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Government Support: Colombia
Government Assistance to Victims
The national Government organizes care for victims through the Unit for Comprehensive Victim Support and Reparation, which spearheads the relevant action undertaken by the State and society in order to promote social inclusion and peace. The Unit endeavours to bring the State close to the victims through efficient coordination and transformative activities conducive to the victims' effective participation in the process of their own rehabilitation. The Unit aims at comprehensive attention for the victims in order to ensure that they are, and feel, rehabilitated; and seeks to build the State's capacity to respond to humanitarian emergencies and avoid new violations of human rights.
Armed conflict victims are central to the Unit's work and can therefore access the institutional services available through the Unit and the National System for Comprehensive Victim Support and Reparation (SNARIV) through multiple channels, the goal being comprehensive assistance, care and reparation in the national territory, on the basis of a participatory, differentiated and inclusive approach ensuring dignity, so as to restore the rights of victims, build peace and encourage reconciliation.
Further information on the Unit is available at http://www.unidadvictimas.gov.co/
The Unit has created the School on Reparation so as to develop innovative strategies for training and awareness-raising with a view to action. They contribute significantly to the process of restoring the dignity of the victims of internal armed conflict and ensuring their comprehensive rehabilitation.
The School emerged in 2012 and was designed to train the professional staff of the Directorate for Reparation in implementing the individual comprehensive rehabilitation system throughout the country. The School has developed classroom and distance training methods for the staff of the Unit, various public and private bodies participating in SNARIV and civil society, promoting a psychosocial approach to comprehensive care for and rehabilitation of victims. The approach helps to raise awareness of the rights of conflict victims to an adequate level through information, sensitizing, commitment and training in connection with appropriate action aimed at full rehabilitation of the country's victims. School subjects address rehabilitation for peace, international humanitarian law, human rights, the functioning of institutions, the relevant regulations and transitional justice, action-oriented awareness, and participation of the victims.
Further information on the School and on the classroom and distance training offered is available at http:/escuela.unidadvictimas.gov.co/
Legal Resources available to Victims
The national Government holds that victims are entitled to truth, justice and reparation. These guarantees become effective if the victims can participate in the process so that they may, inter alia, ask questions, provide evidence, report assets of armed groups operating outside the law or their members, provide and receive information, and submit claims for reparation. In order to guarantee that process, the national Government has entrusted the Attorney General's Office to ensure access of the victims of terrorism to the system of criminal justice. Accordingly, that has Office set up a subsection for registering and providing comprehensive assistance and guidance to victims of armed groups operating outside the law.
In addition to paying constant attention to victims, the subsection systematically organizes the following three types of outreach day events:
1. Days of assistance to victims in the framework of the special process of justice and peace;
2. Special assistance to victims of gender-based violence;
3. Psychosocial support for victims in hearings held as part of the special process of justice and peace.
Further information on the subsection and its functions, action and strategic targets, including activity statistics, is available at http:/www.fiscafia.gov.co/ivp/sobre unidad victimas/
Collaboration with other Organisations
(i) Non-governmental organizations and community organizations
In view of the amplitude of the process of comprehensive assistance and reparation to victims that is promoted by the national Government, NGOs and community organizations offer invaluable support for ensuring broadened coverage and multidisciplinary care for victims and for repairing the social fabric.
Linkages and agreements between government bodies and NGOs and community organizations covering various areas of assistance, inter alia medical, social, trade-union, cultural, care and justice matters, have enabled the victims to embark on the process of reparation with the help of relevant entities institutionally endorsed by the State and related organizations.
Such entities include in particular the following:
Further information of the National Reparation and Reconciliation Commission is available at http:/www.ccnco.org/
In that connection, the Christian Church has been active in peace-building through various initiatives, for instance a project promoted by the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA),
To that end, various relevant social and educational institutions and organizations have been mobilized, managing to assemble 300 young victims of conflict in
Further information with respect to the action of YMCA in
(ii) International and/or regional organizations
The Unit for Comprehensive Victim Support and Reparation cooperates with significant partners to strengthen its activities and ensure efficiency and high quality in providing assistance. The Unit's international partners include in particular the following:
• ACDI/VOCA • Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) • Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) • World Bank • International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) • Panamerican Development Foundation (PADF) • German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) • Global Communities - CHF International • Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) • Organization of American States Mission to Support the Peace Process in Colombia (Misión de Apoyo al Proceso de Paz, OAS/ MAPP) • Mercy Corps • United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) • International Organization for Migration (
(iii) Regional and/or multilateral efforts to enhance solidarity with victims of terrorism, and/or support their rehabilitation
The Government of Colombia is committed to all international efforts promoted by all relevant organizations of the United Nations system which deal with assistance to victims of terrorism.
Within the OAS system,
Such intergovernmental organizations as ICRC and
(iv) Additional organizations
• Centro de Memória Histórica: This national public establishment, attached to the Department for Social Welfare (DPS), aims to recover and assemble all documentary material, oral testimonies and any other elements related to the violations referred to in article 147 of the Act on Victims and Land Restitution. The information collected will be made available to interested parties, investigators, researchers and citizens in general, through museum exhibitions and educational or other activities conducive to enriching knowledge of the country's political and social history. The Centre's mission consists in contributing to comprehensive reparation; to the realization of the right to truth, to which the victims and the society as a whole are entitled; and to the fulfilment of the State's duty of preserving memories related to offences committed during the armed conflict, in a peace-building, democratization and reconciliation context. Thus, the Centre shall serve as an instrument for the preservation, statement and awareness of the various memories related to the armed conflict, with priority given to the victims in a spirit of comprehensive rehabilitation, historical elucidation, commitment to non-recurrence and the building of sustainable peace.