Colombia

Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 01 August 2017

Summary: State Party Colombia ratified the convention on 10 September 2015. The ratification legislation also incorporates the convention into domestic law. Colombia has participated in every meeting of the convention and has condemned new use of cluster munitions. Colombia was a lead sponsor on and voted in favor of a key UN resolution on the convention in December 2016.

Colombia never produced cluster munitions, but it has imported them. In November 2009, Colombia destroyed a stockpile of 72 cluster munitions and 10,832 submunitions. It provided an initial transparency report for the convention in August 2016 that confirms Colombia is not retaining any cluster munitions for training or research.

Policy

The Republic of Colombia signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 3 December 2008, ratified on 10 September 2015, and the convention entered into force for the country on 1 March 2016.

Law 1604 adopted on 12 December 2012 approved Colombia’s ratification of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, incorporating it into domestic law.[1] Colombia has reported this and other relevant legislation as well as decrees under national implementation measures for the convention.[2]

Colombia provided its initial Article 7 transparency report on 28 August 2016 and submitted an annual updated report on 19 May 2017.[3]

Colombia participated in several meetings of the Oslo Process that produced the convention and said that its decision to join stemmed from its concern about the “humanitarian impact” of cluster munitions.[4]

Colombia actively engages in the work of the Convention on Cluster Munitions. It has participated in every Meeting of States Parties of the convention, most recently the Sixth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in September 2016. Colombia attended the convention’s First Review Conference in 2015 and intersessional meetings in 2011–2015. It has participated in regional workshops on cluster munitions, most recently in Santiago, Chile, in December 2013.

Colombian representatives met with the Cluster Munition Coalition during the Sixth Meeting of States Parties in September 2016, which encouraged it to promote the convention with countries throughout Latin America and around the world.[5]

In December 2016, Colombia was a lead sponsor on and voted in favor of a key UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution promoting implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions.[6]

Colombia has “deplored” the use of cluster munitions, including in South Sudan, Syria, and Ukraine.[7] It has voted in favor of UNGA resolutions expressing outrage at the use of cluster munitions in Syria, most recently in December 2016.[8]

Colombia is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is also party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

Interpretive issues

Colombia provided its views on certain important issues related to interpretation and implementation of the convention in a March 2010 response to a Monitor questionnaire.[9] The government “absolutely rejects and prohibits any manner of transfer or storage of foreign cluster bombs in Colombian territory” as well as “military operations with states not party to the convention in which they carry out exercises or actions prohibited by the Convention.” It also prohibits investment in production of cluster munitions. In addition, “Colombia considers that the countries that are still not a part of this convention can take steps toward honoring the spirit of the convention.” Colombia reaffirmed its position on all these interpretive issues in a May 2011 response to the Monitor.[10]

Production and transfer

In a May 2011 letter to the Monitor, Colombia stated that it has never produced cluster munitions.[11] In the past, it imported cluster munitions from Chile, Israel, and the United States (US). In 2010, Colombia stated that it has not transferred cluster munitions “to a third state.”[12]

In 2012, Chile’s Ministry of National Defense provided the Monitor with a document detailing the export of a total of 191 cluster bombs to Colombia in 1994 (55 250kg cluster bombs, four air-dropped 250kg cluster bombs, and one fin stabilizer for a CB-250kg cluster bomb) and in 1997 (132 250kg cluster bombs).[13]

Use

In an April 2012 letter, a Ministry of External Relations official told the Monitor that the Colombian air force decided to stop using cluster munitions after an evaluation found that they did not meet the operational requirements or needs of Colombia.[14]

In May 2009, Colombia’s Minister of Defense, Juan Manuel Santos, acknowledged that the Colombian armed forces had used cluster munitions in the past “to destroy clandestine airstrips and camps held by illegal armed groups” and noted that the submunitions sometimes did not explode and “became a danger to the civilian population.”[15]

The Monitor has reported on the case of apparent cluster munition use by the Colombian air force at Santo Domingo in the municipality of Tame (Arauca) on 13 December 1998, killing 17 and injuring 27 others.[16] An investigation showed that a World War II-era “cluster adapter” of US origin was used to disperse several 20-pound (9kg) fragmentation bombs during the attack.[17] In December 2012, the Inter-American Human Rights Court published its verdict on the case that found the Colombian air force used an AN-M1A2 bomb, which it said meets the definition of a cluster munition.[18] The court found that Colombia should treat victims of the attack in accordance with its victim assistance obligations under the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Stockpiling and destruction

Colombia announced the completion of the destruction of its stockpile of cluster munitions on 24 November 2009.[19] It destroyed a total of 72 cluster munitions (31 ARC-32 and 41 CB-250K cluster bombs) containing 10,832 submunitions.[20]

Colombia is not retaining any cluster munitions or submunitions for research or training purposes.[21]



[1] The House of Representatives approved the draft ratification legislation, Bill 244, on 15 November 2012, after it received Senate approval as Bill 174 on 30 August 2012.

[3] The initial report covers the period from 1 March 2016 to 28 August 2016, while the updated report provided 19 May 2017 is for the period from 28 August 2016 to 30 April 2017.

[4] For details on Colombia’s policy and practice regarding cluster munitions through early 2009, see Human Rights Watch and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), pp. 58–59.

[5] ICBL-CMC meeting with Francisco Alberto Gonzalez, Minister-Counsellor to the Permanent Mission to Geneva, Geneva, 7 September 2016.

[6]Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 71/45, 5 December 2016. Colombia voted in favor of a similar UNGA resolution on the convention in 2015. “Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 70/54, 7 December 2015.

[7] Statement of Colombia, Convention on Cluster Munitions Fifth Meeting of States Parties, San Jose, 2 September 2014. Notes by CMC.

[8]Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UNGA Resolution 71/203, 19 December 2016. Colombia voted in favor of similar resolutions on 23 December 2015 and 18 December 2014.

[9] Email from Camilo Serna Villegas, Operations Coordinator, Colombian Campaign to to Ban Landmines, 11 August 2010.

[10] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Nohra M. Quintero C., Coordinator, Internal Working Group on Disarmament and International Security, 13 May 2011.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Response to Monitor questionnaire by the Ministry of External Relations, 26 March 2010.

[13] “Exports of Cluster Bombs Authorized in the Years 1991–2001,” official document by the General Directorate of National Mobilization (Dirección General de Movilización Nacional), Ministry of National Defense document provided together with letter from Brig. Gen. Roberto Ziegele Kerber, Director-General of National Mobilizaton, Ministry of National Defense, 18 May 2012.

[14] Letter from Sonia Matilde Eljach Polo, Ministry of External Relations, 19 April 2012.

[15] Carlos Osorio, “Colombia destruye sus últimas bombas de tipo racimo” (“Colombia destroys its last cluster bombs”), Agence France-Presse, 7 May 2009. In 2010, the Ministry of National Defense said that the Colombian air force last used cluster munitions on 10 October 2006 “to destroy clandestine airstrips belonging to organizations dedicated to drug trafficking in remote areas of the country where the risk to civilians was minimal.” Ministry of National Defense presentation on cluster munitions, slide 11, Bogotá, December 2010.

[16] The case was described in the draft ratification bill contained in the letter from Representative Iván Cepeda Castro, to Albeiro Vanegas Osorio, Chairperson, Second Committee of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade, Defense and National Security, House of Representatives, April 2011. See also, T. Christian Miller, “A Colombian Town Caught in a Cross-Fire,” Los Angeles Times, 17 March 2002.

[17] Organization of American States Inter-American Commission on Human Rights document, “Masacre de Santo Domingo, Colombia, Caso 12.416,” 22 April 2011.

[18] Sentence C-259 of 2012, Section B2 “The launch of a ANM1A2 device on Santo Domingo,” Inter-American Human Rights Court, “Caso Masacre de Santo Domingo vs. Colombia,” Resumen Oficial Emitido por la Court Interamericana Sentencia de 30 Noviembre de 2012.

[19] For details on Colombia’s stockpile destruction see ICBL, Cluster Munition Monitor 2010 (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, October 2010), pp. 135–136.

[20] Letter from Sonia Matilde Eljach Polo, Ministry of External Relations, 19 April 2012; and response to Monitor questionnaire by the Ministry of External Relations, 26 March 2010. The CB-250K bombs were produced by Chile and each contains 240 submunitions. The ARC-32 bomb is apparently a 350kg weapon produced by Israel that contains 32 anti-runway submunitions.

[21] Statement of Colombia, Convention on Cluster Munitions Fourth Meeting of States Parties, San Jose, 2 September 2014.

Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 18 October 2017

Policy

The Republic of Colombia signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997, ratified on 6 September 2000, and became a State Party on 1 March 2001.

National implementation legislation, Law 759, came into effect on 25 July 2002.[1] In relation to the Mine Ban Treaty, Colombia has also enacted laws on victim assistance, land restitution, and civilian mine clearance operations. Law 1421 of 2010 permits NGOs to conduct humanitarian demining operations in the country.[2] On 13 July 2011, the Colombian Presidential Program for Comprehensive Mine Action (Programa Presidencial de Acción Integral Contra Minas Antipersonales, PAICMA) published the draft regulatory decree of Law 1421.[3] Law 3750 of 10 October 2011 regulates demining by civil society organizations.[4]

Colombia submitted its 16th Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report on 30 April 2017, which covered calendar year 2016.[5] Under national implementation measures, it reported that activities addressed by the treaty are criminalized by the penal code.[6] It also reported Law 1753 of 2015, which enforces Colombia’s implementation of a national mine clearance plan in 2014–2018.

Colombia has also reported Decree 1019 of 2015 approving the clearance of mined territory that the government of Colombia signed as part of a peace deal in Havana, Cuba with Colombia’s principle armed group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia-Ejército del Pueblo, FARC-EP). On 26 September 2016, the government of Colombia and the FARC-EP signed a peace accord after four years of negotiations.[7] The FARC-EP peace deal has attracted significant attention.  

Colombia has continued its activity in support of the Mine Ban Treaty at the highest levels. It hosted the Second Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty in Cartagena in November–December 2009 and attended the Third Review Conference in Maputo, Mozambique, in June 2014 and First Review Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2004. Colombia has participated in every Mine Ban Treaty Meeting of States Parties and almost all the intersessional Standing Committee meetings held in Geneva since 1999, including in June 2017.

Colombia served as co-chair of the Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration in 2002–2003 and co-chaired the Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education, and Mine Action Technologies in 2011. Since November 2015, Colombia has co-chaired of the Mine Ban Treaty’s Committee on Victim Assistance together with Belgium.

Colombia is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) and its Amended Protocol II on landmines.

The Colombian Campaign against Landmines (Campaña Colombiana contra Minas, CCCM) works to address the country’s extensive landmine problem.[8] The CCCM has called on the government to use military demining teams to clear coca crops because civilians employed by the Colombian government to eradicate the crops have become casualties due to explosive devices.[9] On 4 April 2017, Colombians joined the annual Remángate (“Roll-up”) action, first organized by Fundación Arcangeles in 2011, which involves people making the symbolic gesture of rolling up a pant leg in support of efforts against landmines and in solidarity with victims.[10]

Production, transfer, use, and stockpiling

Colombia’s State Military Industry (Industria Militar, INDUMIL) ceased production of antipersonnel mines in September 1998 and destroyed its production equipment on 18 November 1999.[11]

The government of Colombia is not known to have ever exported antipersonnel mines.

Colombia reported completion of the destruction of its stockpile of 18,531 antipersonnel mines on 24 October 2004.[12]

Colombia has retained the same number of mines for training purposes since 2007. It declared a total of 586 MAP-1 mines retained for training purposes in its 2009 Article 7 report and has not provided a number in subsequent reports, but has instead declared “no change in the quantity of retained antipersonnel mines.”[13]

Colombia last destroyed or consumed mines in training activities in 2006, when 300 retained mines were destroyed in three separate events.[14]

Colombia has not reported in detail on the intended purposes and actual uses of its retained mines, as agreed by States Parties, but in 2011 Colombia informed the Monitor that the mines were “used for training the humanitarian demining units [of the armed forces], in the use of equipment for mine clearance.”[15] It also stated that antipersonnel mines discovered during mine clearance are destroyed on site and not kept for training purposes.

Use by non-state armed groups

For the first time, Landmine Monitor has not been able to verify any new mine use by an armed opposition group in Colombia. Previously, from the inception of its reporting in 1999 until 2016, Landmine Monitor reported mine use by armed opposition groups, mainly the FARC.

On 24 November 2016, FARC-EP and the Colombian government signed an agreement to end the armed conflict and build peace, including through mine clearance.[16] Some FARC commands have reportedly not cooperated with the peace process and remain as guerrillas, but their numbers are uncertain.

On 1 October 2017, a ceasefire agreement between the government of Colombia and the National Liberation Army (Unión Camilista-Ejército de Liberación Nacional, ELN) took effect.[17] The ceasefire is supposed to last until 9 January 2018, after which it can be renewed by mutual consent. Under “abstention” the ELN has committed not use antipersonnel landmines that could endanger the civilian population.[18]

The CCCM, which provides research to Landmine Monitor, has not recorded any new use of antipersonnel mines by any actor to the conflict in Colombia during the past year. It is possible that members of the ELN and FARC may still use antipersonnel mines, but no compelling evidence has been independently confirmed by the CCCM or Landmine Monitor.[19]

(See Mine Action profile for more information on mine clearance.)

Transfer and production by non-state armed groups

Non-state armed groups in Colombia are experts in the production of explosive devices. Both the FARC and the ELN have manufactured antipersonnel mines as well as remotely controlled improvised landmines.

Colombia’s Article 7 reports contain information on mines produced by non-state armed groups by type, dimensions, fuzing, explosive type and content, and metallic content; the reports also include photographs and additional information. Previously, at least 12 different design types were manufactured, including antipersonnel, antivehicle, and Claymore-type directional mines, as well as improvised explosive devices. The military stated that some mines were fitted with antihandling devices.[20]

Disarmament of the FARC, including destruction of its antipersonnel landmine stockpile and components occurred under UN supervision. Disarmament was completed on 22 September 2017. The UN mission destroyed 3,528 antipersonnel mines formerly belonging to the FARC, as well as components, including more than 38,000 kilograms of explosives and more than 46,000 detonators.[21]



[1] For details on penal sanctions and other aspects of Law 759, see Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form A, 6 May 2005; and Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 255.

[2] Statement of Colombia, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Geneva, 20 June 2011.

[3]Presentación borradores de los documentos del decreto reglamentario de la Ley 1421 de 2010 y Estándares Nacionales de Desminado Humanitario” (“Presentation of draft documents of the Decree Law 1421 of 2010 and National Standards for Humanitarian Demining”), 15 July 2011.

[4] Ministry of Defense, “Decreto Número 3750 de 2011” (“Decree Number 3750 of 2011”), 10 October 2011.

[5] Previously, it submitted reports in April 2015, April 2014, April 2013, on 25 April 2012, 30 April 2011, 30 April 2010, 30 April 2009, in April 2008, in April 2007, and on 29 June 2006, 6 May 2005, 11 May 2004, 27 May 2003, 6 August 2002, and 15 March 2002.

[6] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form A, April 2014.

[7] Acuerdo Final para la Terminación del Conflicto y la Construcción de una Paz Estable y Duradera, 24 August 2016, signed 26 September 2016, Havana, Cuba. Negotiations on the accord began in November 2012. However, it was rejected in a nationwide plebiscite on 2 October 2016.

[8] The CCCM was established in 2000 and has local sections in 22 of the 32 departments of Colombia.

[9] Anastasia Moloney, “Colombia’s coca clearers face landmine danger,” Alertnet, 30 November 2011.

[10] See, Ana Maria Plata, “Antioquia police and government join in Remángate,” Minuto.com, 4 April 2017.

[11] Interviews with Eng. Sergio Rodríguez, Second Technical Manager, INDUMIL, 5 July 2000, and 24 July 2001. As of 2001, INDUMIL was still producing Claymore-type directional fragmentation mines. Colombia has stated that these mines are used only in command-detonated mode, as permitted by the Mine Ban Treaty. However, Colombia has not reported on steps it has taken to ensure that these mines are used only in command-detonated mode.

[12] In addition to these 18,531 mines destroyed, the government reported three other destructions of a total of 3,404 antipersonnel mines. Over the years, there have been many inconsistencies and discrepancies in Colombia’s count of stockpiled mines and their destruction. The Ministry of Defense sent a letter to the Monitor in September 2005 to clarify many of the problems. For details see, Landmine Monitor Report 2006, p. 302.

[13] “Colombia no reporta novedad con respecto al informe anterior” (“Colombia does not report any change with respect to the previous report”), Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, April 2013.

[14] In 2003–2004, Colombia reported it retained 986 mines for training. In 2005, it reduced that number to 886. In 2006, Colombia destroyed 300 more mines, but the number retained has not changed since December 2006. See, Landmine Monitor Report 2007, pp. 267–268; and Landmine Monitor Report 2006, pp. 302–303.

[15] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Amb. Alicia Arango Olmos, Permanent Mission of Colombia to the UN in Geneva, 13 May 2011.

[16] Acuerdo Final para la Terminación del Conflicto y la Construcción de una Paz Estable y Duradera, numeral 3.1.7.1, Bogotá, 24 November 2016.

[17]Colombia Cease-Fire Agreement Takes Effect Sunday,” Voice of America, 30 September 2017.

[18] See, “Acuerdo y comunicado sobre el cese al fuego bilateral y temporal entre el Gobierno y el ELN,” Oficina del alto comisionando para la paz, Quito, 4 September 2017.

[19] For example, the Colombian army seized antipersonnel mines from the ELN in July 2017 so members of the group may still use them. See, “Hostigamiento del Eln en Cundinamarca dejó un policía herido,” RED+, Bogotá, 22 July 2017.

[20] Presentation by the Colombian Armed Forces, “Desarrollo Compromiso con la Convención de Ottawa” (“Development Commitment with the Ottawa Convention”), Bogotá, 6 March 2006. Antipersonnel mines and IEDs manufactured by armed groups are constructed out of everything from glass bottles to plastic jerry cans. The explosive used is normally ANFO (made from fertilizer), but sometimes is a conventional explosive such as TNT. The mines are initiated by pressure-activated syringe fuzes (chemical initiation), battery-operated fuzes, and electric fuzes activated by both pressure and tripwires. These mines often have high levels of metal fragmentation in them.

[21]Misión de la ONU concluyó hoy la inhabilitación de armas de las Farc,” Radio Nacional de Colombia, 22 September 2017.

Mine Action

Last updated: 11 December 2017

Contaminated by: landmines (heavy contamination), cluster munitions (extent unclear, but likely to be minimal), and other unexploded ordnance (UXO).

Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 deadline: 1 March 2021
(Not on track to meet deadline)

Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 4 deadline: 1 March 2026
(Extent of contamination unclear)

Summary

The precise extent of contamination from mines remains uncertain, but the national action plan 2016–2021 is based on a national estimate of 51.24km2 of mined area. Thirty-one of the Republic of Colombia’s 32 departments may be affected.[1] In 2016, less than 0.3km2 was cleared. 0.29km2 of confirmed and suspected hazardous areas were identified through survey.

The extent to which Colombia is affected by cluster munition remnants is unclear. Colombia ratified the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 10 September 2015. In August 2016, and again in May 2017, Colombia reported that it was in the process of establishing the location and extent of any contamination.[2] Colombia may be able to declare full completion of its Article 4 obligations once the assessment and survey have been conducted.

Recommendations for action

  • Colombia should take advantage of the peace process with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) to conduct a baseline survey of contamination and to significantly accelerate clearance of remaining mined areas in accordance with its obligations under the Mine Ban Treaty.
  • As part of this process, Colombia should elaborate, in consultation with its demining partners, national mine action standards on land release.
  • Colombia should finalize the assessment of the extent of cluster munition remnants contamination as soon as possible, including through the conduct of survey.
  • Colombia’s mine action program authorities urgently need to improve data management and planning procedures. Colombia should ensure its national mine action database disaggregates data on unexploded submunitions and other explosive remnants of war (ERW).

Mine Contamination

Colombia’s mine problem is the result of decades of conflict with non-state armed groups (NSAGs). The precise extent of contamination remains highly uncertain, though at least 30 of Colombia’s 32 departments are suspected to have a mine threat.[3] As of mid-2017, Colombia still lacked a meaningful understanding of contamination, although its new strategic plan for 2016–2021, which is based on a national estimate of 51km2 of mined area, aims to elaborate a national baseline.[4]

Colombia continues to report on “events” included in its database, which include unconfirmed media reports, such as of victims and minelaying. Its Article 7 transparency report for 2016 stated that 647 suspected mined areas were recorded between 1990 and the end of 2016, a reduction from the 671 recorded as of the end of 2015.[5] Of these, 100 were in Antioquia, believed to be the most-affected department. Colombia systematically attributed 5,000m2 to each “confirmed hazardous area” (CHA).[6] In January 2017, the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) reported that incidents involving mines and UXO) have been reported in 673 of Colombia’s 1,122 municipalities since 1990. Based on the Directorate for Comprehensive Mine Action (Dirección para la Acción Integral contra minas Antipersonal, DAICMA) analysis of incident trends, of those 673, 199 are considered to be highly impacted (type I), 291 moderately impacted (type II), and 183 suffer from low impact (type III).[7]

The HALO Trust believes that Colombia’s mine problem has certain unique features. Improvised mines were planted in isolated rural areas by NSAG factions to protect strategic positions; often coca cultivations whose crops were used to fund operations. When the groups moved on, the mines were left behind, blocking access to roads, paths, schools, and other civilian infrastructure, preventing productive use of land.[8]

According to HALO, mines “continue to have a huge effect on the civilian population, causing physical harm, preventing farming and affecting livelihoods.” Through the rapid response intervention plan implemented in 2016, 119 high-impact municipalities have been prioritized for intervention with a further 474 medium- and low-impact municipalities earmarked for intervention before 2021.[9] The organization believes that mine action is integral to efforts to rebuild the lives of the six million internally displaced people and eight million registered victims of conflict in Colombia. This is because land restitution claims are unable to be processed if land is deemed to be dangerous. By declaring municipalities free from mine threat, HALO observes that it is providing the “fundamental first step” towards facilitating the safe return of the displaced.[10]

Cluster Munition Contamination

The extent to which Colombia is affected by cluster munition remnants is unclear. Colombia ratified the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 10 September 2015. It made a formal declaration upon depositing its instrument of ratification whereby “it is possible that there remain, in national territory, cluster munitions or cluster munition remnants of whose location the State has no knowledge or suspicion…Regarding article 4, and in connection with the particular circumstances of its internal armed conflict, the Republic of Colombia understands ‘cluster munition remnants’ to mean those whose location is known or suspected by the State.”[11]

In August 2016, and again in May 2017, Colombia reported that it was in the process of establishing the location and extent of any cluster munition contamination.[12]

In May 2009, Colombia’s Minister of Defense, Juan Manuel Santos, acknowledged that the Colombian Armed Forces had used cluster munitions in the past “to destroy clandestine airstrips and camps held by illegal armed groups,” but noted the submunitions sometimes did not explode and “became a danger to the civilian population.”[13] In 2010, the Ministry of National Defense said that the Colombian Air Force last used cluster munitions on 10 October 2006 “to destroy clandestine airstrips belonging to organizations dedicated to drug trafficking in remote areas of the country where the risk to civilians was minimal.”[14]

In November 2012, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights found that Colombia had violated the rights to life and to physical, mental, and moral integrity by using a United States (US) World War II “cluster adapter” to disperse fragmentation bombs during an attack on the village of Santo Domingo in December 1998.[15] A helicopter dropped an AN-M1A2 cluster munition containing six submunitions, killing 17 civilians, including six children, and injuring a further 27 civilians, including nine children. The action also resulted in the displacement of the village’s inhabitants. Colombia had sought to attribute the deaths to a bomb placed by FARC guerrillas.[16]

The impact of any cluster munition contamination is believed to be minimal. HALO has not encountered or received any reports of unexploded submunitions,[17] nor has Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA).[18]

Program Management

Since 2002, the national mine action program has been overseen by the National Interministerial Commission on Antipersonnel Mine Action (Comisión Intersectorial Nacional para la Acción contra Minas Antipersonal, CINAMAP).[19] CINAMAP serves as the national mine action authority responsible for implementing the Mine Ban Treaty. This body is expected to be also responsible for Convention on Cluster Munitions implementation.

Two other institutions—the Victims Unit and the Land Restitution Unit—were established subsequently.

In September 2014, Decree 1649 created the Directorate for Comprehensive Mine Action (Dirección para la Acción Integral contra minas Antipersonal, DAICMA) to replace the earlier mine action body, the Presidential Program for Comprehensive Mine Action (PAICMA).[20] DAICMA effectively serves as the national mine action center. In August 2017, DAICMA became DAICMA–Descontamina Colombia.[21]

The Organization of American States (OAS) serves as the monitoring body for humanitarian demining in Colombia. Its procedures for the approval of tasks, plans, and standing operating procedures (SOPs) have been questioned. NPA, for instance, waited 127 days for approval to use its mechanical assets, with mine detection dog (MDD) assets standing idle as a result, despite the dog teams having already been accredited.[22]

Since 2010, UNMAS has been advising DAICMA (and its predecessor). UNMAS’s aims for 2016 were threefold: to increase the capacity of the authorities to manage, coordinate, and regulate the mine action sector; to develop the sector to support peace and development initiatives (“particularly ensuring that civilian and humanitarian demining organizations are operating under an adequate quality management framework”); and to support the peace process.[23]

Strategic planning

Colombia’s Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 deadline extension request projected, improbably, that all mined areas would be released by 2020.[24]

Colombia developed a five-year strategic plan for 2016–2021. Among the primary aims set out in the plan are consolidation of the mine action sector and the elaboration of a detailed baseline of contamination.[25] The operational plan has assigned responsibility for 63 highly impacted and prioritized municipalities to a range of civilian and military humanitarian demining operators.

Colombia did not attain the targets set in the 2011–2013 operational plan to address 6,000 dangerous and mined areas in 14 of 660 municipalities where the presence of mines is suspected, covering an estimated 15km².[26] It was then due to submit an operational plan for 2014–2020 at the Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties in December 2013, but did not do so. Colombia did present a demining “action plan” for 2014–2016 at the Mine Ban Treaty Third Review Conference in Maputo in July 2014.[27] The plan foresaw a first phase of mine action in 91 municipalities and steadily increasing national army demining capacity to 54 units, as well as the number of non-technical survey teams to 15 by 2016.[28]

On 7 March 2015, negotiators for the government of Colombia and FARC announced that an agreement had been reached by the two parties on demining.[29] According to a joint statement, the government and FARC would select a number of pilot zones with the highest level of threat from antipersonnel mines, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), UXO, or other ERW. Following signature in August 2015 of an agreement with the European Union for support to the Pilot Project on Humanitarian Demining, NPA was overseeing non-technical survey of suspected hazardous areas (SHAs) and technical survey and clearance of confirmed hazardous areas (CHAs).[30]

Standards

New national mine action standards have been elaborated, including on MDDs and machines.[31]

Operators

The Armed Forces Humanitarian Demining Brigade (Brigada de Desminado Humanitario (BRDH), formerly called the Humanitarian Demining Battalion (BIDES), now, has been conducting humanitarian demining since 2005.[32]

In 2013, HALO became the first NGO to conduct demining in Colombia when it began clearance operations at the El Morro minefield, Nariño municipality, in Antioquia department.[33] In 2015–2016, HALO Colombia was conducting survey, mine clearance, risk education, and some victim assistance. Its main office was in Bogotá and operations were taking place in eight municipalities across three departments: Antioquia, Meta, and Tolima. Based on the peace agreement, DAICMA assigned HALO 14 rapid-response municipalities for immediate post-conflict intervention. As of March 2017, HALO was also conducting operations in Cauca and Valle del Cauca and had in addition been authorized to begin operations in the departments of Nariño and Putumayo bringing the total number of municipalities assigned to the organization to 27.[34]

NPA formally initiated a mine action program in April 2015, having taken part in the peace talks between the government and FARC that concerned demining. The first step in the process of implementing the agreement on demining was to conduct non-technical survey of suspected contamination in the departments of Meta and Antioquia. The parties chose two pilot projects, one in the village of El Orejón (Antioquia) and a second in the village of Santa Helena (Meta). NPA’s role has been to lead and supervise a mine clearance project as a trust-building exercise between the government of Colombia and FARC. The Colombian army has been conducting the mine clearance as such, with NPA providing verification with two MDD teams, while FARC has provided information on contaminated areas.[35]

In 2017, NPA was supporting the BRDH with its MDD and dog handler training, including by sourcing funds for a project to support their puppy and breeding project.[36]

Information management

Government decree 1649 of 2014 assigned responsibility to DAICMA for maintaining the IMSMA database and to “compile, systematize, centralize, and update relevant information” to serve as a basis for program planning.[37] This remains a central challenge for the program. NPA has been supporting DAICMA on information management with a full-time expert seconded to the directorate.[38]

Land Release (mines)

Colombia cleared less than 0.3km2 of mined area in 2016, a slight decrease on clearance output in 2015 of 0.35km². Operations in 2016 resulted in the destruction of 210 antipersonnel mines.

Survey in 2016 (mines)

In 2016, HALO conducted survey in the departments of Antioquia (in the municipalities of Abejorral, Argelia, El Carmen de Viboral, Nariño, San Rafael, and Sonson); Meta (Mesetas, San Juan de Arama, and Vistahermosa municipalities); and Tolima (Ataco, Chapparal, Planadas, and Rioblanco).[39] Survey identified 289,219m2 of hazardous area across a total of 53 CHAs and SHAs.[40]

In 2016, NPA coordinated the completion of demining by BIDES in two communities. One was El Orejón in the municipality of Briceño in Antioquia where 4,022m2 of area was surveyed, while the second was in Santa Helena in the municipality of Mesetas, in the department of Meta, where 19,624m2 was surveyed.[41] NPA also initiated independent non-technical survey in 2016, at Vista Hermosa in the municipality of Mesetas; this subsequently led to identification of CHAs that were due to be cleared in the course of 2017.[42]

Clearance in 2016 (mines)

Colombia reported clearance of 287,661m2 in 2016 across six departments: Antioquia, Bolivar, Caldas, Meta, Santander, and Tolima. DAICMA had expected to initiate clearance operations in 20 new municipalities over the course of 2016.[43]

Mine clearance in 2016[44]

Province

Area cleared (m2)

Antipersonnel mines destroyed

UXO destroyed

Antioquia

161,641

121

4

Bolivar

16,671

20

7

Caldas

35,349

18

0

Meta

20,874

19

1

Santander

53,059

32

1

Tolima

67

0

1

Total

287,661

210

14

 

In 2016, HALO conducted clearance in the departments of Antioquia (in the municipalities of El Carmen de Viboral, Nariño, San Rafael, and Sonson); Meta (San Juan de Arama municipality); and Tolima (Ataco municipality), reporting clearance of 115,628m2, with the destruction of 90 antipersonnel mines and two items of UXO.[45] On 15 October 2016, the municipality of Nariño was handed over to the local population by Colombian President Juan Manual Santos and HALO. Nariño is free of the threat of antipersonnel mines, the first time a civilian organization has freed a municipality from explosive contamination.[46]

On 21 and 22 December 2016, NPA, together with DAICMA, BIDES, FARC, and the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, handed over cleared areas in El Orejón in the municipality of Briceño, in the northeast of the country, after clearance of 19,849m2 that included the destruction of 46 antipersonnel mines.[47]

Deminer safety

In June 2017, NPA staff had to leave Santa Helena, Mesetas municipality in Meta department, due to direct threats from a dissident FARC faction.[48]

Land Release (cluster munition remnants)

As of the end of May 2017, Colombia had not reported conducting any survey or clearance of any cluster munition-contaminated areas.

Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 Compliance

Under Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty (and in accordance with the 10-year extension granted by States Parties in 2010), Colombia is required to destroy all antipersonnel mines in mined areas under its jurisdiction or control as soon as possible, but not later than 1 March 2021.

It is not on target to meet the deadline, although the national Mine Action Strategic Plan 2016–2021 still envisions that Colombia will fulfil its mine survey and clearance obligations by 2021.

The peace agreement has the potential to be a great success for Colombia. The HALO Trust has, though, seen a reduction in funding to “legacy” projects in departments such as Antioquia that predate the peace deal even though many communities in those regions are still greatly impacted by mine contamination.[49]

As of September 2017, the government of Colombia was in negotiations with the now largest active guerrilla group, the National Liberation Army (ELN),[50] with mine action a point of discussion.[51]

Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 4 Compliance

Under Article 4 of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Colombia is required to destroy all cluster munition remnants in areas under its jurisdiction or control as soon as possible, but not later than 1 March 2026.

Colombia may be able to declare full completion of its Article 4 obligations once the requisite assessment and survey has been taken.

 

 

The Monitor acknowledges the contributions of the Mine Action Review (www.mineactionreview.org), which has conducted the mine action research in 2017, including on survey and clearance, and shared all its resulting landmine and cluster munition reports with the Monitor. The Monitor is responsible for the findings presented online and in its print publications.



[1] UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS), “UNMAS in Colombia,” February 2016.

[2] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (initial report submitted in August 2016), Form F; and Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016), Form J.

[3] UNMAS, “UNMAS in Colombia,” February 2016.

[4] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2015), Form D.

[5] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Reports (for calendar years 2015 and 2016), Form D.

[6] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2015), Form D.

[7] UNMAS, “UNMAS in Colombia,” February 2016.

[8] Email from Chris Ince, Programme Manager, HALO Trust Colombia, 28 May 2016.

[9] Email from Oliver Ford, Programme Support Officer, HALO Trust Colombia, 14 September 2017.

[10] Email from Chris Ince, HALO Trust Colombia, 28 May 2016.

[11] UN Treaty Collection, “Declaration of Colombia,” 2015.

[12] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (initial report submitted in August 2016), Form F; and Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016), Form J.

[13] C. Osorio, “Colombia destruye sus últimas bombas de tipo racimo” (“Colombia destroys its last cluster bombs”), Agence France-Presse, 7 May 2009.

[14] Ministry of National Defense presentation on cluster munitions, Bogotá, December 2010.

[15] Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACtHR), Caso Masacre deSanto Domingo v. Colombia, Official Summary in Spanish, 30 November 2012; and Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Masacre de Santo Domingo, Colombia, Case No. 12.416, 22 April 2011.

[16] IACtHR, Caso Masacre de Santo Domingo v. Colombia, Judgment, 30 November 2012, §§210–230 (in Spanish).

[17] Email from Harriet Houlsby, Programme Coordinator, HALO Trust, Colombia, 17 March 2017.

[18] Email from Vanessa Finson, Programme Manager, Humanitarian Disarmament – Colombia, NPA, 14 March 2017.

[19] Law No. 759/2002, 30 July 2002.

[20] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2014), Form A.

[21] Dirección para la Acción Integral contra Minas Antipersonal - Descontamina Colombia, “¿Quiénes Somos?” last updated 12 November 2017.

[22] Email from Vanessa Finson, NPA, 12 September 2017.

[23] UNMAS, “UNMAS in Colombia,” February 2016; and UNMAS, “UNMAS in Colombia,” January 2017.

[24] Mine Ban Treaty Revised Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 13 August 2010, p. 66.

[25] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2015), Form D.

[26] Government of Colombia, “Plan de Acción de Desminado Humanitario 2014–2016,” undated but 2014 (hereafter, “Humanitarian Demining Action Plan 2014–2016”).

[27] Statement of Colombia, Mine Ban Treaty 13th Meeting of States Parties, December 2013.

[28] Statement of Colombia, Mine Ban Treaty Third Review Conference, June 2014.

[29] See, for example, C. Voelkel, “Demining the Path to Peace in Colombia,” International Crisis Group, 10 March 2015.

[30]Acuerdo Sobre Limpieza y Descontaminación del Territorio de la Presencia de Minas Antipersonal (MAP), Artefactos Explosivos Improvisados (AEI) y Municiones Sin Explotar (MUSE) o Restos Explosivos de Guerra (REG) en general” (“Agreement on clearance of areas contaminated with anti-personnel mines, IEDs, and ERW”), Joint Statement #52, Havana, 7 March 2015; and email from Zlatko Vezilic, NPA, 5 November 2015. See also, T. Solberg Johansen, “Mine Action agreement with the EU for Colombia,” 8 December 2015.

[31] Email from Vanessa Finson, NPA, 14 March 2017.

[32] PAICMA, “Desminado Humanitario,” undated.

[33] HALO Trust, “HALO starts humanitarian demining operations in Colombia,” 24 September 2013.

[34] Email from Harriet Houlsby, Programme Coordinator, HALO Trust Colombia, 17 March 2017.

[35] Emails from Oliver Ford, HALO Trust Colombia, 14 September 2017; and from Fredrik Holmegaard, Project Manager, Humanitarian Disarmament – Colombia, NPA, 13 June 2016.

[36] Email from Vanessa Finson, NPA, 14 March 2017.

[37] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2014), Form C.

[38] Email from Vanessa Finson, NPA, 14 March 2017.

[39] Email from Harriet Houlsby, HALO Trust, 17 March 2017.

[40] Ibid.

[41] Email from Vanessa Finson, NPA, 14 March 2017.

[42] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2014), Form C.

[43] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2015), Form D.

[44] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016), Form D.

[45] Email from Harriet Houlsby, HALO Trust, 17 March 2017.

[47] NPA, “Handover of cleared land,” 10 January 2017.

[48] Email from Vanessa Finson, NPA, 12 September 2017.

[49] Email from Harriet Houlsby, HALO Trust, 17 March 2017.

[50] See, for example, “Colombia Expects Tough Peace Negotiations With ELN Rebels,” Voice of America/Reuters, 13 September 2017.

[51] Email from Vanessa Finson, NPA, 12 September 2017.

Casualties

Last updated: 16 June 2017

Casualties Overview[1]

All known casualties from January 1990 to end 2016

11,470 mine/explosive remnants of war (ERW) casualties (2,269 killed; 9,201 injured)

Casualties occurring in 2016

84 (2015: 222)

2016 casualties by survival outcome

14 killed; 70 injured (2015: 32 killed; 190 injured)

2016 casualties by device type

76 antipersonnel improvised mines (victim-activated improvised explosive devices, IEDs); 8 ERW

 

In 2016, the Department for Comprehensive Action Against Antipersonnel Mines (Dirección para la Acción Integral Contra Minas Antipersonal, DAICMA) recorded 84 mine/ERW casualties.

Notably, 2016 marked the first year since 2000 that the total number of annual casualties recorded in the Republic of Colombia was fewer than 100. The 84 recorded mine/ERW casualties in 2016 represented a 64% decrease on the number of casualties recorded in 2015 (222 casualties), and a 71% decrease on the number of casualties recorded in 2014 (292 casualties). Between 2006 and 2010, the Monitor identified a trend of declining annual casualty rates since the peak of almost 1,200 casualties recorded annually in 2005 and 2006.[2] In 2011 and 2012, the decline slowed with annual casualty totals remaining fairly consistent, at 496 and 549 casualties per year, with a drop once again in 2013 that continued through 2016.

Of the 84 casualties in 2016, 52 (62%) were military and 32 (38%) were civilian.[3] This represented an increase in the percentage of civilian casualties compared to 28% in 2015. Seven (22%) of the 32 civilian casualties were children (six boys; one girl). This compares to 45% child civilian casualties in 2015. There were three female casualties (two women; one girl) in 2016, a similar percentage to 2015.

In 2016, for the first time since 2006, there were no casualties recorded among coca eradicators. From 2006 through the end of 2016, there were at least 381 casualties among coca eradicators. Of these, 372 were civilians and the other nine were military; 42 people were killed and the remaining 339 were injured.

Since 1982, mine/ERW casualties have been recorded in all of Colombia’s 32 departments.[4] In 2016, casualties were recorded in six departments: Antioquia, Arauca, Caqueta, Cauca, Choco, and Norte de Santander.

Nearly all victim-activated explosives that can be triggered by the contact of a person are referred to as antipersonnel mines in the casualty data for Colombia. These casualties have been caused by victim-activated IEDs that act like antipersonnel landmines rather than by industrially manufactured antipersonnel mines.[5] If any accidents occurred in the past as a result of industrially produced landmines, before military bases were cleared of this type of landmine, they have not been recorded as such.[6]

Cluster munition casualties

As identified in Case No. 12.416 (Santo Domingo Massacre versus the Republic of Colombia) heard before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, 17 civilians were killed and 27 were injured during a cluster munition strike in Santo Domingo, Colombia, on 13 December 1998.[7] No unexploded submunition casualties have been reported in Colombia.



[1] Department for Comprehensive Action Against Antipersonnel Mines (Dirección para la Acción Integral contra Minas Antipersonal, DAICMA) database, updated to 31 January 2017.

[2] See previous Colombia country profiles available on the Monitor website.

[3] Civilians made up 28% of all casualties in 2015, 35% in 2014, 45% in 2013 and 2012, 37% in 2011, 34% in 2010, and 41% in 2009 and 2008.

[4] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Lucy Johana Salgado Sanchez, Counsellor, DAICMA, 2 September 2015.

[5] ICRC, “Weapon contamination programming Colombia Activities and results achieved in 2010,” Bogota, undated, p. 2, document provided to the Monitor by email from Matthieu Laruelle, Regional Advisor for Latin America, Weapon Contamination Program, ICRC, 20 April 2011.

[6] Email from Camilo Serna, Colombian Campaign to Ban Landmines (Campaña Colombiana Contra Minas, CCCM), 24 February 2017.

[7] Inter-American Court of Human Rights, “Case: Massacre of Santo Domingo vs. Colombia Sentence of 30 November 2012,” undated.

Casualties and Victim Assistance

Last updated: 09 November 2016

Action points based on findings

  • Expedite processes for mine/explosive remnants of war (ERW) survivors to access their rights under the Victims’ Law, including ensuring that out of pocket expenses for a range of services are covered within insurance systems.
  • Coordinate donor funding to specific victim assistance projects as part of the commitment to mine action for peace.
  • Dedicate resources to the comprehensive implementation of new policies and programs, including those promoting the rights of persons with disabilities.
  • Harmonize victim assistance and disability legal frameworks, coordination, and new initiatives.
  • Ensure survivors, their families, and communities in rural areas can access assistance, services and reparations; streamline administrative requirements and facilitate access across long distances to service providers.
  • Include peer support services under the health system (EPS) and through the psychological services coordinated for, and offered to, conflict victims.
  • Strengthen and facilitate survivor participation in decision-making though processes for victims of armed conflict and persons with disabilities.

Victim assistance commitments

The Republic of Colombia is responsible for a significant number of mine/ERW survivors who are in need of assistance. Cluster munitions victims have also been reported. Colombia has made commitments to provide victim assistance through the Mine Ban Treaty and as a State Party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Colombia ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) on 5 May 2011.

Casualties[1]

Casualties Overview

All known casualties by end 2015

11,386 mine/ERW casualties (2,255 killed; 9,131 injured)

Casualties in 2015

222 (2014: 292)

2015 casualties by outcome

32 killed; 190 injured (2014: 41 killed; 251 injured)

 

In 2015 the Department for Comprehensive Action Against Antipersonnel Mines (Dirección para la Acción Integral contra Minas Antipersonal, DAICMA)[2] recorded 222 mine/ERW casualties in 2015.[3]

There were 161 military casualties in 2015, of which three occurred during demining activities.[4] Civilian casualties (61) made up 28% of the total.[5] Almost half (45%) of civilian casualties were children (22 boys; six girls). There is a steady trend of increasing child casualties as a percentage of annual civilian casualties. The percentage of child casualties in 2015 has tripled compared to 2010. However, in absolute terms child casualties came back to the levels observed in 2010 when there were 28 child casualties. There were four casualties among women, a number similar to the four women casualties in 2014. The remainder of all recorded civilian casualties (48%) were men.

The overall mine/ERW casualty total in 2015 (222) represents a 32% decrease in annual casualties in comparison to 2014 (292 casualties, as revised by DAICMA in 2016. Between 2006 and 2010, the Monitor identified a trend of declining annual casualty rates since the peak of almost 1,200 casualties recorded annually in 2005 and 2006.[6] In 2011 and 2012, the decline slowed with annual casualty totals remaining fairly consistent, at 496 and 549 casualties per year, with a drop once again in 2013 that continued through 2015.

Since 1982, mine/ERW casualties have been recorded in 31 of Colombia’s 32 departments. In 2015, casualties were recorded in 15 departments, of which Antioquia, Cauca, Meta, and Caqueta recorded the highest rates.[7]

Cluster munition casualties

As identified in Case No. 12.416 (Santo Domingo Massacre versus the Republic of Colombia) heard before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, 17 civilians were killed and 27 were injured during a cluster munition strike in Santo Domingo, Colombia on 13 December 1998.[8] No unexploded submunition casualties have been reported in Colombia.

Victim Assistance

There were some 9,000 recorded mine/ERW survivors in Colombia as of December 2015.

Victim assistance during the Cartagena Action Plan 2010–2014

More than 60 local disabled persons’ organizations (DPOs) and approximately 20 survivor associations have been formed through the work of national and international NGOs, and Colombian authorities gradually increasing opportunities for peer-to-peer support as well as socioeconomic inclusion.[9]

The national Victims and Land Restitution Law (Ley 1448: Ley de Víctimas y Restitución de Tierras, or Victims’ Law 1448) of 2011 guarantees comprehensive assistance to all mine/ERW survivors—among many other victims of conflict, the majority being displaced persons since 1985—as redress for violations of their rights resulting from armed conflict. Coordination of the implementation of the law is the responsibility of the Unit for the Assistance and Comprehensive Reparation of Victims (Unidad para la Atención y Reparación Integral a Víctimas, or Victims’ Unit) and the National Victim Attention and Comprehensive Reparation System (Sistema Nacional de Atención y Reparación Integral a las Víctimas, SNARIV). Throughout the period, a series of legislative measures were adopted to guarantee the rights of mine/ERW survivors through branches of the administrative routes, or pathways, to accessing assistance and reparations for conflict victims, which apply specifically to mine/ERW victims (Ruta de atención integral para víctimas de MAP, MUSE y AEI, or Pathways to Assistance). The Pathways to Assistance provide legislative and practical frameworks through which victims can access their rights to emergency care and by registering as conflict victims to gain access to compensation, rehabilitation and other forms of assistance.[10] They also identify the bodies responsible for relevant procedures. Pathways to Assistance are developed at the national, departmental, and municipal levels. However, as of 2015, many mine/ERW survivors had not completed the necessary processes or benefited from the law. The Victims’ Law 1448 itself is time-limited to the period of a decade, until 10 June 2021.

Access to services and support through the Pathways to Assistance for mine/ERW survivors can involve several stages and require registration with a number of different institutions. There are two separate key phases: an emergency care phase for all new survivors, and a subsequent phase of assistance and reparations following the registration and approval as a victim of armed conflict. Emergency healthcare is covered by a state fund for victims of conflict and car accidents through the Health Finance Solidarity Insurance Fund (Fondo de Seguridad y Garantía, FOSYGA). Ongoing health and rehabilitation needs of victims are covered by the existing healthcare insurance system, however access to the health system can be expedited by specific legislation and facilitated by the Victim’s Unit. Mine/ERW survivors, like other registered conflict victims are to be provided with an individual assistance plan (plan de atención, asistencia y reparación integral, PAARI), that can include specific interventions based on needs and recommendations for sustainable investments in livelihood activities using the indemnity/compensation payments provided to victims.

Victims’ Law 1448 specifies that victims must access health and rehabilitation services through the national health system and its registered service providers (Instituciones Prestadoras de Servicios de Salud, IPS).[11] Colombia has a system of universal health insurance with both contributive and fully-state subsidized elements through a system of identification for social assistance beneficiaries according to their economic means (SISBEN).[12] Under the General Health Social Security System (Sistema General de Seguridad Social en Salud, SGSSS) framework survivors with adequate incomes contribute to health insurance through health insurance companies (Empresas Promotoras de Salud, EPS) as paying policy holders. Those without the means can be registered with an EPS through the fully subsidized funding system, with the approval of SISBEN. Since March 2014, conflict victims, including mine/ERW survivors, not already registered with an EPS for insurance are to be automatically included in the subsidized system.[13]

Legislative changes to be implemented by the Ministry of Health and Social Protection and the Victims’ Unit reduced the time for new survivors to be included in the subsidized health system and for uninsured mine/ERW survivors with disabilities identified in the Registry of Victims (RUV) to be registered with an EPS.[14] However, for many survivors there were considerable delays in the process of accessing services through an EPS and discrepancies in the provision of assistance by the institutions providing health services (IPS).[15] In some cases, the EPS only provided for transportation, although survivors also needed support with food and accommodation in order to access medical treatment.[16]

Due to difficulties in accessing health insurance, healthcare, physical rehabilitation services and humanitarian assistance, and compensation remain inaccessible for the poorest living in areas affected by the armed conflict.[17] Complicated procedures to register as a mine victim and delayed reimbursements have meant that many survivors could not access the care they needed and therefore the ICRC and national and international NGOs often played crucial roles by facilitating access to and/or paid for services. Decreasing international funding for NGOs since 2012 limited their efforts to fill gaps in existing care and to facilitate access by paying for transportation and accommodation.[18] In 2015, the decline in international cooperation funding continued to force some organizations to reduce their services, including rehabilitation services and prosthesis.[19]

The decrease in funding to victim assistance activities in Colombia and changes in the system of insurance for health and rehabilitation due to restructuring of funding under the Victims’ Law 1448 meant that NGOs continued to fill gaps in assistance, particularly in transportation to access services, in economic and social inclusion programs, and in psychological support, which should be addressed through the system of benefits provided by the government. The majority of mine/ERW survivors lived in rural and remote areas with limited access to transportation and communication.

Moderate improvements were reported in the overall availability or access to services and programs for mine/ERW survivors. While there were still many mine/ERW survivors waiting for services and benefits, service providers and organizations working with survivors gained a better understanding of the assistance pathways process to access survivors’ rights at the local and departmental levels, improving the overall quality and effectiveness of services received by survivors and reducing delays. Overall access to assistance services therefore improved somewhat as a result of promotion and awareness raising of Victims’ Law 1448 and the assistance pathways by the government.[20] However, survivors still struggled to access the benefits of the law as they face multiple financial, physical, and administrative barriers to obtain basic medicines and rehabilitation services.

Victim assistance in 2015

Survivors had a better understanding of their rights and procedures to access them. Access to assistance improved overall. However, assistance is still largely provided at the level emergency care, but comprehensive rehabilitation remained far less available. Changes in administrative roles due to elections often delayed the implementation of guaranteed rights and services, and reinforcing the relevant actors used the scarce time and capacity resources of civil society.[21]

Of all survivors eligible for assistance, less than half received the services to which they are entitled. Despite efforts to improve access to rehabilitation, complex bureaucratic procedures often resulted in delayed access to services.[22] Gaps in the provision of health, rehabilitation, and psychosocial services remained prevalent.[23] Overall in 2015, an increased emphasis on children and women was noted, as well as improved efforts and mechanisms to include families of victims of the armed conflict and other minorities in the provision of assistance.[24] Colombia has a strong legal framework to assist and address the rights and needs of victims and persons with disabilities and there were notable advances, however many of these policies were not entirely implemented.

Assessing victim assistance needs

DAICMA is legally mandated to collect and manage all information on mine/ERW casualties and victim assistance.[25] There are also many additional sources of information on mine-related accidents.[26] In 2015, needs evaluation procedures were modified to allow clearer evaluation of local assistance needs and gaps in accessing services.[27]

In June 2015, the deadline expired for the registration of persons victimized between 1 January 1985 and 10 June 2011. As of June 2015, 5,539 mine/ERW victims were officially registered in the Registry of Victims (RUV), managed by the Victims’ Unit.[28] This figure was less than half of the total number of mine/ERW casualties recorded by DAICMA for the same period in its Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA) database.[29] There was also still a need to cross reference IMSMA data on casualties with the health systems SISBEN registry.[30]

When the registration period for past conflict victims concluded in June 2015, it became significantly more complicated for victims from events prior to 2011 to get registered in the Victims’ Unit system if they had not already been recorded in the IMSMA database. Registration would entail specific explanations of the circumstances of victimization and require that the victims provide adequate reasoning for not having registered earlier. Conflict victims occurring after 2011 have a period of two years from the time of victimization to register.[31]

In 2015, it was believed that some victims, especially civilians and those for whom the mine/ERW incident occurred many years ago, were not registered in either DAICMA’s IMSMA database or the RUV. In some cases, victims were not recorded because they were either unaware of their rights or because they had avoided registration due to the fear of repercussions.[32] Some mine/ERW victims who had received support or partial compensation through the funding of the Health Finance Solidarity Insurance Fund (FOSYGA) prior to the adoption of the 2011 Victims’ Law, were unaware that they were still eligible for some assistance. Not all mine/ERW survivors, nor all persons with disabilities, were registered in both the IMSMA database and the RUV. [33] To start addressing this, DAICMA took steps to improve coordination with the Victims’ Unit.[34] Efforts to identify persons with disabilities, however, did not include whether the identified individuals were also mine/ERW survivors.[35]

From 2014 to October 2015, DAICMA, with support of the Colombian Campaign to Ban Landmines (Campaña Colombiana Contra Minas, CCCM), implemented a data management project with use of apps and information technology tools, including: a) using social protection or other existing registries; b) a national strategy for data management on all registered mine victims; c) systematization of updated national-level information.[36]

In May 2015, DAICMA finalized a two-year survey of 846 mine/ERW survivors in 201 municipalities.[37] The findings were shared with relevant institutions including the National Victim Attention and Comprehensive Reparation System (SNARIV).[38]

In 2015 and 2016, DAICMA periodically contacted mine/ERW victims to identify gaps and improve services delivered through the Pathway to Assistance. Of 59 new civilian survivors registered in 2015, 90% were contacted and able to access services.[39]

NGOs and government institutions continued to collect data on victims and to monitor access to services. The national NGO Pastoral Social maintained a database on the state of assistance to survivors, including with case studies.[40]

Victim assistance coordination

Government coordinating body/focal point

DAICMA

Coordinating mechanism

National Victim Assistance Committee and sub-committees at the national and departmental levels on information management, socio-economic inclusion, and psychosocial support with governmental and non-governmental representatives (mostly inactive); technical sub-committees of the Executive Committee for the Comprehensive Reparation and Assistance for Victims of Violence (Comité Ejecutivo de Atención y Reparación Integral a las Víctimas, or Executive Committee for Reparations)

Plan

National Plan for the Comprehensive Assistance for Mine/ERW Victims; National Plan for the Comprehensive Reparation and Assistance for Victims of Violence

 

Coordination

DAICMA is the governmental body legally responsible for coordinating mine/ERW victim assistance, raising awareness, and facilitating victims’ participation. In 2015, DAICMA held 15 meetings to strengthen inter-institutional coordination and to draft and implement the Plan for Comprehensive Assistance and Reparation for Victims of Mines/ERW (Plan Nacional para la Atención Integral a Víctimas de Minas, REG). Meetings were used to improve cross-checked information on victims, analyze access to services, and updates on procedures.[41]

In 2016, the National Planning Department and DAICMA initiated the evaluation process of the 2009 mine action policy, including its impact on mine/ERW victims.[42]

To improve economic inclusion, DAICMA held five coordination meetings with the National Federation of Coffee Producers and the Polus Center, with the objective of including mine/ERW victims in coffee production initiatives.[43] In addition, 10 coordination meetings took place between DAICMA, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Agrarian Bank, and the Victims’ Unit to provide subsidies to mine/ERW victims for the construction of adapted houses in rural areas.[44]

Throughout 2015, DAICMA disseminated information on the national Pathway to Assistance for mine/ERW survivors, emphasizing the CRPD.[45] DAICMA also continued to work with local authorities to develop pathways to assistance for mine/ERW survivors in the departments of Antioquia, Arauca, Bolívar, Caquetá, Cauca, Chocó, Córdoba, Meta, Nariño, Norte de Santander, Putumayo, and Tolima and 23 municipal authorities in eight departments.[46] DAICMA developed separate Pathways to Assistance processes for mine/ERW survivors and family members from vulnerable groups, such as indigenous persons, Afro-Colombian populations, and persons with disabilities, as well as children and adolescents—the latter being in application since the second half of 2014.[47] DAICMA and civil society organizations advocated for the incorporation of victim assistance elements in local and national mine action and post-conflict plans.[48] In 2015, DAICMA held three meetings with the Program against Illicit Crops (Programas contra Cultivos Ilícitos, PCI) to update procedures and training for sector managers.[49] In 2015, DAICMA and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) held almost 300 coordination meetings and formed 15 guidance and monitoring committees to develop local strategies to promote guidelines for comprehensive assistance to child and adolescent mine/ERW victims and to initiate pilot tests in 10 municipalities.[50] The Organization of American States (OAS) participated in its coordination and implementation.[51]

Bilateral and multi-stakeholder coordination meetings were held among NGOs, service providers, DAICMA, the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, National Health Institute, departmental state bodies, and survivor networks in 2015.[52] These meetings were used to improve assistance by optimizing the use of resources, increasing understanding of the needs especially at the local level, and for expediting assistance in urgent cases.[53] The meetings provided opportunities to better understand services available, promote advocacy, and identify barriers in accessing services, particularly regarding health insurance companies (Empresas Promotoras de Salud, EPS). Victims could also share their experiences and coordinate with relevant institutions.[54]

The National Disability System (Sistema Nacional de Discapacidad, SND),[55] is responsible for implementing and monitoring the national disability policy, managing the Registry for Identification of Persons with Disabilities (Registro para la Localización y Caracterización de las Personas con Discapacidad, RLCPD),[56] and coordinating with other national, departmental, and municipal bodies.[57]

Five coordination meetings on disability policy and victim assistance, highlighting the similarity of needs, were held between the SND and the National Victim Attention and Comprehensive Reparation System (SNARIV) in which DAICMA, the Victims’ Unit, and the Ministry of Health and Social Protection participate.[58] The legal framework for the rights of victims of armed conflict was developed in parallel with the legal instruments for disability rights, resulting in a gap between the two frameworks, and therefore, mine/ERW victims did not always fully participate in disability coordination mechanisms.[59] In 2015, efforts were made to promote the participation of victims of the armed conflict in regional committees on disability.[60] Despite efforts to coordinate between state and civil society disability and victim assistance institutions, challenges to integrating both legal frameworks remained.[61] A Ministry of Health and Social Protection representative said that there was a need to improve coordination between national, regional, and local institutions in the implementation of disability legislation and the Victims’ Law.[62]

National plans

The National Plan for the Comprehensive Reparation and Assistance for Victims of Violence, under Victims’ Law 1448[63] is supported by an implementation strategy, guidelines, a budget, and monitored through a mechanism at the Victims’ Unit.[64] SNARIV is also responsible for the implementation of the plan.[65]

A National Plan for Comprehensive Assistance to Victims of mines/ERW (2014) adopted by the National Intersectorial Commission for Mine Action (Comisión Intersectorial Nacional para la Acción contra las Minas Antipersonal, CINAMAP) is implemented through agreements with several governmental institutions including the Victims’ Unit, the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Agriculture. DAICMA monitors the implementation of the plan.[66] Monitoring decreased because the focus turned to humanitarian demining and away from victim assistance in 2015.[67] The Mine Action Working Group monitors this plan at the departmental level.[68]

Reporting

Colombia provided detailed updates on the progress and challenges for victim assistance at the Mine Ban Treaty intersessional meetings in Geneva in May 2016 and at the Mine Ban Treaty Fourteenth Meeting of States Parties, in Geneva in December 2015 as well as through its Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report for calendar year 2015.[69] Colombia’s initial Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 report was submitted on 28 August 2016. Form H for victim assistance stated that there are no registered cluster munition victims in Colombia.[70]

The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities reviewed Colombia’s initial CRPD reporting (of 2013) in 2016. Recommendations included: strengthening participation mechanisms for persons with disabilities in decision-making bodies, strengthening anti-discrimination measures, ensuring compliance with physical accessibility standards through a national plan, harmonizing of victim assistance and disability legal frameworks, and including a disability perspective in all victim assistance initiatives. The committee also highlighted the need to facilitate access to civilian justice processes for women and children victims of armed conflict-related violence.[71] Handicap International (HI) Colombia provided input on victim assistance for the alternative (shadow) CRPD reporting.[72]

Survivor inclusion and participation

In general, survivors or their representative organizations were invited to participate in discussion and consultation fora on themes that affect them, however participation was limited due to both political will and resources.[73]

Community leaders identified as focal points by NGOs report accidents and immediately communicate the assistance required. NGOs also provide a link between survivors and departmental health institutes.[74]

Survivors did not participate in mine action coordination meetings led by DAICMA or in coordination meetings between DAICMA and the Ministry of Health and Social Protection. Two survivors actively participated during the peace negotiations in Havana.[75]

Survivors are represented in the Victims’ Unit and the SNARIV, both responsible for the implementation of the Victims’ Plan, where they can participate in monitoring and in public policies. Although there is an effective presence, participation of survivors from remote areas is more difficult. In addition, despite the participation of mine/ERW survivors at the municipal and departmental levels, their participation at the national level is hindered by the fact that they do not have a recognized position, as do the majority categories of victims, including internally displaced persons (IDPs). In 2015, the Colombian Campaign to Ban Landmines (CCCM) advocated for mine/ERW survivors to be recognized as a specific category of victims with an allocated place for national-level participation.[76]

Representatives of persons with disabilities participate in the National Disability Council (CND). However, it is not likely that survivors can participate in both the National Victim Attention and Comprehensive Reparation System (SNARIV) and CND due to time and access constraints.[77] The UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities expressed concerns regarding the lack of participation mechanisms for persons with disabilities in the National Disability System (Sistema Nacional de Discapacidad, SND) and the CND.[78]

Child mine/ERW survivors and family members participated in committee meetings of the guidelines for comprehensive assistance to mine/ERW children and adolescent victims project.[79]

DAICMA and the CCCM continued a project started in 2014 to strengthen the capacity of 10 mine/ERW victim representative organizations in nine departments.[80] In 2015, 270 meetings were held with the associations, and DAICMA representatives provided guidance in the development of strategies. Guidelines for capacity-building were implemented in pilot areas. Survivors’ associations were involved in all stages of the project.[81]

The National Network of Organizations of Mine/ERW Survivors and Victims with Disabilities, an umbrella body, organized capacity-building training for member organizations in order to develop the network through the ICBL-CMC Survivor Network Project.[82] The Ministry of Health, DAICMA, and national and international civil society organizations increased their efforts to strengthen the capacities of organizations of persons with disabilities. Most available capacity-building support for mine/ERW survivor associations was provided through international cooperation, which has been declining in the last years. However, DAICMA also led some initiatives to build the capacity of victim representation.[83] In the department of Florencia, the Chamber of Commerce provided the survivor association with materials and technical assistance, while organizational capacity-building was supported by the UNDP and CCCM.[84] HI held international seminars on advocacy capacity.[85] In July 2015, the District Association of Landmine Survivors (Asociación Distrital de Sobrevivientes de Minas Antipersonal y Municiones sin Explotar, ADISMAM) participated in a forum on antipersonnel mines and survivors’ rights in Bogota.[86] The Colombia Comprehensive Rehabilitation Center (Centro Integral de Rehabilitacion de Colombia, CIREC) worked with associations of persons with disabilities to promote participation in local and intersectorial disability coordination and to strengthen organizational capacities.[87]

Service accessibility and effectiveness

Victim assistance activities[88]

Name of organization

Type of organization

Type of activity

Changes in quality/coverage of service in 2015

DAICMA

National government

 

Awareness-raising for governmental and non-governmental actors on available assistance and how to access it; capacity-building for survivor associations; needs assessment and monitoring of casualties

Ongoing

Ministry of Health and Social Protection

Administration of the Solidarity and Guarantee Fund (FOSYGA) to cover rehabilitative care for victims of conflict, including mine/ERW survivors; emergency and continuing medical care, physical rehabilitation

Development of a Pathway to Health and Rehabilitation assistance with DAIMCA

Victims’ Unit

Group therapy for registered victims; referrals for individual psychological support; technical support to municipalities in the implementation of the Victims’ Law; management of the Registry of Victims (RUV)

No major changes reported

National Apprenticeship Service (SENA)

Vocational training; training course for prosthetics and orthotics technicians

Increased training opportunities in prosthetics production

ASUTAL

National NGO

 

Psychosocial support, humanitarian assistance, facilitation to access medical care and rehabilitation

Unknown

CCCM

Legal advice; referrals to services; awareness-raising on survivors’ rights and advocacy; economic inclusion; mine risk education; survivor associations and local authorities’ capacity-building

Overall maintained geographical coverage; increased support to regional survivor networks by developing capacity through universities; expedited recording and registering of victims

CIREC

Physical rehabilitation, including mobile outreach to remote regions; income-generating projects; counseling in accessing services through the Pathway to Assistance; capacity-building of associations of persons with disabilities

Increased geographical coverage of mobile services for persons with disabilities; decrease in the number of beneficiaries

Fundacion REI

Physical rehabilitation and psychological support for mine/ERW survivors referred by HI and the ICRC

Unknown

Pastoral Social

Emergency assistance, needs assessment, psychosocial, judicial support; physical rehabilitation; transportation and accommodation to access services

Increase in geographical coverage and in the quality of services as a result of coordination and agreements with other organizations (HI, Law Faculty of CESMAG University)

Colombianitos

Support access to prosthesis replacement and rehabilitation services; psychosocial assistance; support access to health services for child survivors

Unknown

Paz y Democracia

Supports access to rights and services; promote          participation of survivors in processes created by the Victims’ Law; capacity-building of survivor associations; transportation, food, and accommodation to access services

Ongoing, despite resource constraints

District Association of Landmine Survivors (ADISMAM)

National survivor network

Advocacy to increase access to benefits and opportunities for survivor participation in Bogota and 20 departments

Ongoing activities, increased peer support and access to services

National Network of Organizations of Mine/ERW Survivors and Victims with Disabilities

National survivor network

National level coordination and representation of multiple survivor networks

Increased national coordination and peer support training opportunities for network member organizations

Association of Mine Victims of San Carlos

Local survivor associations

Prostheses, rehabilitation, training, and economic inclusion projects

Unknown

Victim Association of Caquetá

Data collection, follow-up and support to access services for survivors and families, psychological support, training through SENA

Ongoing; increased socio-economic inclusion activities with ICRC and UNDP support

Handicap International

International NGOs

Psychosocial support; monitoring; judicial support; advocacy; inclusive education and social inclusion; training; access to physical rehabilitation

Increased geographical coverage, extended to more rural areas, and in the number of beneficiaries (especially children); increased efforts in providing training to survivors

ICRC

Socio-economic reintegration; physical rehabilitation

Increased number of supported centers and number of beneficiaries

OAS/AICMA

Data collection; mine risk education; support in accessing services; support to productive micro-projects

Increased support to socio-economic inclusion projects

 

Emergency and ongoing medical care

A pathway to assistance developed by the Ministry of Health and Social Protection included facilitated access to emergency assistance services for armed conflict victims.[89]

However, in 2015 a decline in access to the healthcare was reported by national NGOs. Public services were often unattainable, or access was significantly delayed, and NGOs filled the gaps. This was due in part to a sharp decline in international funding, and a donors focus on emergency rather than comprehensive assistance. In addition, the newly adopted legislation stipulating that victims must obtain health services directly through the EPS further complicated access with its increased bureaucracy. State assistance, and municipal-level assistance in particular, is often considered ineffective.[90] NGOs found that services included in the Pathway to Assistance improved support for survivors to address the complex bureaucratic procedures required to access legally guaranteed services.[91]

In 2015, national NGOs[92] continued to visit hospitals in the aftermath of mine/ERW-related accidents to provide emergency response. The response also included distribution of WASH and food kits to the affected families.[93] The CCCM provided accompanying support for victims to obtain emergency aid, with support from UNICEF.[94] The ICRC supported wounded people to access healthcare services, provided training on first aid and weapon-wound management for emergency and medical personnel, and delivered medical materials. More persons with disabilities attended ICRC-supported centers than in 2014.[95]

Health coverage and accessibility for persons with disabilities overall was also lacking in rural and remote areas.[96]

Physical rehabilitation, including prosthetics

Due to funding reductions there was a decrease in access to prostheses for survivors, and to training for physical rehabilitation professionals.[97] This occurred despite a general overall improvement in the provision of physical rehabilitation services for several years, which has been increasingly under the responsibility of the state.[98] Access to physical rehabilitation provided by the state through the EPS and IPS declined, as services are often denied or delayed due to complicated bureaucratic and judicial procedures between EPS and IPS approval.[99]

Service delivery was also often delayed. In some departments, prosthesis and orthosis were of poor quality and there was often a lack of continuity in the rehabilitation process. Survivors can wait up to one year to obtain their prosthesis.[100] DAICMA requested that the Ministry of Health and Social Protection address these issues.[101] NGOs continued to fill gaps in access to and the provision of rehabilitation services.[102]

In 2015, the ICRC supported more rehabilitation services centers than in previous years, including with advice and training. The ICRC continued to cover the costs of transportation, accommodation, and prosthetic services for the most vulnerable. It supported the adoption of a resolution on good practices.[103]

SENA increased its prosthesis training in Bogota.[104] CIREC provided physical rehabilitation support for mine/ERW survivors through the EPS, as a registered IPS. This reduced its ability to provide outreach and referral services through community-based groups as it had done in previous years. However, CIREC reported increased geographical coverage and improvements in the technology used to provide services. The number of mine/ERW survivors within its overall beneficiaries decreased because they attended state rehabilitation institutions. In 2015 and into 2016, CIREC continued cooperation with the Colombian Red Cross.[105] In 2015, the national NGO Pastoral Social started implementing aquatic therapy for persons with disabilities.[106]

Economic inclusion

The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities noted the lack of promotion of professional integration of persons with disabilities.[107] There was a lack of government assistance in employment referrals or income-generating projects. Local, departmental, and national programs were regarded as limited, unsustainable, and inadequate.[108]

In 2015, national NGOs carried out income-generating projects with a family productive unit approach through micro-loans and cooperatives, with support from HI and the UNDP. The CCCM supported income-generation projects for survivors through an agreement with HI.[109] SENA provided vocational training, though rarely in remote and rural communities.[110]

In 2015, bureaucratic procedures to access pensions were reduced for survivors registered as having more than 50% disability. However, despite Constitutional Court rulings on the right to a pension for victims, the majority of survivors had difficulties in accessing those benefits.[111]

Survivors also face complex bureaucratic procedures to access benefits and indemnity compensation, which frequently cause them to abandon their claims.[112] Persons with disabilities were required to cover the cost of the mandatory physical evaluation (at the price of an average month’s wages) to prove their loss of ability to work, which is required to access the disability pension.[113] Since the end of 2015 however, through the Pathways to Assistance process, registered survivors could use a separate free registration process directly with an EPS in order to receive a diagnosis from a doctor in order to prove disability for indemnity payments. Many survivors and their supporting organizations were not aware of this change.[114] The ICRC facilitated the registration of mines/ERW survivors and other weapon-wounded people in the national welfare system.[115]

Social inclusion and education

In its strategic plan for 2015, the state of Colombia included a social inclusion and reconciliation program.[116] Programs or projects aimed at social inclusion were limited to major urban centers, while the majority of mine/ERW survivors are located in rural and remote areas.[117] Social inclusion assistance was mainly provided by NGOs that support survivors and their families. Some activities specifically targeted children.[118]

Social inclusion projects for persons with disabilities through the use of information and communications technology were carried out by organizations including the Relay Center, Connecting Senses, Movies for All, and Convertic.[119]

The vast majority of teachers lacked training on inclusive education for persons with disabilities.[120] In 2015, 2,301 mine/ERW survivors aged between five- and 25-years-old were registered in the Ministry of Education Integrated Registering System (Sistema Integrado de Matricula, SIMAT) in 520 municipalities.[121] The Ministry extended special educational coverage to address the right to education for victims of the armed conflict for the period 2014–2018. The Colombian educational sector developed a specific system of access to education for conflict victims from pre-school to higher education, including literacy courses for adults. It is not mandatory to be registered in the Registry of Victims (RUV) to access education through these measures. However, registered victims on low incomes with good academic performances can receive economic support for study.[122] National NGOs carried out inclusive education projects. In 2015, HI supported inclusive education in rural schools in mine/ERW-affected areas and advocacy, as well as increasing access to higher education in the department of Nariño.[123] The University of Antioquia reserved places for conflict victims with disabilities, including one mine survivor.[124]

Psychological support, including peer support

Public psychological support services in hospitals are not available in the majority of the municipalities where survivors live, or are only provided in the hospital immediately following injury.[125]

The Ministry of Health and Social Protection Program for Psychosocial and Comprehensive Health of Victims (Programa de Atención Psicosocial y Salud Integral a Víctimas, PAPSIVI), implemented through the EPS and health centers, assessed the psychosocial needs of all victims of armed conflict.[126] In 2015, the services offered were limited compared to needs, especially in remote areas and psychological support remained a major need for mine/ERW victims.[127] In 2015, the relevant state bodies developed guidelines on psychosocial support for persons with disabilities, including children and adolescents. As of May 2016, the guidelines had not been implemented.[128] An evaluation found that 83% of survivors continue to suffer from psychological trauma. A lack of psychosocial support and vocational training for family members of persons killed by mines/ERW remained major barriers to the fulfillment of their rights.[129]

National and international NGOs provided counseling, group and individual therapy, as well as peer support for survivors, including gender considerations.[130] The National Network of Organizations of Mine/ERW Survivors and Victims with Disabilities organized peer support training for survivor representatives from the departments of Meta, Arauca, Cauca, Caquetá, Norte de Santander, Antioquia, Arauca, and Cundinamarca, with support from the Survivor Network Project. Three survivor representatives also attended an intensive educational capacity-building field trip on victim assistance and disability rights to El Salvador.[131] HI organized follow-up psychosocial support and human rights workshops and training. It also conducted an international seminar on psychosocial support for mine/ERW victims and initiated the training of survivors on peer support methodology, with support from the ICBL-CMC. Some of the workshops led by HI specifically targeted female carers.[132]

Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH)

Colombia’s Humanitarian Response Plan for 2016, involves access to safe water, hygiene, and sanitation measures for the most vulnerable communities, including those in remote areas.[133] The ICRC facilitated infrastructural improvements in access water, sanitation, and shelter for IDPs and residents from rural communities.[134]

Laws and policies

As mentioned above, National Victims’ Law 1448 guarantees comprehensive assistance to all mine/ERW survivors injured and others victimized since 1985—among many other victims of conflict, the majority being displaced persons—as redress for violations of their rights resulting from armed conflict.[135] Under this law, spouses, partners—including of the same sex (marriage and civil status), and first degree family members are considered as victims and can benefit from the provisions stated in the law.[136] However, it was reported that families of victims often do not actually receive these benefits.[137] 

Illicit crop eradicators injured by landmine explosions and armed attacks have been unable to obtain adequate assistance in many cases. Many workers were peasants and not registered with a healthcare provider (EPS). Consequently, they have faced ongoing challenges in accessing the medical care that they need. Many eradicators did not receive compensation for injuries by mines incurred during the course of their work.[138] Observations from Colombia’s periodic review at the Human Rights Council in 2016 found that Colombia should discontinue the use of civilians in manual eradication activities in mine-affected areas until such areas are made effectively landmine-free according to international standards as well as free from other deadly hazards. The observations state that Colombia must also ensure that injured persons (survivors), or the relatives of casualties in the event of death, receive comprehensive reparations.[139]

Survivors do not have a good knowledge of their rights, obligations, existing services in their area, or procedures to access them. Assistance is still largely provided at the emergency level, but a lot less at the reintegration level. Of all survivors eligible for assistance, less than 50% received all the services to which they are entitled. An accident certificate is necessary to be eligible for assistance from the state, but obtaining it requires completing complex bureaucratic procedures that result in delayed access to services.[140]

In order to enable survivors access services and compensation, NGOs provided legal support for persons with disabilities to access disability pensions services. In addition, there was a specific focus on the needs of women and casualties’ family members.[141] The CCCM worked with four universities to build cross-thematic teams from departments for law, social work, psychology, and employment in order to address survivors individual cases, provide direct assistance and referrals to services, as well as legal aid to overcome bureaucratic barriers and make submissions for the implementation of guaranteed rights via routine court procedures.[142] HI included counseling on the needs survivors in the legal aid clinics of universities[143] ICRC provided assistance for mines/ERW survivors to complete administrative requirements for obtaining financial compensation and free medical care.[144]

Victims’ Unit Resolution 090 of February 2015 updated the prioritization criteria for victims’ access to reparation measures that also apply to mine/ERW victims.[145] Law 1751 on health, adopted in March 2015, guarantees access to quality and appropriate health services for vulnerable groups, including victims of armed conflict and persons with disabilities. However, the law lacked implementing legislation and was not fully operational as of September 2016.[146]

Decree 056 of 2015 released by the Ministry of Health, which establishes that health services to victims of the armed conflict must be provided directly through the EPS, added some burdensome and possibly useless bureaucratic requirements for victims that hinder access health services for the most vulnerable. As a result, access to healthcare through the EPS in general was seen as less effective in 2015.[147] Ministry of Health Resolution 1328 (2016), aims to simplify access to specific healthcare by circumventing the need for committee approval.[148]

The Protocol for the Effective Participation of Armed Conflict Victims, Resolution 0388 (May 2013) promotes the participation of armed conflict victims in the implementation of the Victims’ Law, while Resolution 0848 (December 2014) establishes modalities of reparations for personal injuries and access to reparations for mine/ERW victims.[149]

Legislation of 2011 prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in employment, education, access to public buildings, air travel and other transportation, access to healthcare, or the provision of other state services, but some NGOs reported that these laws were seldom enforced.[150] Law 1752, adopted in 2015, also prohibits discrimination based on disability as a criminal act.[151] Despite these efforts, discrimination against persons with disabilities, particularly women and children, was reported in the form of denial of reasonable accommodation.[152]

Law 1618 (2013) guarantees the rights of persons with disabilities in line with the CRPD.[153] The national policy on disability and social inclusion for implementation of the disability law in line with the CRPD (“Conpes 166”) was approved in December 2013.[154] Law 1618 established a deadline of 27 February 2015 for public offices to comply with new accessibility requirements. The National Disability Council was responsible for monitoring compliance.[155] In many departments, especially in remote areas, physical accessibility is limited to hospitals and health facilities.[156] In 2016, the absence of a national plan to ensure compliance with physical accessibility norms was highlighted by the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, as well as the discriminatory attitude shown by health professionals and in the work environment in general.[157] Although there is no specific policy regulating the provision of education for mine/ERW victims, their needs are considered within the broader Ministry of Education guidelines on persons with disabilities.[158]

DAICMA reported that assistance provided to children and adolescents took into account their specific needs and made appropriate referrals to services.[159] Some national NGOs provided assistance to broader groups, such as victims of terrorist attacks with disabilities, carers, and persons with disabilities in general, and some of them adopted an age- and/or gender- sensitive approach.[160] The Ministry of Interior mandated the National University of Colombia to lead an investigation on the situation facing women and girl victims of the armed conflict, including disability issues.[161] CIRCEC increased its emphasis on children and women through implementation of physical rehabilitation, employment initiatives, access to healthcare, and rights training.[162] HI worked with service providers to develop gender-sensitive training methodologies.[163]



[1] Department for Comprehensive Action Against Antipersonnel Mines (Dirección para la Acción Integral contra Minas Antipersonal, DAICMA) database, updated to June 2016, sent by Camilo Serna, Colombian Campaign to Ban Landmines (Campaña Colombiana Contra Minas, CCCM), 16 June 2016.

[2] Formerly, Presidential Program for Comprehensive Action Against Antipersonnel Mines (PAICMA), renamed under Decree No. 1649, 2 September 2014; Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2014), Form A. DAICMA’s role is the same as PAICMA’s, except DAICMA assists the Minister Counsellor of Post-Conflict, Human Rights and Security and the National Government in the planning and coordination of mine-related activities, while PAICMA was acting under the authority of the Vice-President.

[3] Nearly all explosives that are victim-activated and that can be triggered by an individual are referred to as antipersonnel mines in Colombia. These casualties are not caused by industrially produced antipersonnel mines, but rather by victim-activated improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that act like antipersonnel landmines and ERW. ICRC, “Weapon contamination programming Colombia Activities and results achieved in 2010,” Bogota, undated, p. 2, document provided to the Monitor by email from Matthieu Laruelle, Regional Advisor for Latin America, Weapon Contamination Program, ICRC, 20 April 2011.

[4] Of the 161 military casualties, 15 people were killed and 146 were injured. DAICMA does not identify any casualties among non-state armed groups.

[5] Civilians made up 35% of all casualties in 2014, 45% in 2013 and 2012, 37 % in 2011, 34% in 2010, and were 41% of all casualties in 2009 and 2008.

[6] See previous Colombia country profiles available on the Monitor website.

[7]  Response to Monitor questionnaire by Lucy Johana Salgado Sanchez, Counsellor, DAICMA, 2 September 2015.

[8] Inter-American Court of Human Rights, “Case: Massacre of Santo Domingo vs. Colombia Sentence of 30 November 2012,” undated.

[9] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Camilo Serna, CCCM, 9 July 2015.

[10] DAICMA, “Asistencia a Víctimas” (“Victim Assistance”), undated.

[11] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Johana Huertes Reyes, Handicap International (HI) Colombia, 22 May 2015.

[12] See the SISBEN website for details.

[13] Circular 00016 of 22 March 2014; and response to Monitor questionnaire by Lucy Johana Salgado Sanchez, DAICMA, 26 August 2015.

[14] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Esperanza Giraldo, Paz y Democracia, 28 April 2015; and by Lucy Johana Salgado Sanchez, DAICMA, 2 September 2015.

[15] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Johana Huertes Reyes, HI Colombia, 22 May 2015.

[16] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Rosa Palacios, Edwin Villanueva, and Sonia Juliana Fonseca, Pastoral Social, 31 May 2016.

[17] ICRC Physical Rehabilitation Programme (PRP), “Annual Report 2014,” Geneva, 2015; and response to Monitor questionnaire by Rosa Palacios, Edwin Villanueva, and Sonia Juliana Fonseca, National Secretariat, Pastoral Social, 31 May 2016.

[18] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Claudia Patricia Bernal, Program Coordinator, Colombianitos, 24 April 2015; by Johana Huertas Reyes, HI, 22 March 2015; and by Ingrid Verónica Gaitán, Organization of American States (OAS), 8 May 2015.

[19] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Johana Huertes Reyes, HI Colombia, 31 May 2016; by Claudia Patricia Bernal, Colombianitos, 24 April 2015; by Ingrid Verónica Gaitán, OAS, 8 May 2015; and by Luz Estela Navas, CCCM, 20 July 2015.

[20] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Ingrid Veronica Gaitan, OAS, 27 April 2016.

[21] Notes from Monitor field mission 29 March–4 April 2016.

[22] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Lucy Johana Salgado Sanchez, DAICMA, 16 June 2016.

[23] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Claudia Patricia Bernal, Colombianitos, 24 April 2015; and by Luz Estela Navas, CCCM, 20 July 2015.

[24] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Andrea Beltran, Colombia Comprehensive Rehabilitation Center  (Centro Integral de Rehabilitacion de Colombia, CIREC), 27 April 2016; by Johana Huertas Reyes, HI, 31 May 2016; by Rosa Palacios, Edwin Villanueva, and Sonia Juliana Fonseca, Pastoral Social, 31 May 2016; by Ingrid Veronica Gaitan, OAS, 27 April 2016; and by Luz Estela Navas, CCCM, 18 July 2016.

[25] See Colombia’s Mine Ban Treaty implementation law: Ministry of Information Technology and Communication (MinTIC), Law 759 of 2002, Article 13 (adopted 25 July 2002), Official Diary No. 44.883, 30 July 2002.

[26] These sources include departmental and local committees on mine action and transitional justice, emergency centers, hospitals, departmental and municipal health centers, the national Department of Social Protection, the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, and the Ombudsman’s Office. Public institutions, humanitarian international and national organizations, and national/regional NGOs have also signed agreements to provide updates and contribute to the verification process. Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2014), Form C.

[27] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Lucy Johana Salgado Sanchez, DAICMA, 16 June 2016.

[28] Ibid., 2 September 2015.

[29] Email from Lucy Johana Salgado Sanchez, DAICMA, 7 December 2015.

[30] Notes from Monitor field mission 29 March–4 April 2016.

[31] Notes from interviews with the Victims’ Unit and DAICMA during Monitor field mission, 4 April 2016.

[32] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Johana Huertas Reyes, HI, 22 May 2015; by Ana Milena Londoño, CCCM Volunteer in San Carlos, 3 May 2015; by Duyerney Pabón González, ICRC, 25 May 2015; by Harol Wilson Muñoz, Victim Association of Caqueta, 15 June 2015; and by Reinel Barbosa, National Coordinator, District Association of Landmine Survivors (ADISMAM), 9 September 2015.

[33] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Johana Huertas Reyes, HI, 31 May 2016.

[34] Email from Lucy Johana Salgado Sanchez, DAICMA, 7 December 2015.

[35] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Andrea Beltran, CIREC, 27 April 2016.

[36] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Lucy Johana Salgado Sanchez, DAICMA, 26 August 2015; and by Luz Estela Navas, CCCM, 18 July 2016.

[37] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Lucy Johana Salgado Sanchez, DAICMA, 16 August 2016; and email, 10 September 2016.

[38] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Lucy Johana Salgado Sanchez, DAICMA, 26 August 2015.

[39] Ibid., 16 August 2016; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2015), Form G, 13 May 2016.

[40] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Rosa Palacios, Edwin Villanueva, and Sonia Juliana Fonseca, Pastoral Social, 31 May 2016; by Johana Huertas Reyes, HI, 31 May 2016; by Ingrid Veronica Gaitan, OAS, 27 April 2016; and by Luz Estela Navas, CCCM, 18 July 2016.

[41] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Lucy Johana Salgado Sanchez, DAICMA, 16 June 2016.

[42] Ibid.

[43] Ibid.

[44] Ibid.

[45] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2015), Form G, 13 May 2016.

[46] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Lucy Johana Salgado Sanchez, DAICMA, 2 September 2015; and email, 10 September 2016.

[47] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Lucy Johana Salgado Sanchez, DAICMA, 26 August 2015, and 2 September 2015.

[48] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Rosa Palacios, Edwin Villanueva, and Sonia Juliana Fonseca, Pastoral Social, 31 May 2016; and by Luz Estela Navas, CCCM, 18 July 2016.

[49] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Lucy Johana Salgado Sanchez, DAICMA, 16 June 2016; and email, 10 September 2016.

[50] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Lucy Johana Salgado Sanchez, DAICMA, 16 June 2016. In 2014, Colombia published a Guide for the Comprehensive Assistance for Boys, Girls, and Adolescent Mine Victims DAICMA, “Colombia presenta en Maputo, Mozambique la Guía para la Asistencia de niños, niñas y adolescentes víctimas de minas antipersona” (“Colombia presents in Maputo, Mozambique the Guide for the Assistance of boys, girls and adolescents victims of antipersonnel mines”), 26 June 2014.

[51] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Ingrid Veronica Gaitan, OAS, 27 April 2016.

[52] Responses to Monitor questionnaire Johana Huertas Reyes, HI Colombia, 31 May 2016; by Duyerney Pabón González, ICRC, 25 May 2015; by Rosa Palacios, Edwin Villanueva, and Sonia Juliana Fonseca, Pastoral Social, 31 May 2016; by Andrea Beltran, CIREC, 27 April 2016; and by Luz Estela Navas, CCCM, 18 July 2016.

[53] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Duyerney Pabón González, ICRC, 25 May 2015.

[54] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Rosa Palacios, Edwin Villanueva, and Sonia Juliana Fonseca, Pastoral Social, 31 May 2016; and by Luz Estela Navas, CCCM, 18 July 2016.

[55] The SND is composed of representatives of the Ministry of Health and Social Protection and the National Disability Council.

[56] Document CONPES Social 166, Política Pública Nacional de Discapacidad e Inclusión Social (National Public Policy on Disability and Social Inclusion), Bogotá, 9 December 2013, p. 11; and ICRC PRP, “Annual Report 2014,” Geneva, 2015.

[57] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Johana Huertas Reyes, HI, 31 May 2016; and by Luz Estela Navas, CCCM, 18 July 2016.

[58] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Lucy Johana Salgado Sanchez, DAICMA, 16 June 2016.

[59] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Johana Huertas Reyes, HI Colombia, 22 May 2015; and by Luz Estela Navas, CCCM, 18 July 2016.

[60] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Lucy Johana Salgado Sanchez, DAICMA, 16 June 2016.

[61] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Johana Huertas Reyes, HI Colombia, 31 May 2016.

[62]Foro: Minas antipersonales y derechos de los sobrevivientes en Colombia, un reto del presente” (“Forum: Antipersonnel mines and survivors’ rights in Colombia, a challenge of today”), Bogota, 8 July 2015.

[63] Adopted under Decree 1725, 12 August 2012.

[64] National Planning Department, “Documento CONPES 3726,” 30 May 2012; and response to Monitor questionnaire by DAICMA, sent via email by Diana Rocío Sorzano Romero, DAICMA, 27 March 2013.

[65] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Johana Huertas Reyes, HI Colombia, 31 May 2016.

[66] National Planning Department, “Documento CONPES 3726,” 30 May 2012; and response to Monitor questionnaire by DAICMA, sent via email by Diana Rocío Sorzano Romero, DAICMA, 27 March 2013.

[67] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Johana Huertas Reyes, HI Colombia, 31 May 2016.

[68] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Luz Estela Navas, CCCM, 18 July 2016.

[69] Statement of Colombia, Convention on Cluster Munition Working Group on Victim Assistance, Geneva, 9 April 2014; statement of Colombia, Fourteenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 2 December 2015; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2015), Form J.

[70] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for 1 March 2016 to 28 August 2016), Form H.

[71] Concluding observations on the initial report of Colombia by the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, unedited version, 31 August 2016, p. 8.

[72] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Johana Huertas Reyes, HI Colombia, 31 May 2016.

[73] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Rosa Palacios, Edwin Villanueva, and Sonia Juliana Fonseca, Pastoral Social, 31 May 2016.

[74] Ibid.; and by Johana Huertas Reyes, HI Colombia, 31 May 2016.

[75] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Lucy Johana Salgado Sanchez, DAICMA, 16 June 2016.

[76] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Johana Huertas Reyes, HI Colombia, 31 May 2016; and by Luz Estela Navas, CCCM, 18 July 2016.

[77] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Johana Huertas Reyes, HI Colombia, 31 May 2016.

[78] Concluding observations on the initial report of Colombia by the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, unedited version, 31 August 2016, p. 2.

[79] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Lucy Johana Salgado Sanchez, DAICMA, 16 June 2016.

[80] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by DAICMA, sent by Oscar Ivan Ortiz Bohorquez, DAICMA, 2 May 2014; and by Luz Estela Navas, CCCM, 18 July 2016; and email from Lucy Johana Salgado Sanchez, DAICMA, 10 September 2016.

[81] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Lucy Johana Salgado Sanchez, DAICMA, 16 June 2016; and by Luz Estela Navas, CCCM, 18 July 2016.

[82] Notes from Monitor field mission, 5 April 2016.

[83] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Johana Huertas Reyes, HI Colombia, 31 May 2016.

[84] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Rosa Palacios, Edwin Villanueva, and Sonia Juliana Fonseca, Pastoral Social, 31 May 2016.

[85] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Johana Huertas Reyes, HI Colombia, 31 May 2016.

[86]Foro: Minas antipersonales y derechos de los sobrevivientes en Colombia, un reto del presente” (“Forum: Antipersonnel mines and survivors’ rights in Colombia, a challenge of today”), Bogota, 8 July 2015.

[87] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Andrea Beltran, CIREC, 27 April 2016.

[88] Notes from Monitor field missions, 29 March–4 April 2016; Victim’s Unit, “Informe de gestión del Subcomité Técnico de Rehabilitación año 2013” (“Management Report of the Technical Subcommittee for Rehabilitation Year 2013”), p. 4; responses to Monitor questionnaire by Claudia Patricia Bernal, Colombianitos, 22 June 2015; by Lucy Johana Salgado Sanchez, DAICMA, 16 June 2016; by Alejandro Rumie and Vanessa Cortes, Fundación REI, 21 March 2014; by Johana Huertas Reyes, HI Colombia, 31 May 2016; by Andrea Beltran, CIREC, 27 April 2016; by Esperanza Giraldo, Paz y Democracia, 28 April 2015; by Ingrid Verónica Gaitán, OAS, 27 April 2016; by Liliana Mendoza, Norte de Santander Rehabilitation Center, 29 April 2015; by Ana Mileyna Londoño, ASOVIMASC, 3 May 2015; by Harol Wilson Muñoz, Victim Association Caqueta, 15 June 2015; by Luz Estela Navas, CCCM, 18 July 2016; and by Rosa Palacios, Edwin Villanueva, and Sonia Juliana Fonseca, Pastoral Social, 31 May 2016; ICRC PRP, “Annual Report 2014,” Geneva, 2015; and ICRC, “Annual Report 2015,” Geneva, May 2016, p. 279.

[89] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Andrea Beltran, CIREC, 27 April 2016.

[90] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Rosa Palacios, Edwin Villanueva, and Sonia Juliana Fonseca, Pastoral Social, 31 May 2016; and by Johana Huertes Reyes, HI Colombia, 31 May 2016.

[91] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Johana Huertes Reyes, HI Colombia, 31 May 2016.

[92] Pastoral Social, Colombian Red Cross.

[93] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Rosa Palacios, Edwin Villanueva, and Sonia Juliana Fonseca, Pastoral Social, 31 May 2016.

[94] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Luz Estela Navas, CCCM, 18 July 2016.

[95] ICRC, “Annual Report 2015,” Geneva, May 2016, p. 279.

[96] Concluding observations on the initial report of Colombia by the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, unedited version, 31 August 2016, p. 10.

[97] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Rosa Palacios, Edwin Villanueva, and Sonia Juliana Fonseca, Pastoral Social, 31 May 2016; and by Johana Huertas Reyes, HI, 31 May 2016.

[98] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Andrea Beltran, CIREC, 27 April 2016.

[99] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Rosa Palacios, Edwin Villanueva, and Sonia Juliana Fonseca, Pastoral Social, 31 May 2016; and by Luz Estela Navas, CCCM, 18 July 2016; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2015), Form G, 13 May 2016.

[100] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Rosa Palacios, Edwin Villanueva, and Sonia Juliana Fonseca, Pastoral Social, 31 May 2016; and by Luz Estela Navas, CCCM, 18 July 2016; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2015), Form G, 13 May 2016.

[101] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2015), Form G, 13 May 2015.

[102] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Esperanza Giraldo, Paz y Democracia, 28 April 2015; by Ana Milena Londoño P., ASOVIMASC, 3 May 2015; by Johana Huertes Reyes, HI Colombia, 22 May 2015; and by Luz Estela Navas, CCCM, 20 July 2015; and Avances del Marco Lógico (Logical Framework Progress), HI, 9 July 2015.

[103] ICRC, “Annual Report 2015,” Geneva, May 2016, pp. 281–283.

[104] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Johana Huertes Reyes, HI Colombia, 31 May 2016.

[105] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Andrea Beltran, CIREC, 27 April 2016.

[106] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Rosa Palacios, Edwin Villanueva, and Sonia Juliana Fonseca, Pastoral Social, 31 May 2016.

[107] Concluding observations on the initial report of Colombia by the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, unedited version, 31 August 2016, p. 11.

[108] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Johana Huertas Reyes, HI Colombia, 22 May 2015; by Claudia Patricia Bernal, Colombianitos, 24 April 2015; and by Esperanza Giraldo, Paz y Democracia, 28 April 2015.

[109] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Rosa Palacios, Edwin Villanueva, and Sonia Juliana Fonseca, Pastoral Social, 31 May 2016; and by Johana Huertas Reyes, HI Colombia, 31 May 2016.

[110] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Johana Huertes Reyes, HI Colombia, 31 May 2016.

[111] Email from Ana Milena Londoño P., ASOVIMASC, 3 May 2015; “Foro: Minas antipersonales y derechos de los sobrevivientes en Colombia, un reto del presente” (“Forum: Antipersonnel mines and survivors’ rights in Colombia, a challenge of today”), Bogota, 8 July 2015.

[112] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Claudia Patricia Bernal, Colombianitos, 24 April 2015; and by Luz Estela Navas, CCCM, 20 July 2015.

[113]Foro: Minas antipersonales y derechos de los sobrevivientes en Colombia, un reto del presente” (“Forum: Antipersonnel mines and survivors’ rights in Colombia, a challenge of today”), Bogota, 8 July 2015.

[114] Notes from Monitor field missions, 29 March–4 April 2016.

[115] ICRC, “Annual Report 2015,” Geneva, May 2016, pp. 281–283.

[116] “Programa ‘Familias en sus Tierras’” (“‘Families in their Lands’ Program”), response to Monitor questionnaire by Johana Huertas Reyes, HI Colombia, 31 May 2016.

[117] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Johana Huertas Reyes, HI Colombia, 22 May 2015; and by Esperanza Giraldo, Paz y Democracia, 28 April 2015.

[118] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Rosa Palacios, Edwin Villanueva, and Sonia Juliana Fonseca, Pastoral Social, 31 May 2016; and by Johana Huertas Reyes, HI Colombia, 31 May 2016.

[119] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Lucy Johana Salgado Sanchez, DAICMA, 26 August 2015.

[120] United States (US) Department of State, “Country Report on Human Rights Practices – Colombia 2015,” Washington, DC, June 2016, p. 42.

[121] Decree 366, 2009; Ministerial directive No 15, 2010; and response to Monitor questionnaire by Lucy Johana Salgado Sanchez, DAICMA, 16 June 2016.

[122] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Lucy Johana Salgado Sanchez, DAICMA, 16 June 2016; and by Johana Huertes Reyes, HI Colombia, 31 May 2016.

[123] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Rosa Palacios, Edwin Villanueva, and Sonia Juliana Fonseca, Pastoral Social, 31 May 2016; and by Johana Huertas Reyes, HI Colombia, 31 May 2016.

[124] Notes from Monitor field mission, 1 April 2016.

[125] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Johana Huertes Reyes, HI Colombia, 22 May 2015; and by Esperanza Giraldo, Paz y Democracia, 28 April 2015.

[126] See the PAPSIVI website; and response to Monitor questionnaire by Luz Estela Navas, CCCM, 18 July 2016.

[127] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Rosa Palacios, Edwin Villanueva, and Sonia Juliana Fonseca, Pastoral Social, 31 May 2016; and by Johana Huertas Reyes, HI Colombia, 31 May 2016. In 2015–2016, the program altered its definition of “victim” to be based on the concept of resilience.

[128] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Johana Huertes Reyes, HI Colombia, 31 May 2016; and email, 16 September 2016.

[129] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Lucy Johana Salgado Sanchez, DAICMA, 16 June 2016.

[130] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Rosa Palacios, Edwin Villanueva, and Sonia Juliana Fonseca, Pastoral Social, 31 May 2016.

[131] Notes from Monitor field mission, 5 April 2016.

[132] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Johana Huertes Reyes, HI Colombia, 31 May 2016.

[133] Ibid.; and Colombia’s Humanitarian Response Plan for 2016, updated November 2015.

[134] ICRC, “Annual Report 2015,” Geneva, May 2016, p. 280.

[135] Law 1448 of 2011, known as Ley de Víctimas y Restitución de Tierras (the Victims and Land Restitution Law).

[136] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Lucy Johana Salgado Sanchez, DAICMA, 16 June 2016.

[137] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Luz Estela Navas, CCCM, 18 July 2016; and interview with ADISMAM members, Monitor field mission, 5 April 2016.

[139] The Human Rights Committee considered the seventh periodic report of Colombia (CCPR/C/COL/7) on 19 and 20 October 2016 and concluding observations were adopted on 1 November 2016. Paragraphs 22 and 23 of the unedited observations, which refer “Manual eradication of coca crops by peasants,” include these recommendations.

[140] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Lucy Johana Salgado Sanchez, DAICMA, 16 June 2016.

[141] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Rosa Palacios, Edwin Villanueva, and Sonia Juliana Fonseca, 31 May 2016; by Johana Huertes Reyes, HI Colombia, 31 May 2016; and by Andrea Beltran, CIREC, 27 April 2016.

[142] Notes from Monitor field missions, 29 March–4 April 2016.

[143] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Johana Huertes Reyes, HI Colombia, 31 May 2016.

[144] ICRC, “Annual Report 2015,” Geneva, May 2016, p. 280.

[145] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Lucy Johana Salgado Sanchez, DAICMA, 16 June 2016; and by Luz Estela Navas, CCCM, 18 July 2016.

[146] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Johana Huertas Reyes, HI Colombia, 31 May 2016; and email, 16 September 2016; and Circular 010 of March 2015.

[147] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Johana Huertas Reyes, HI Colombia, 31 May 2016; and by Luz Estela Navas, CCCM, 18 July 2016; and Decree 056 of 14 January 2015 by the Ministry of Health.

[148] Email from Johana Huertas Reyes, HI, 16 September 2016.

[149] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Luz Estela Navas, CCCM, 30 April 2014; by DAICMA, sent by Oscar Ivan Ortiz Bohorquez, DAICMA, 2 May 2014; and by Claudia Patricia Bernal, Colombianito, 24 April 2015.

[150] US Department of State, “Country Report on Human Rights Practices – Colombia 2015,” Washington, DC, June 2016.

[151] Concluding observations on the initial report of Colombia by the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, unedited version, 31 August 2016, p. 1.

[152] Ibid., p. 3.

[153] “Ley 1618: Por Medio de la Cual se Establecen las Disposiciones para Garantizar el Pleno Ejercicio de los Derechos de las Personas con Disacapacidad” (“Law 1618: Which Establishes the Regulations to Guarantee the Rights of Persons with Disabilities”), 27 February 2013.

[154] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2014), Form J.

[155] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Lucy Johana Salgado Sanchez, DAICMA, 16 June 2016.

[156] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Rosa Palacios, Edwin Villanueva, and Sonia Juliana Fonseca, Pastoral Social, 31 May 2016.

[157] Concluding observations on the initial report of Colombia by the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, unedited version, 31 August 2016, pp. 4 and 11.

[158] Decree 366, 2009; Ministerial directive No 15, 2010; and response to Monitor questionnaire by Lucy Johana Salgado Sanchez, DAICMA, 16 June 2016.

[159] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Lucy Johana Salgado Sanchez, DAICMA, 16 June 2016.

[160] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Rosa Palacios, Edwin Villanueva, and Sonia Juliana Fonseca, National Secretariat, Pastoral Social, 31 May 2016; and by Johana Huertes Reyes, HI Colombia, 31 May 2016.

[161] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Johana Huertes Reyes, HI Colombia, 31 May 2016.

[162] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Andrea Beltran, CIREC, 27 April 2016.

[163] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Johana Huertes Reyes, HI Colombia, 31 May 2016.

Support for Mine Action

Last updated: 11 December 2017

In 2016, the Republic of Colombia received US$26.2 million of international assistance from 12 donors, this was twice as much as in 2015 when 11 donors contributed some $13 million.

The largest contributions were provided by the United States (US), Norway, and the European Union (EU), which contributed a combined total of $18.8 million and accounted for 72% of all international assistance.[1]

In February 2016, Norway and the US launched the Global Demining Initiative for Colombia to mobilize additional assistance to support Colombia’s demining efforts. As part of this initiative a ministerial level meeting was organized in New York City in September 2016, during which 15 donors announced new financial assistance (totaling $83.5 million) as well as technical support.[2]

International contributions: 2016[3]

Donor

Sector

Amount (national currency)

Amount ($)

US

Clearance and risk education

$8,500,000

8,500,000

Norway

Clearance, risk education, and victim assistance

NOK44,853,478

5,343,771

EU

Clearance and capacity-building

€4,500,000

4,982,400

Canada

Clearance

C$3,235,000

2,442,800

Germany

Various

€1,510,000

1,671,872

Japan

Clearance

¥162,773,441

1,498,007

Switzerland

Clearance

CHF547,010

555,453

Spain

Clearance

€441,000

488,275

Italy

Capacity-building and victim assistance

€275,000

304,480

Belgium

Clearance

€250,000

276,800

South Korea

Various

N/R

100,000

Slovenia

Capacity-building

€23,925

26,490

Total

 

 

26,190,348

 

Since 2012, international contributions to Colombia totaled more than $78 million, and averaged approximately $15.7 million per year.

No information on any national contribution was available for 2016. Between 2012–2015, the government of Colombia contributed some $6.6 million to support its national mine action program.

Summary of international contributions in 2012–2016[4]

Year

International contributions (US$)

2016

26,190,348

2015

13,325,407

2014

10,232,257

2013

13,085,839

2012

15,568,519

Total

78,402,370

 



[1] Belgium, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form J, 30 April 2017; Canada, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form J, 21 July 2017; Germany, Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) Amended Protocol II Annual Report, Form E, 31 March 2017; Italy, Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form I, 20 April 2017; Japan, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form J, April 2017; South Korea, CCW Amended Protocol II Annual Report, Form B, 26 April 2017; Spain, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form J, April 2017; Switzerland, Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form I, 28 April 2017; emails from Ingrid Schoyen, Senior Adviser, Section for Humanitarian Affairs, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 31 May 2017; and from Steve Costner, Deputy Office Director, Weapons Removal and Abatement, US Department of State, 30 October 2017; Response to Monitor questionnaire by Frank Meeussen, Disarmament, Non-Proliferation and Arms Export Control, European External Action Service, 30 September 2017; and ITF Enhancing Human Security, “Annual Report 2016,” April 2017, p. 25.

[2] Four states committed to provide technical support: Argentina, Chile, Israel, and Uruguay. Ten states and the EU made financial pledges: Canada ($10.6 million), the EU ($5 million), Italy ($1.1 million), Japan ($1.5 million), Mexico ($1 million), New Zealand ($0.7 million), the Netherlands ($1.4 million), Norway ($22 million), Slovenia ($27,638), Switzerland ($4.1 million), and the US ($36 million). Global Demining Initiative for Colombia Ministerial Meeting, New York City, 18 September 2016. Notes by the ICBL.

[3] Average exchange rate for 2016: C$1.3243=US$1; €1=US$1.1072; NOK8.3936=US$1; CHF0.9848=US$1; ¥108.66=US$1. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 4 January 2017.

[4] See previous Monitor reports. Totals for international support in 2015, 2014, and 2013 have been rectified as a result of revised US funding data