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Abstract: A new law passed by the Colombian government to make reparation to victims of the
armed conflict has implications for the approximately 455,000 Colombians who live
as refugees, asylum-seekers, or in a refugee-like situation outside the country.
Although these vulnerable individuals may be entitled to reparation for human rights
violations suffered in Colombia, the ongoing armed conflict impedes their access to
this offer. This paper investigates the legal and practical implications of offering such
‘transnational’ reparations to externally-displaced victims in circumstances of
protracted armed conflict.
The new Victims’ Law in Colombia provides for wide-ranging reparation measures to
persons who have suffered damages directly as a result of human rights violations or
infractions of international humanitarian law.
Although refugees and other
EDVs do not figure prominently in its provisions, this new legal framework generates
a range of wider questions about the positioning of such persons vis-à-vis the offer of
reparation from their home country, including:
- To what extent does international law require the home state to address the
specific needs of EDVs when designing reparation measures and
- What are the international law implications of home country reparation to
EDVs for third states?
- What is the role of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees – as the international agency mandated with refugee protection
in such processes?
- What does ‘reparation’ mean for refugees and other EDVs, and what are
their needs in this regard?
- What are the political consequences of the often tense border dynamics
that accompany refugee outflows for the implementation of any reparation
measures for EDVs?
By addressing these questions through a Colombian case study, this paper constitutes a
first step towards understanding what the provision of reparation may mean for
refugees and other displaced persons where the circumstances giving rise to their
Abstract: In 2001, Pax Christi Netherlands published a report
about the kidnapping industry in Colombia. Seven years on, and the number of kidnappings
worldwide has risen even more. The crime has lost
nothing of its potency as a cause of human tragedy.
Kidnapping is a serious violation of the most
elementary right of mankind: the right to a dignified
existence. We set out in this report to provide a brief
summary of the kidnapping issue on a global level, in
particular of kidnapping in conflict regions and fragile
states. The questions to be answered are concerned with
the financial and political requirements that the
kidnappers set, and with the impacts of these practices
on the conflict and its perpetuation, and on the
performance of the state.
Following on from the previous report, the emphasis of
this investigation is on kidnapping and extortion in
Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela. Firstly, we wished to
ascertain how the kidnapping issue has developed in
these countries in the past ten years. This raised the
question of whether there was any relationship between
the kidnapping practices in Colombia, and trends in
this crime in the neighbouring countries. Another
primary question regarding Colombia was concerned
with the role of the kidnapping theme in peace talks
and other dialogue between illegal armed groups and
the Colombian government, and with the possible role
of the theme in any future peace talks.
The final chapter investigates the kidnapping-related
policies of the EU member states, and as far as possible
we compare their policies with their actions in practice
in recent years. The main question is whether there is
any European consensus on how to deal with
kidnapping, and how to suppress the phenomenon.
What obstacles are there to a joint approach to the
Abstract: Deeply entrenched connections between criminal and political actors are a major obstacle to conflict resolution in Colombia. Illegal armed groups seek to consolidate and expand their holds over local governments in the October 2011 governorship, mayoral, departmental assembly and municipal council elections. The national government appears more willing and better prepared than in the past to curb the influence of illegal actors on the elections, but the challenges remain huge. The high number of killed prospective candidates bodes ill for the campaign, suggesting that the decade-old trend of decreasing electoral violence could be reversed. There are substantial risks that a variety of additional means, including intimidation and illegal money, will be used to influence outcomes. The government must rigorously implement additional measures to protect candidates and shield the electoral process against criminal infiltration, corruption and fraud. Failure to mitigate these risks would mean in many places four more years of poor local governance, high levels of corruption and enduring violence.
Decentralisation in the 1980s and 1990s greatly increased the tasks and the resources of local government, but in many municipalities, capabilities failed to keep pace. This mismatch made local governments increasingly attractive targets for both guerrillas and paramilitaries. Violence against candidates, local office holders and political and social activists soared. With a largely hostile attitude to local governments, guerrillas have mainly concentrated on sabotaging and disturbing the electoral process. By contrast, paramilitary groups, particularly after the formation of a national structure under the United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia (AUC), used their links with economic and political elites to infiltrate local governments and capture public resources. That peaked in the 2003 local elections. Since then, and particularly after the official demobilisation of these groups in 2006, the influence politicians linked to paramilitaries enjoyed has weakened but not disappeared.
Abstract: This paper seeks to do three things. First, it provides an analysis of the
current economic dynamics of the armed conflict in Colombia, with a
special focus on the drug trade and extractive industries. Secondly, it
examines theories of political economies of war and free trade, and
considers the implications of the new economic dynamics of the armed
conflict in Colombia for peacebuilding initiatives. Thirdly, the paper
makes some preliminary recommendations for further Canadian
involvement in Colombia and relates them to Canadian foreign policy
objectives in the region, particularly the advancement of human rights and
greater economic engagement through bilateral trade agreements.
Ultimately, this paper argues that an unbalanced agenda favouring trade
and economic development over human and social development
initiatives will not create the conditions for peacebuilding in Colombia.
Four prominent aspects of the Colombian context inform the
recommendations of this paper:
• The Colombian armed conflict is changing, it is not necessarily
• The drug economy is fuelling a significant portion of the violence
that ravages the country today, although it is not the only element
prolonging the armed conflict. Licit economic activities also play an
important role in direct and indirect participation in the violence;
• Without directed investment in social infrastructure greater trade
liberalizationand lack of market protection may drive more small-scale
farmers towards coca production or participation in armed groups, which
enables and fuels armed violence.
• Human security is currently one of the greatest challenges facing
Colombia, given the continuing armed conflict, the humanitarian crisis of
internal displacement, and ongoing structural violence.
Abstract: Canadian foreign direct investment in Colombia has
grown consistently since the 1990s, particularly in
telecommunications, mining, and fossil fuel extraction.
Canadian mining and oil companies are major players in
Despite a concerted public relations campaign by
the Colombian government, Colombia continues to suffer
widespread human rights abuses, including extrajudicial
executions, disappearances, extortion, and threats.
Control over land, labour, and natural resources are
integral to the war and violence in Colombia, and the
past few decades have seen massive displacement and
murder for political and economic ends. Striking correlations
have been observed between where investment –
both domestic and foreign – takes place and rights abuses,
ranging from murder and massacres and related massive
land and property theft to violations of the rights to
freedom of movement and to a healthy environment.
Human rights violations are linked to efforts by
those behind Colombia’s murderous paramilitaries to
create conditions for investment from which they are
positioned to benefit. There are also ongoing relations
between the paramilitary forces and all levels of government
and the armed forces, up to the highest officials,
and there are clear indications that political cover for
such human rights abuses and crimes will continue.
Abstract: While the world’s attention often gravitates to the latest emergency situation, we are acutely aware that
most of the world’s internally displaced persons (IDPs) live in protracted displacement. Displacement
drags on, sometimes for years or decades, because of continuing conflict, because peace processes are
stalled, or because political settlements fail to provide the necessary security and support for the displaced to find solutions.
The 2nd Expert Seminar on Protracted Internal Displacement was held in Geneva from 19-20 January 2011 on the theme of “IDPs in protracted displacement: Is local integration a solution?” Around 100 participants discussed challenges and possibilities of local integration in diverse protracted displacement situations over the course of the two days.
This publication includes the six case studies commissioned for the seminar as well as an introductory essay which
explores the common themes emerging from the studies on protracted displacement and local integration. By focusing on the possibilities and challenges of local integration in protracted displacement, we hope that these
six case studies lead to better understanding—and to concrete actions—which will bring an end to internal displacement
which has gone on for far too long in these six countries and in many others.
Abstract: Colombia currently accounts for the vast bulk of cocaine produced in
Latin America. In 2009, the country produced 270 metric tons (MT)
of cocaine, making it the principal supplier for both the United States
and the worldwide market. Besides Colombia, Peru and Bolivia constitute
two additional important sources of cocaine in Latin America.
In 2009, these two countries generated enough base material to respectively
yield 225 and 195 MT of refined product.
Between 60 and 65 percent of all Latin American cocaine is trafficked
to the United States, the bulk of which is smuggled via the eastern
Pacific/Central American corridor. The remainder is sent through
the Caribbean island chain, with the Dominican Republic, Puerto
Rico, and Haiti acting as the main transshipment hubs. In both cases,
Mexico serves as the main point of entry to mainland America, presently
accounting for the vast majority of all illicit drug imports to the
Abstract: Since 1985, between 3,300,000 and 4,900,000 Colombians have become internally displaced due to conflict. Displacement has caused the abandonment of an estimated 5.5 million hectares or roughly 5% of Colombian territory. President Juan Manuel Santos has pledged to redress this situation through the approval of a land restoration bill that is currently being debated in the legislature. Even if finally approved, effectively implementing the bill is bound to be an arduous task. As this paper will argue, fulfilling President Santos’ promise will necessarily face an array of hurdles, most notably the existence of an unresolved conflict. Indeed, the fact that violence in Colombia has not ceased and that irreconcilable interests still exist around the use of land may result in the non-viability of restoration policies. Restoration, in turn, could contribute to breaking the stalemate that Colombia has found itself in for decades through the consolidation of state power in areas traditionally under the control of the armed groups.
Abstract: Transnational criminal organizations, networks, and terrorist groups are increasingly helping each other move products, money, weapons, personnel, and goods. They accomplish this through an informal network or series of overlapping pipelines. These pipelines can be best understood as recombinant chains with links that can couple and decouple as necessary to meet the interests of the networks involved. Many operate in “alternatively governed” spaces outside of direct state control or within criminal state enterprises. A criminal state counts on the integration of the state's leadership into the criminal enterprise and the use of public services—such as licensing, issuance of official documents, regulatory regimes, border control—for illicit purposes. A further variation of the criminal state occurs when a state franchises part of its territory to nonstate groups, with the protection of the central government or a regional power sharing the profits. The author shows that understanding and addressing these threats requires capacity-building in human intelligence collection and prosecuting transnational criminal organizations.
Abstract: Most of the world’s 27.5 million internally displaced people
(IDPs) live in protracted displacement. These are
situations where the process for finding durable solutions
is stalled, and/or where IDPs are marginalised
as a consequence of violations or a lack of protection
of their human rights, including economic, social and
cultural rights.1 Solutions are absent or have failed and
IDPs remain disadvantaged and unable to fully enjoy
The seminar brought together about 100 participants
from around the world, from a range of backgrounds
and organisations. They included representatives of
governments and civil society organisations in countries
with protracted internal displacement, international
humanitarian and development organisations (including
UN agencies) donors, research organisations, academics
and other experts. The Chatham House Rule was in
effect during the meeting to allow participants to speak
The seminar focused on the experiences of six countries
with protracted internal displacement – Burundi,
Colombia, Georgia, Serbia, southern Sudan and Uganda.
For each country field research was commissioned and
the resulting case studies were distributed before the
seminar. Other background materials circulated to participants
included an overview of local integration of
IDPs in protracted displacement and reference materials
relating to durable solutions.
Abstract: Crisis Watch summarises briefly developments during the previous month in some 70 situations of current or potential conflict, listed alphabetically by region, providing references and links to more detailed information sources (all references mentioned are hyperlinked in the electronic version of this bulletin); assesses whether the overall situation in each case has, during the previous month, significantly deteriorated, significantly improved, or on balance remained more or less unchanged; alerts readers to situations where, in the coming month, there is a particular risk of new or significantly escalated conflict, or a particular conflict resolution opportunity (noting that in some instances there may in fact be both); and summarises Crisis Group’s reports and briefing papers that have been published in the last month.
Amid mounting tensions between North and South Sudan over the disputed border area of Abyei, clashes broke out between the two sides at the beginning of the month. Northern Sudanese forces invaded Abyei on 20 May and asserted control in breach of existing peace agreements. Tens of thousands are reported to have fled south. The attacks threaten renewed conflict and weaken confidence between North and South as critical post-referendum arrangements remain unresolved.
Tensions also increased over military control and the presence of armed forces in the transitional areas of Blue Nile and South Kordofan, and CrisisWatch identifies a conflict risk alert for North Sudan for the coming month.
Violence escalated further in Yemen, where military forces loyal to President Saleh battled on several fronts, renewing fears that the continued political stalemate could erupt into civil war.
President Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syria continued to use troops and tanks to violently suppress the ongoing revolt, with hundreds of protesters feared killed, thousands detained, and widespread reports of torture.
In Pakistan, the U.S. killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad at the beginning of the month again raised questions about the military's possible involvement with jihadist groups.
Local elections in Albania on 8 May proved even more troubled than anticipated as the race for the Tirana mayor's seat ended deep within the margin of error.
In Guatemala, the Mexican Los Zetas cartel killed and decapitated 27 farm workers in the northern Petén department.
In Serbia, war crimes fugitive Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serb military leader accused of commanding the Srebrenica massacre and the siege of Sarajevo during the 1992-95 Bosnian war, was arrested after 16 years on the run. He was extradited to The Hague, where he will stand trial for genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.
Abstract: Russia and Mexico, two of the world’s most murderous countries for the press, are heading in different directions in combating deadly anti-press violence, the Committee to Protect Journalists has found in its newly updated Impunity Index. The index, which calculates unsolved journalist murders as a percentage of each country’s population, found improvement in Russia as journalist murders ebbed and prosecutors obtained two high-profile convictions. But deadly anti-press violence continued to climb in Mexico, where authorities appear powerless in bringing killers to justice.
Colombia continued a years-long pattern of improvement, CPJ’s index found, while conditions in Bangladesh reflected a slight upturn. But the countries at the top of the index—Iraq, Somalia, and the Philippines—showed either no improvement or even worsening records. Iraq, with an impunity rating three times worse than that of any other nation, is ranked first for the fourth straight year. Although crossfire and other conflict-related deaths have dropped in Iraq in recent years, the targeted killings of journalists spiked in 2010.
“The findings of the 2011 Impunity Index lay bare the stark choices that governments face: Either address the issue of violence against journalists head-on or see murders continue and self-censorship spread,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. “Convictions in Russia are a hopeful sign after years of indifference and denial. But Mexico’s situation is deeply troubling, with violence spiking as the government promises action but fails to deliver.”
CPJ’s annual Impunity Index, first published in 2008, identifies countries where journalists are murdered regularly and governments fail to solve the crimes. For this latest index, CPJ examined journalist murders that occurred between January 1, 2001 through December 31, 2010, and that remain unsolved. Only the 13 nations with five or more unsolved cases are included on the index. Cases are considered unsolved when no convictions have been obtained.
Impunity is a key indicator in assessing levels of press freedom and free expression in nations worldwide. CPJ research shows that deadly, unpunished violence against journalists often leads to vast self-censorship in the rest of the press corps. From Somalia to Mexico, CPJ has found that journalists avoid sensitive topics, leave the profession, or flee their homeland to escape violent retribution.
Abstract: Via Resolutions 1325 (2000), 1820 (2008) and
1889 (2009), the United Nations Security
Council has strongly promoted the collection
of data about wartime sexual violence and other issues
related to gender equality in situations of armed
conflict. The resolutions do not fully appreciate the
size of the task laid out. Sexual violence, in wartime or
in peacetime, is among the most notoriously difficult
forms of violence to measure. A data mandate that
does not point the way toward data quality leaves
policy-makers in the dark as they seek to prevent or
mitigate sexual violence, to punish perpetrators, or
to make reparations to victims. Worse, poor-quality
data on sexual violence may give a false impression of
specificity and reliability, leading to incorrect policy
assessments, misallocation of resources, and other
outcomes that are assuredly not in line with the United
Nations’ goals on this issue.
This report addresses the challenges of sexual violence
measurement in a specific context: Colombia’s ongoing
internal armed conflict. After discussing in depth the
difficulties faced by researchers attempting to measure
sexual violence around the world, the report addresses
several Colombian data collection efforts more specifically.
Both governmental and non-governmental
data sources are considered; more importantly, the
authors outline several key cultural and political issues
affecting sexual violence data collection in Colombia.
In particular, the research team found, sexual violence
reporting procedures in Colombia are fragmented and
incomplete. Sexual violence is frequently viewed as a
domestic violence or criminal justice issue; it is seldom
considered as a phenomenon in its own right, or as an
outcome associated with armed conflict.
Abstract: Criminal violence has taken on epidemic proportions in several Latin American countries. While the violence has complex causes and expressions, a major reason behind the current surge in levels is the strengthening of transnational criminal organisations (TCOs), most of which are based on illicit drug trafficking. TCOs have fuelled a deepening of multi-faceted state crises, which in some cases may be characterised as the “criminalisation of the state”. The seminar on which this report is based focused on the causes of this wave of violence and policy responses at different levels.
The main conclusion from the seminar was that, while US policy includes an array of measures, it is still heavily focused on military assistance and a “supply-side” approach to curbing the flow of drugs and other illicit goods into the US. National responses have in many cases mirrored this approach, focusing on strengthening police controls and in some cases deploying military forces. Regional responses have so far proven weak, yet there are important initiatives in the pipeline. The idea of an alternative agenda is also gaining support both nationally and regionally. This includes measures to decriminalise the production and possession of soft drugs, bolster police and judicial reform, and focus on treatment and finding alternative livelihoods for growers.
Abstract: Lowy Institute Research Fellow Fergus Hanson writes for ISN Insights that Twitter may be just another way of sharing inane chatter, but if you have written the service off, think again. Social media has emerged as a powerful new tool in international relations, and it deserves closer attention.
Abstract: For more than six decades Colombia has endured one the longest armed conflicts in the world.
Land concentration and usurpation, severe social inequalities, and the geostrategic control of
territories for drug smuggling, among others, continue to be the main reasons for the initiation
and continuation of the conflict. The armed confrontation between different actors: the armed forces,
paramilitaries, and guerrillas, and the impacts on civil society have produced grave human rights violations
and violations of international humanitarian law, including sexual violence against women.
The different types of violence against women in Colombia continue and are exacerbated in the context
of the armed conflict. Therefore, to know the magnitude of the different types of violence against women
and their links to the armed conflict becomes an unavoidable challenge in seeking alternatives for its
eradication. The present research therefore seeks to establish solid statistics, bring public attention to
the plight of women victims of violence, and urge the Colombian government and the international
community to take concrete and effective measures to prevent and eliminate this type of violence and
overcome the high levels of impunity for this crime.
Abstract: The most dangerous threat to the United States and its allies in the Western Hemisphere is the growth of powerful transnational criminal organizations in Mexico and Central America, according to the authors of Security Through Partnership: Fighting Transnational Cartels in the Western Hemisphere. In this policy brief, authors Bob Killebrew and Matthew Irvine write that increased regional cooperation – which has been a topic of President Obama’s Latin America tour – is needed to combat the growing violence and instability in the Western Hemisphere.
Killebrew and Irvine recommend that the United States and its regional partners:
• Prioritize attacking cartels: While mitigating the effects of illegal drugs is an important policy issue in the concerned countries, the United States and its regional partners should target the cartel networks throughout the region as the primary threat.
• Work regionally: The United States and its partners stand the best chance of securing the region against the most dangerous cartels by deploying a regional security strategy, rather than directing efforts to just one area, one border or one country.
Abstract: The Portfolio of Mine Action Projects is a resource tool and reference document for donors, policy-makers, advocates, and national and international mine action implementers. The country and territory-specific proposals in the portfolio reflect strategic responses developed in the field to address all aspects of the problem of landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW). This country and territory-based approach aims to present as comprehensive a picture as possible of the full range of mine action needs in particular countries and thematic issues related to mine action. The portfolio ideally reflects projects developed by mine- and ERW-affected countries and territories based on their priorities and strategies; the approaches are endorsed by national authorities. The portfolio does not automatically entail full-scale direct mine action assistance by the United Nations, but is in essence a tool for collaborative resource mobilization, coordination and planning of mine action activities involving partners and stakeholders. A country portfolio coordinator (CPC) leads each country portfolio team and coordinates the submission of proposals to the portfolio’s headquarters team. While the majority of the CPCs are UN officials, this role is increasingly being assumed by national authorities. The country portfolio teams include representatives from national and local authorities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the United Nations and the private sector. Locally based donor representatives are invited to attend preparation meetings. Each portfolio chapter contains a synopsis of the scope of the landmine and ERW problem, a description of how mine action is coordinated, and a snapshot of local mine action strategies. Many of the strategies complement or are integrated into broader development and humanitarian frameworks such as national development plans, the UN development assistance frameworks and national poverty reduction plans. This 14th edition of the annual Portfolio of Mine Action Projects features overviews and project outlines for 29 countries, territories or missions affected by landmines and explosive remnants of war. There are 238 projects in the 2011 portfolio. Africa accounts for the largest number: 92.
Abstract: Latin American history shows that the work of journalists
has frequently placed them in danger—but the nature of
the danger has changed over time. From 1960 to 1980,
independent journalism was threatened by military regimes
whose goals were to hide information from the public and
to overtly censor the media. While a return to democracy has
brought with it a greater flow of information, the holdover of
laws inhibiting free speech and the enduring culture of secrecy
has kept many journalists from covering malfeasance by those
Recently, journalism in Latin America is again threatened by
criminal interests. In countries such as Mexico and Colombia,
violence against journalists and the impunity enjoyed by the
perpetrators of these crimes remain a daunting challenge.
According to the Inter American Press Association and the
Bogotá-based Press Freedom Foundation, between 1987 and
2008 over 120 journalists were murdered in Colombia. The
OAS Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression reports that
of 31 Colombian journalists murdered from 1998 to 2005 for
reasons tied to their profession, only six cases have gone to
trial. Fully 80 percent of investigations have been shelved or
dismissed for lack of evidence, and not one intellectual author
of these crimes has been convicted.
Abstract: Poor conflict-affected countries tend to have large numbers of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and, in at least some cases, large numbers of refugees. But the figures should be treated with caution; in some cases, such as Angola and Sierra Leone, governments simply decided that there are no longer IDPs, even if in fact many of those displaced by the conflicts have yet to find durable solutions. It is important to note that displacement is not confined to poor conflict affected states, but it is also a characteristic of some middle income countries, some of which have stable governments, such as Georgia, Colombia, Azerbaijan, Syria and Turkey.
This report was prepared for the Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2011. It explores patterns of displacement and the linkages between armed conflict and education. Some recommendations include:
• That UN agencies and civil society organizations provide necessary technical support to governments to adopt the necessary laws and policies to ensure that IDPs and refugees have access to education.
• That UN agencies, NGOs and bilateral donors ensure that programs developed to provide education to IDPs and refugees take into consideration the broader context of DACs, for example in ensuring that host and return communities are supported in their efforts to provide educational opportunities to the displaced or returnees.
• That GMR highlight the importance of humanitarian and development actors working together to develop ways to re-establish educational systems in post-conflict settings.
Abstract: This policy brief offers eight targeted policy recommendations for combating the convergence of terrorism, crime, and politics. Rather than simply warning about the potential for interaction and synergy among terrorist, criminal, and political actors, this policy brief aims to explore possibilities for exploiting their divergences. In particular, it emphasizes the need to grapple with the economic, political, and combat power that some terrorist groups enjoy through their involvement in crime and conflict.
Abstract: This paper will analyze some aspects about impact of international
cooperation in security sector reform in three countries located in different continents and with
different historical realities. These countries were selected because their local experiences could show
us several elements about how international donors have acted and how local societies have assumed
this help. The first two countries are East Timor and Liberia, these societies are living under a statebuilding
process - and even a nation-building process - after a several years of internal war related
with particular local and international elements. On the other hand, I chose Colombia. Although this
country currently is suffering an internal conflict I consider very important to study a conflict society
with post conflict societies, this academic exercise could be useful to learn about advantages and
disadvantages of international cooperation in a broadly perspective, not only in peaceful settings but
also in societies ‘under fire’ as Colombian.
Abstract: This paper proposes a framework for the study of the role of armies in elite bargaining and state building. The author accepts that the institutionalisation of the army and its subordination to the political elite has proved a successful path for most western democracies, but argues that this same path may not be attractive or feasible for ruling elites in every circumstance, particularly in fragile or developmental states. The paper describes a range of alternative approaches and highlights the trade-offs implicit in each of them. In particular, it focuses on the incorporation of armies to the elite bargain as the
main alternative. The hypothesis which we tested in our series of case studies is that in
contexts of state formation and in the early stages of state building, the integration of the army
into a country’s elite bargain is a key factor in preventing military interventions. The author draws on examples from a wide range of countries studied during the Centre's second phase of work, including Afghanistan, Colombia, DRCongo, Pakistan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
Abstract: This report covers the period from January
2008 until June 2010, and attempts to distill the
information Geneva Call and its numerous local
partners have collected on humanitarian mine
action in areas where the organization works,
specifically in locations where armed NSAs that
have signed the Deed of Commitment operate.
As such, the reader will find information on
landmine issues in parts of the world that do not
often get much attention.
Cognizant also of the fact that each of Geneva
Call’s signatories to the Deed of Commitment
was once a non-signatory, it is useful to examine
examples of armed NSAs Geneva Call currently
engages and whose position concerning AP
mines is evolving.
In each of the cases presented below,
NSAs, though not yet willing to commit to
the mine ban, are actively involved in humanitarian
mine action in some form, at times
independently, at others with the assistance
of international mine action agencies.
Abstract: Colombia’s long-standing internal armed conflict and the human rights abuses perpetrated by
combatants and illegal armed groups had by 2010 caused the displacement of 3.4 million people
according to the government, and over 4.9 million people according to the reliable non-governmental
Observatory on Human Rights and Displacement (CODHES).
According to CODHES, 280,000 people were newly displaced in 2009. The government registered
only 120,000 people as internally displaced people (IDPs) during the year. Addressing the problem
of under-registration is fundamental to IDP protection, as it has been shown that non-registered
IDPs face a more precarious situation.
Direct threats, sexual violence, restrictions on free movement, and forced recruitment continue
to threaten the civilian population’s physical security, driving people into displacement. Minority
ethnic groups including indigenous people and Afro-Colombians continue to be particularly
affected. IDPs have also faced precarious physical security in their areas of displacement: the
government reported that in the first six months of 2010, 266 IDPs were killed.
A new president took office in August 2010, whose promotion of “national unity” has reportedly
created a new opportunity for possible eventual resolution of the conflict. The government of
Juan Manuel Santos signaled its recognition of the rights of internally displaced people (IDPs) by
introducing a land restitution bill to Congress in September 2010.