Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia-Ejército del Pueblo (FARC-EP) dissident groups and Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN) are listed in the annexes of the Secretary-General’s (SG) 2023 annual report (S/2023/363) on children and armed conflict (CAAC) for recruiting and using children in Colombia. In October, the mandate of the UN’s Verification Mission is up for renewal, per SCR 2655 (2022). According to the SG’s July report on the Verification Mission (S/2023/477), the Investigation and Accusation Unit of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace reported a “48 percent reduction in confrontations between illegal armed groups and the public security forces between January and 30 April, compared with the same period in 2022.” However, the Unit also reported an increase of child recruitment and use in the first four months of 2023. The SG’s report also noted that the National Reintegration Council’s technical working group on children resumed implementation of the action plan for the program “A different path of life,” and is working on the inclusion of a child protection approach within the comprehensive reintegration program. The Security Council should:

  • Demand that all armed groups, in particular the ELN and FARC-EP dissidents, immediately release all children under 18 from their ranks and prevent and end all child recruitment, use, and abductions, as well as other grave violations;
  • Call on the Government to include child protection in peace discussions with the ELN and the FARC-EP dissident groups, including ceasefires, and to enable the UN to engage with listed armed groups to develop action plans to end and prevent grave violations against children;
  • Encourage the Government to continue strengthening efforts to prevent the recruitment and use of Colombian, Venezuelan, and refugee and migrant children, as well as other grave violations, paying particular attention to the most vulnerable, including girls and indigenous and Afro-Colombian children, and noting vulnerability to recruitment at informal border crossings;
  • Call on all parties to cease attacks and threats of attack on schools and education personnel, as well as to refrain from the military use of schools and educational facilities; and encourage the Government to implement commitments made under the Safe Schools Declaration, which it has endorsed;
  • Call on all parties to swiftly and fully implement the recommendations of the SCWG-CAAC, as elaborated in its fifth conclusions on Colombia.


This information is based on Watchlist’s Children and Armed Conflict Monthly Update – October 2023


Since 2003, Watchlist has partnered with the Coalition against the Involvement of Boys, Girls, and Youth in the Armed Conflict in Colombia (COALICO), including through joint advocacy, trainings, and support for COALICO’s work on monitoring and reporting on child rights violations. A national civil society platform established in 1999 to promote and protect the rights of boys and girls affected by the armed conflict, COALICO coordinates the Observatory on Children and Armed Conflict that monitors and reports on grave violations against children in Colombia. It also participates as a permanent member of the UN-led Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting (CTFMR).


UN Action

Year listed: 2003
Action Plans signed: No
Sanctions Committee: No
Secretary-General’s reports on CAAC in Colombia: 2021; 2019; 201620122009
Security Council Working Group conclusions on Colombia: 202020172012; 2010
UN Mission: UN Verification Mission in Colombia

Perpetrators listed in the annexes of the Secretary-General’s annual reports on children and armed conflict

2001 2002 2003 2005 2006 2007 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC) a a
Autodefensas Unidas del Sur del Casanare (AUSC) a a a a
Autodefensas Campesinas de Cordoba y Uraba (ACCU) a a
Autodefensas de Magdalena Medio (ACMM) a a
Autodefensas del Meta (AM) a a
Autodefensas Campesinas del Sur del Cesar (ACSC) a
Autodefensas del Puerto Boyaca (APB) a
Autodefensas de Cundinamarca (AC) a
Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia – Bloque Centauros a
Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia – Bloque Norte a
Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia – Bloque Mineros a
Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia – Bloque Pacifico a
Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) a a
Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia-Ejército del Pueblo (FARC-EP)* a,c,e a,b,c,e,f a,b,c,d,e a a a a a a a a
Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN)* a a a,c,e a,b,c,e,f a,b,c,d a a a a a a a a
Frente Cacique Pipinta a,b,c,e a

a: Parties that recruit and use children
b: Parties that kill and maim children
c: Parties that commit rape and other forms of sexual violence against children

d: Parties that engage in attacks on schools and/or hospitals
e: Parties that engage in abduction of children
f: Parties that deny humanitarian access to children

~ This party has concluded an action plan with the United Nations in line with Security Council resolutions 1539 (2004) and 1612 (2005).
* This party has been in the annexes for at least five years and is therefore considered a persistent perpetrator.