy Review of Colombia, which is currently being undertaken by the OECD Employment, Labour and Social Affairs Committee as part of the process for Colombia’s accession to the OECD [see the Roadmap for the Accession of Colombia to the OECD Convention: C(2013)110/FINAL]. In accordance with paragraph 14 of Colombia’s Accession Roadmap, the Employment, Labour and Social Affairs Committee agreed to declassify the report in its current version and publish it under the authority of the Secretary General, in order to allow a wider audience to become acquainted with the issues raised in the report. The publication of this document and the analysis and recommendations contained therein, do not prejudge in any way the results of the ongoing review of Colombia by the Employment, Labour and Social Affairs Committee as part of its process of accession to the OECD.


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