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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“I am truly grateful for the initiative of the Mali report by Watchlist, a highly respected partner in the area of Children and Armed Conflict. We share the goal of improving the lives of children in Mali, not just in words, but more importantly with deeds.”
Ioannis Vrailas, Deputy Head, EU Delegation to the United Nations