In April, the UN Security Council will receive a briefing on the Secretary-General’s (SG) 90-day report (S/2019/265) on the Verification Mission in Colombia. The Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN) is listed in the SG’s 2018 annual report on children and armed conflict for recruitment and use; the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia – Ejército del Pueblo (FARC-EP) were delisted following their dissolution. However, the Colombian Ombudsperson has warned that FARC-EP dissidents, the ELN, and the Autodefensas Gaitanistas Colombianas (AGC) continue to recruit children. In March, clashes between the ELN and other armed groups in Chocó put thousands of civilians’ lives at risk; the Ombudsperson and the Colombian Government Victims’ Unit warned that thousands could also be displaced as a result. In March, President Iván Duque refused to sign the Statutory Law for the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), established by the peace accord to address justice for victims of the armed conflict, including child recruitment. The UN and several foreign governments publicly expressed their support for the JEP, underscoring the importance of transitional justice. The Security Council should:

  • Expressing their support for transitional justice, call on the Government of Colombia to prioritize and accelerate efforts to enact the JEP Statutory Law, and to avoid such actions that risk denying children’s rights and best interests;
  • Call upon all parties to conflict to take concrete, effective measures to avoid and prevent child casualties during hostilities, including protecting schools, hospitals, and other civilian objects and refraining from using explosive weapons in populated areas;
  • Request an update on the situation of the 124 individuals separated from the FARC-EP as children in 2016 and 2017, including the provision of basic services to them, their families, and communities;
  • Remind the Government of its obligations under the peace agreement to strengthen institutions and programs to ensure the adequate reintegration of children and prevent new patterns of recruitment and use, especially in regions where Government presence is limited and communities are more vulnerable to violence and insecurity; in particular, urge the National Reintegration Council to urgently include newly identified cases in the reintegration program.

The United Kingdom is the lead country on Colombia.

This information is based on Watchlist’s Children and Armed Conflict Monthly Update – April 2019.


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: 201620122009
Security Council Working Group conclusions on Colombia: 20172012; 2010
UN Mission: UN 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.