Today, the United Nations Human Rights Committee will begin its review of the human rights record of the state of Colombia. As part of this review process, MADRE will present a shadow report prepared in conjunction with a coalition of Colombian human rights organizations to counter the positive assessment offered by their government.
This shadow report 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. Using this information, this report will show that Colombia's decades-long conflict and government policies continue to generate grave violations of women's human rights.
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.
Lisa Davis, MADRE Human Rights Advocacy Director, is in Geneva this week to present this report. Today, she said, "Colombian human rights advocates and organizations have been tireless in their efforts to document and denounce the on-going conflict, harmful government policies and the human rights violations targeting women. In response, armed groups have escalated attacks on women's human rights defenders. Because of heightened threats at this time, our partners are not able to join me in person to testify before the Committee. This shadow report reflects their voices that must be heard."
Next week, in New York City, MADRE has also organized an event to highlight the impact of the Colombian conflict on child soldiers, whose recruitment destroys their childhoods. For more information about this event, click here.
MADRE has produced a series of talking points for the media on human rights in Colombia.
* "MADRE Talking Points: Using International Law to Wage Peace in Colombia"
* "MADRE Talking Points: The Role of the US in Colombia's Conflict"