While Colombia is known for having adopted one of most progressive political constitutions in the world in 1991 and incorporating international human rights law at the domestic level, a huge gap exists between the formality and reality faced by most Colombians on the ground. Ethnic minorities including Afro-Colombian and indigenous peoples, women and victims face significant challenges of protection and justice.. Lasting change will only be possible if state policies effectively identify and punish perpetrators of human rights abuses, extrajudicial killings are prosecuted, and social leaders and human rights defenders are protected.
WOLA partners with organizations throughout Colombia and abroad to shed light on abuses, dismantle remaining illegal armed groups and their structures, and advocate for policies that uphold the rights of all Colombians. WOLA seeks to amplify the voices of ethnic, women, and LGBT+ rights activists who empower these marginalized groups to demand full recognition of their rights, and works closely with labor leaders to ensure that workers’ rights are respected.