After 50 years of brutal war, the peace agreement between the Government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army is cause to celebrate. Over the last five decades of the conflict, at least 218,094 Colombians have died, 25,007 individuals have disappeared, and millions have been displaced. Women and girls have long been on the frontlines of this war – as combatant, victim, and peacemaker. What they and all conflict victims stand to gain from peace is monumental, given that entire generations have known nothing but war.
The women victims of Colombia’s war stand much to gain from the peace agreement. But their security is far from guaranteed, and the assistance they are entitled to under Colombian law has not been forthcoming. This victim of Colombia’s conflict shared her story with a Refugees International team during their mission to Colombia.
The United Nations is monitoring the demobilization process of thousands of former FARC soldiers in Colombia. But consultation with affected communities regarding the fighters’ arrival has been minimal. RI found that the new UN Mission in Colombia is woefully unprepared to ensure that women and girls are protected in zones where FARC fighters will be housed and disarmed.