Colombia’s civilians have been pulled into a decades-long civil war among the government’s forces, paramilitary groups and their successors, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), and the People’s Liberation Army (ELN). During the conflict, girls and boys have been subjected to forced recruitment, rape and sexual violence, killing and maiming, and have been seriously affected by attacks against schools and the denial of humanitarian assistance, according to the 2011 UN Secretary-General’s report on children and armed conflict in Colombia. More than half of an estimated 3.9 – 5.3 million internally displaced people in Colombia are under 18, rendering them even more vulnerable to the threats that caused them to flee their homes in the first place.
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“Watchlist adds strength to our individual ability to advocate for children affected by armed conflict and provides the UN with a unique collective voice from civil society organisations.”
Debra Jones, Director and UN Representative, Save the Children International