MADRE Presents Report to UN Human Rights Committee on the Situation in Colombia

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Diana Duarte, Media Coordinator (New York): (212) 627-0444; media@madre.org
Lisa Davis, Human Rights Advocacy Director (Geneva): ldavis@madre.org

MADRE Presents Report to UN Human Rights Committee on the Situation in Colombia

NEW YORK - Today, the United Nations Human Rights
Committee will begin its review of the human rights record of the state
of Colombia.  As part of this review process, MADRE will present a
shadow report prepared in conjunction with a coalition of Colombian
human rights organizations to counter the positive assessment offered by
their government.  

This shadow report contains analysis and evidence gathered by the MADRE
sister organizations LIMPAL and Taller de Vida, as well as contributions
by the Colombian organizations CODHES, Humanas and Women's Link
Worldwide.  Using this information, this report will show that
Colombia's decades-long conflict and government policies continue to
generate grave violations of women's human rights.

The report documents the persistent threat of forced displacement and
its disproportionate impacts on Indigenous Peoples and Afro-Colombians,
particularly women.  The report also denounces sexual violence as one of
the primary causes of forced displacement and as a commonly-used weapon
of war, and it condemns violations of women's reproductive rights. 
Women human rights defenders confront distinct dangers due to their
high-profile work to reveal these realities, and this report condemns
the physical violence and threats they face at the hands of the
Colombian government and other armed actors.

Lisa Davis, MADRE Human Rights Advocacy Director, is in Geneva this week
to present this report.  Today, she said, "Colombian human rights
advocates and organizations have been tireless in their efforts to
document and denounce the on-going conflict, harmful government policies
and the human rights violations targeting women.  In response, armed
groups have escalated attacks on women's human rights defenders. 
Because of heightened threats at this time, our partners are not able to
join me in person to testify before the Committee.  This shadow report
reflects their voices that must be heard."

Next week, in New York City, MADRE has also organized an event to
highlight the impact of the Colombian conflict on child soldiers
,
whose recruitment destroys their childhoods.  For more information about
this event, click here.

MADRE has produced a series of talking points for the media on
human rights in Colombia.  

For more information about MADRE's work to
promote women's human rights in Colombia, click here.

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MADRE is an international women's human rights organization that works in partnership with community-based women's organizations worldwide to address issues of health and reproductive rights, economic development, education, and other human rights. MADRE provides resources, training, and support to enable our sister organizations to meet concrete needs in their communities while working to shift the balance of power to promote long-term development and social justice. Since we began in 1983, MADRE has delivered nearly 25 million dollars worth of support to community-based women's organizations in Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, the Balkans, and the United States. For more information about MADRE, visit our website at www.madre.org.

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