Sharing research results with Human Rights defenders in Bogota, Colombia.
Human rights defenders (HRDs) face very high levels of insecurity and violence in Colombia. Examples of human rights violations that have occurred in recent years include extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and the criminalisation of HRDs. Colombia is one of the 5 countries studied in the research project, Navigating Risk, Managing Security and Receiving Support: A study of Human Rights Defenders at risk in Colombia, Mexico, Egypt, Kenya and Indonesia, led by Dr Alice Nah from the Centre for Applied Human Rights (CAHR).
CAHR staff member, Patricia Bartley, travelled to Colombia in July 2017 to run a workshop jointly hosted by the University of York and Fellowship for Peace and Reconciliation (FOR) Colombia on 7th July. The workshop brought together participants (HRDs) from the research study, other HRDs from across the country, lawyers, NGO workers, staff from FOR and researchers from CAHR at the University of York.
After a general explanation of the project led by Patricia Bartley, Peter Cousins and Emily Schmitz presented the research findings for Colombia. This was followed by questions and a discussion of some of the main issues raised. The defenders were keen to stress that since the government signed the peace accord with FARC in November 2016 they are facing greater levels of violence, abuse and threats.
The second part of the workshop was devoted to a discussion of some of the themes raised during the data analysis: stigmatization of HRDs; impunity and lack of justice; the protection of families and loved ones; and the protection of communities and collectives. The workshop participants reported that they very much appreciated the opportunity to hear more about the study and to be consulted on the recommendations
Both the discussion paper with the research findings for Colombia and a series of policy briefs being produced from this study will be available soon on the website: