The Human Rights Activity (HRA) works with the Government of Colombia (GOC) and civil society organizations to promote a culture of human rights and to prevent and respond to human rights violations. HRA strengthens the GOC’s capacity to analyze risk, develop effective prevention and protection mechanisms, respond to human rights concerns, and comply with legal responsibilities related to human rights issues. It partners with civil society and the private sector to advance shared human rights priorities, foster dialogue, and provide services to vulnerable populations. HRA works in conflict-affected regions Antioquia, Córdoba, Norte de Santander, Tolima, Cauca, Nariño, Meta, and Caquetá. It runs from April 2016 to April 2022.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, HRA has prioritized addressing gender-based violence (GBV), forced recruitment of minors, and other human rights issues. HRA also strengthens systems to protect social leaders, and to prevent and respond to attacks against them. HRA’s efforts help social leaders continue their important work to build peace, promote licit and inclusive development, and defend the environment.
Promoting a Culture of Human Rights
HRA strengthens the GOC, civil society organizations, and Colombian citizens’ capacities to protect and promote a culture of human rights. The activity emphasizes human rights efforts in conflict-affected rural areas and supports national policies and programs. HRA concentrates on policy reform and peace accord implementation as they relate to the protection of human rights and prevention of human rights violations. Activities include a wide range of public awareness campaigns and training activities tailored for each beneficiary group, including public officials, journalists, human rights defenders, social leaders and students.
Preventing Human Rights Violations
HRA helps the GOC and civil society prevent human rights violations and to respond effectively to these violations when they occur. The activity supports the design and implementation of public policies to improve government and communities’ risk analysis and prevention measure capacities. HRA also helps develop self-protection mechanisms for at-risk communities, civil society organizations and social leaders.
Responding to Human Rights Violations
HRA works with GOC institutions and civil society organizations to address the needs of groups disproportionately affected by human rights violations. These groups, which include social leaders, minority communities and gender-based violence (GBV) victims, have become increasingly vulnerable in the shifting context of the post accord period.
- Trained 30,285 activists and social leaders in human rights topics;
- Supported 43 municipal human rights protection committees;
- Trained 1,313 public officials from 40 municipalities in prevention of human rights violations;
- Strengthened 63 civil society organizations’ capacities to promote human rights and prevent and respond to human rights violations;
- Engaged 1,777 youth through education about human rights and prevention of recruitment and use by armed groups;
- Published 32 pieces of investigative journalism about human rights issues in focus regions;
- Trained 207 prosecutors and investigators from the Colombian Attorney General’s Office (AGO) to classify femicides and threats against human rights defenders and social leaders;
- Advanced 163 cases of violence against activists and 102 cases of GBV through assistance to the Attorney General’s Office;
- Assisted in the development of six departmental human rights policies;
- Trained 6,427 women and 279 LGBT individuals about their rights and available services;
- Supported 34 municipal GBV prevention and response roundtables; and
- Provided legal and psychosocial assistance to 801 GBV victims.