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MADRE Presents on Colombia Before the UN Human Rights Committee

Posted on: Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Keywords: Colombia, Peace Building, Human Rights Advocacy, Latin America and the Caribbean, UN

MADRE's Lisa Davis was in Geneva last week for the UN Human Rights Committee's review of Colombia's human rights record. As part of the review process, MADRE presented a shadow report that we wrote with a coalition of Colombian human rights organizations. The report shows that, contrary to the claims of the Colombian government, Colombia's decades-long conflict and government policies continue to generate grave violations of women's human rights.

Other Resources:

Colombia: Report on Violations of Women's Human Rights (English)


MADRE Talking Points: Using International Law to Wage Peace in Colombia

MADRE Talking Points: The Role of the US in Colombia's Conflict


Testimony of a Former Child Soldier in Colombia: One Young Girl's Story

Demanding a Second Chance for Colombia's Children of War

Help Recover a Stolen Childhood


Video: Born Into War - Child Soldiers in Colombia

The report documents the persistent threat of forced displacement and its disproportionate impacts on Indigenous Peoples and Afro-Colombians, particularly women.  The report also denounces sexual violence as one of the primary causes of forced displacement and as a commonly-used weapon of war, and it condemns violations of women's reproductive rights. Women human rights defenders confront distinct dangers due to their high-profile work to reveal these realities, and this report condemns the physical violence and threats they face at the hands of the Colombian government and other armed actors.

The threats to women human rights defenders are so grave that representatives of our sister organizations were unable to attend the hearings for fear of what might happen to them or their families if they dared to speak out before the UN.

The shadow report Lisa presented contains analysis and evidence gathered by the MADRE sister organizations LIMPAL and Taller de Vida, as well as contributions by the Colombian organizations CODHES, Humanas and Women's Link Worldwide.

MADRE was the only organization that briefed the UN Human Rights Committee on violations of women’s human rights and the exploitation of child soldiers in the context of Colombia’s conflict. We were proud to be able to represent the priorities and perpectives of our sister organizations in this way.  

We hope to see the conclusions from the shadow report reflected in the Committee's recommendations, as these recommendations would be an important tool for MADRE and our Colombian sister organizations to continue with advocacy work in Colombia. Backed by the international community in this way, human rights defenders and organizations would be better able to demand the implementation of the recommendations to end human rights abuses in their country.


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