Colombia children’s rights report tells story of persistent abuse

Posted on Aug 27 2014 - 2:53pm by Today News
(Photo: Julian Castro)

A coalition of human rights NGOs presented a shadow report to the United Nations Child Rights Convention on Wednesday, outlining a story of abuse due to Colombia’s ongoing socio-political unrest.

The shadow report, called “No More Stories,” testifies that Colombian children are victims of rape, abuse, forced enlistment into armed groups, and segregation. It is the first report in which children were invited to participate, and provides an alternative to the government.

Three children from Bogota, Medellin, and Cartegena attended Wednesday’s presentation at the center for Peace and Reconciliation to relate their personal stories.

According to the document, “socio-political violence continues to be a major cause of loss of life of children and adolescents” in Colombia, as well as mass displacement and other human rights violations.

The report indicated that recruitment of children by armed groups is “widespread and systematic,” adding that they particularly target schools, either threatening students or offering promises of subsistence-level support.

Whether at the hands of guerrilla groups, paramilitaries, the government, or criminal gangs, Colombia’s children have borne the cost of violence in terms of  hunger, poor health, sexual abuse, racial discrimination, forced recruitment, and labor exploitation.

The Alternative Report on the Implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in Colombia [from] 2006 – 2013 was first delivered in June to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in Geneva, Switzerland.

MORE: Colombia has 2nd highest rate of forced displacement in the world: UN

The report was presented one week after the UN high commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay, touted the UN’s success in Colombia.

“The efforts of the UN to promote human rights and our capacity to create a democratic culture and institutions contributed to the generation of a climate of dialogue and respect.  One achievement worth noting is the early alert system that permits the detection and prevention of violations of human rights.”

Sources

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