Colombia has one of the highest internally displaced populations in the world. In 2009 alone, 280,000 civilians were newly displaced in addition to over 4 million already displaced. Victims of forced displacement leave their homes and families to escape violence, intimidation, and rape from both legal and illegal armed groups. Vulnerable groups such as Afro-Colombians, indigenous communities and women face the greatest consequences of the armed conflict.
In 2004, the Colombian Constitutional Court declared a State of Unconstitutional Affairs and ordered the Colombian government to address the needs and rights of the displaced population. Despite the Constitutional Court’s demands, Colombia’s displacement crisis continues and the Colombian government has yet to implement these orders. The resolution led by Representative Hank Johnson (GA) and 22 other co-sponsors calls on the Government of Colombia to fully implement the Constitutional Court’s orders.
Ms. Sascha Thompson, Rep. Johnson’s aide, stated at a recent WOLA event that “many internally displaced Colombian leaders, who have been brave enough to organize their communities to speak out about their rights and to demand the Colombian authorities to meet its obligations to protect them and restore their lands, have become constant targets of threats against their lives, harassment, additional human rights violations, and extra violence.” These leaders and their families need your help.
Many indigenous groups in Colombia are on the verge of extinction. Afro-Colombians’ livelihoods are threatened by the armed conflict and invasive government policies. The precarious condition of women is exacerbated by gender based violence. Vulnerable populations in Colombia are disproportionately affected by the consequences of the armed conflict and their human rights must be protected.
For further information please contact Anthony Dest at [email protected] or (202) 797-2171.