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COALICO urges an agreement to remove children from the conflict

According to monitoring by the NGO coalition COALICO, while hostilities were ongoing in 2013 between FARC-EP, ELN, PDAGs and the Army, at least 136 events were recorded related to the recruitment and use of children in the conflict in 26 of 32 departments. They include 35 civil-military campaigns by public forces; 530 cases of sexual violence against children by armed actors (64 per cent under age 14); 351 children killed, 54 disappeared and two tortured.

Twenty cases were registered against children’s personal freedom, reported as kidnappings, in 2,179 arbitrary detentions by the military in 13 events known as “batidas”. These are against Constitutional Court decision C-879 of 2011, which prohibited these actions.

In 2013 COALICO also registered 129 restrictions on access to basic goods by different armed actors in 20 departments and in Bogotá. There were 132 mass displacement events in 18 departments, in which children continue to be the most vulnerable group. COALICO is especially concerned about the vulnerability of children and adolescents in distant rural areas. Such situations are forgotten and often invisible in these regions, due to a low rate of denunciations and gaps in institutional response.

COALICO hopes that, in a possible peace agreement, the situation of children affected by armed conflict is treated in a way that recognizes the existence of recruitment, sexual violence and other rights violations. COALICO also wishes that accords that lead to an immediate cessation of these actions can be reached, with appropriate verification mechanisms to monitor progress. 

To read the full report in English click here: Monthly Humanitarian Bulletin OCHA Colombia (May 2014)

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