Colombia projects strengthen post-conflict justice, rural media, women’s rights

An UNDEF project in Colombia empowers communities impacted by armed conflict to access justice, by documenting serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law; presenting the findings to the Special Jurisdiction for Peace and the Truth Commission; and providing legal assistance to restore the rights of victims of forced displacement and dispossession. Implemented by Corporación Jurídica Yira Castro, the project has led to seven judicial sentences recognizing the fundamental right to land restitution, seven land restitution rulings in individual cases, three protection actions favorable to the victims, and a range of protection measures for women victims in Magdalena and Cundinamarca.

UNDEF Project Officer Jaime Palacios visited the project in November 2021, as well as two other UNDEF projects in Colombia:

One works to strengthen local news in rural areas while encouraging civic participation and debate. It builds on an earlier UNDEF Colombia project that established journalism labs in Cesar and Tolima, which are now being expanded to the regions of Cauca, Chocó, Magdalena, and Valle del Cauca, bringing media and digital literacy training programmes to community leaders and groups, women and young people. Through support for local content production and communication, the project ensures at least one monthly product on local issues. An experimental media and digital literacy programme for local schools has been established to embed trainings in the educational system. The initiative is implemented by Fundación para la Libertad de Prensa, FLIP.

Another project, currently under development, will work for the rights of women affected by violence and the Covid-19 pandemic -- strengthening the capacity of women’s organizations and their ability to press for better policies and services through negotiations with local authorities and political candidates. Implemented by Corporación Casa de La Mujer, the project will build employers’ and authorities’ awareness of and compliance with Article 23 of Law 1257/2008, which works through business tax exemptions to facilitate access to employment for women survivors of political and domestic violence.