The implementation of the Final Agreement for Ending the Conflict and Building a Stable and Lasting Peace between the Colombian Government and the FARC-EP which contained important child protection provisions contributed to a significant decrease in violations against children, highlighted the fourth report of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC) in Colombia.
Covering the period from 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2019, the report showed that the total number of grave violations dropped to 850 compared to 2,078 for the previous report, despite the period covered a longer timeframe.
“The peace process in Colombia represented a landmark for the integration of provisions for the protection of conflict affected children, which my Office documented in the Practical guidance for mediators to protect children in situations of armed conflict to be published next month. I commend the Government of Colombia for its strong stance for the protection of boys and girls affected by conflict,” said the CAAC Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Virginia Gamba. “Nevertheless, more than 3 years after the signature of the agreement, children continue to be exposed to grave violations as other groups are occupying the space left by the withdrawal of FARC-EP.”
The reporting period’s highest number of violations occurred in 2018 (430), representing half of all verified violations within the reporting period. This upwards trend is a great concern and could be partly the result of an increased competition among armed groups for territorial control, particularly in those areas previously held by the FARC-EP. Insecurity continued to limit verification and humanitarian access in several departments. (...)