The implementation of the peace agreement between the Colombian State and the FARC has meant a significant reduction in violations of children’s rights in the country, according to a document released Monday by the UN.
The fourth report on Children and Armed Conflict in Colombia prepared by the United Nations, which covers the period between mid-2016 and mid-2019, documents a total of 850 serious violations.
The previous report of this type included, in comparison, 2,078 violations, although it covered more time.
“The peace process in Colombia represented a milestone for the integration of provisions for the protection of children affected by the conflict,” Virginia Gamba, the UN special representative for Children and Armed Conflicts, said in a statement.
“I congratulate the Government of Colombia for its strong position for the protection of children affected by the conflict,” Gamba added.
Among other things, the United Nations highlights the measures taken to stop the recruitment of minors by armed groups and the reintegration programs for those who were released as a result of the peace process.
It also considers the progress in terms of accountability by those who used children in the conflict achieved within the special jurisdiction for peace to be encouraging.
“I call on the Government to continue its efforts to protect children and ensure the implementation of the final agreement to ensure that all children who left the ranks of the FARC-EP are effectively reintegrated, taking into account the specific needs of children and girls, “said Gamba.
Despite important advances, the UN recalls that attacks on children’s rights continue to be a problem in Colombia, especially due to the activities of armed groups that are occupying spaces left by the FARC.
In that sense, the report expresses concern about the high number of violations recorded in 2018, approximately half of the total accumulated during the analyzed period.
The organization points out that this upturn was mainly due to competition between armed groups for control of territory.
The most recurring violation of the rights of children remains the recruitment of minors by these groups and attacks against those who abandon them.
Sexual violence also remains a major concern for the UN, which ensures that the cases are surely much more numerous than those documented.