un new colombia govt must address rising
Colombia – As the new government in Colombia is all set to take office next month, the rising violence and instances of human rights violations across the South American country remain a concern. “The incoming administration in Colombia must prioritize tackling rising violence perpetrated by non-State armed groups and criminal organizations in rural areas,” the UN human rights office, OHCHR, said in a report that was published on Tuesday.
The rising violence in Colombia is rendering a horrid and catastrophic impact on people in the rural areas, particularly children, women, Indigenous communities and human rights defenders.
The report by United Nations, that is published in Spanish language, is also calling the government to facilitate reforms in the security sector in Colombia while citing the concerning rise in human rights violations by country’s security forces.
“It is the State’s duty to protect the population from violence, and to do so in a manner respecting international human rights law. This is why we are urging the Government to adopt public policies to efficiently respond to and prevent further violence, in compliance with Colombia’s obligations under international human rights law,” said Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The report added that dismantling the widespread non-State armed groups and criminal organisations affirming their presence in Colombia must be the top priority for the incoming government.
Human rights defenders have been a prime target of the armed groups in Colombia. The UN Human Rights Office in Colombia had confirmed last year about killing of 100 human rights defenders in the country. Furthermore, between this year from 1 January to 30 June, the Office received information of 114 killings of activists, with 22 cases been verified so far. The report revealed how “armed groups and criminal organisations have adopted a variety of tactics to gain control over communities, including by imposing rules and restrictions on movement”.
“I urge the authorities to hear the voices of all sectors of society,” the UN human rights chief said. “The people who live in rural and remote areas have suffered the most from this scourge of violence but are also best placed to help chart a path towards a more peaceful future.”