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United Nations Universal Periodic Review of human rights in Colombia: an opportunity to secure peace

Release of the Report on the Human Rights Situation in Colombia 2013-2017 for Universal Periodic Review of Colombia at United Nations


Brussels, 4 April 2018



On 10 May 2018, during the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Colombia’s human rights performance will be examined under the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). This is the third time that the country will undergo this five-yearly process in which all members of the United Nations are called upon to analyse the human rights situation. The first two reviews took place in 2008 and 2013.

Before the UPR takes place, a preparatory session will be held on 13 April in Geneva, during which civil society will be able to exchange opinions with interested countries, giving them the opportunity to prepare for the session in May.

The International Office on Human Rights – Action Colombia (Oficina Internacional de Derechos Humanos – Acción Colombia - OIDHACO) together with a coalition of more than 40 European and International organisations, has prepared a “Report on the Human Rights Situation in Colombia 2013-2017” which is published today. This report documents numerous aspects of human rights, and has been sent to the UN to offer information for the UPR process, along with other reports from civil society organisations, the United Nations and the Colombian State.

During the last five years the Colombian government has signed a Peace Agreement with the FARC-EP guerrilla which is currently being implemented. However, the agreement has become the object of political debate in the context of the upcoming presidential elections in Colombia, with some candidates questioning the Peace Agreement’s validity.

At the last UPR five years ago, Colombia accepted 33 recommendations from its peers on the subject of human rights defenders. Nevertheless, defenders are increasingly being murdered and face a lack of protection. Other serious human rights violations also persist, including sexual violence. Every day in Colombia 21 girls between 10 and 14 years of age become victims of sexual violence.

In light of these violations, we call upon the international community to:

·         Actively participate in the Colombia UPR process by asking questions and making precise and measurable recommendations aimed at putting an end to human rights violations.

·         Monitor these recommendations to guarantee Colombia’s commitment to policies and actions that fully protect human rights.

·         Request that every presidential candidate commits to protecting human rights and the peace process with the FARC and the ELN so that, regardless of which candidate is elected as President, the pathway towards respect for human rights and complete and sustainable peace can become a reality in Colombia.


For further information contact Miguel Choza Fernández, Oidhaco Coordinator, , tel.+32 2 5361913


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