Despite a dependable alteration successful sedate violations against children successful Colombia since the signing of the 2016 Peace Agreement betwixt the Government and FARC rebels, youngsters determination proceed to endure from the interaction of hostilities, according to a caller UN study published connected Wednesday.

While welcoming a diminution successful violations, Virginia Gamba, Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC) reminded that the reporting play – betwixt 1 July 2019 and 30 June 2021 – coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic, hampering the UN’s quality to corroborate abuses.

Children are inactive being utilized and abused by parties to conflict”, she said.

Girls person been peculiarly affected by sedate violations, accounting for one-third, of each 330 children impacted – greater than the CAAC docket average, which stands astatine 23 per cent.

Forced to fight

The astir salient violation, which impacted 220 children, saw them recruited and abused by equipped groups, including dissident FARC-EP fighters, which were the main perpetrators, arsenic good arsenic the militant radical Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN).

Also concerning were the linkages betwixt displacement and sedate violations, particularly kid recruitment threats that forced families to move.

The Special Representative called connected each equipped groups to instantly halt recruiting and utilizing children and to merchandise those successful their ranks, truthful they whitethorn instrumentality to their communities and enactment successful reintegration programmes.

She besides reminded that boys and girls associated with equipped groups and forces, should chiefly beryllium considered arsenic victims. 

Children nether attack

The sidesplitting and maiming of 118 children were besides verified during the reporting period, owed chiefly to gunshot wounds, anti-personnel landmines, unexploded ordnance, and aerial attacks.

Ms. Gamba emphasized that Colombia remains 1 of the countries astir affected by explosive remnants of war.

She called connected equipped groups to halt the usage of indiscriminate explosive devices and encouraged the Government to standard up demining and mine-risk acquisition activities crossed the country.

“Additionally, all parties should instrumentality each indispensable measures to support children during subject operations and activities, successful enactment with planetary humanitarian law, successful peculiar the rule of precaution”, said the Special Representative added.

“Armed confrontations successful areas wherever civilians and children are contiguous should beryllium planned and executed with the principles of distinction, proportionality and precautions and to guarantee the extortion of non-combatants”.

Other verified violations included rape and intersexual violence, which are mostly underreported for fearfulness of stigma, retaliation, and deficiency of subsister services.

Making advancement

During the reporting period, the reintegration of children released from equipped groups continued, with 323 enrolled successful specialized programmes, according to the Colombian Family Welfare Institute.

Furthermore, the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace, a governmental bureau successful the State’s Executive Branch, recognized an further 232 erstwhile FARC-EP combatants arsenic having been children astatine the clip of the laying down of weapons and received reintegration services.

The Special Representative welcomed advancement made connected accountability by the Government and transitional justness mechanisms, arsenic good arsenic caller argumentation measures adopted to fortify kid extortion and forestall violations.

“Prevention measures, including a caller argumentation to forestall the recruitment and usage of children and intersexual unit against children, arsenic good arsenic a nationalist strategy focusing connected highlighting the risks of recruitment are welcomed steps successful the close absorption to reenforce the prevention of sedate violations and fortify the extortion of boys and girls against them”, said Ms. Gamba.

“My bureau and our United Nations colleagues connected the crushed stay disposable to enactment the Colombian authorities successful the implementation of specified prevention measures”.