START in Colombia
START’s engagement in Colombia provides vital project and policy support to civil society, multilateral and government partners working on key justice, conflict prevention, and human rights initiatives in the context of the Colombian armed conflict. This engagement strengthens Canada’s leadership role in Colombia and the region for the democracy and security priorities outlined in the Government of Canada’s Americas Strategy.
Through the Global Peace and Security Program, START has developed partnerships with state institutions, multilateral organizations, victims’ groups, and Canadian, international, and Colombian civil society organizations for the following activities:
- Monitor compliance with disarmament and reintegration processes for ex-combatants;
- Strengthen access to truth, justice and reconciliation programs for conflict victims;
- Facilitate dialogue among local and national groups on the key challenges related to the armed conflict;
- Support local and international efforts to prevent, reduce, and mediate conflict.
Justice for Displaced Victims of Sexual Violence in Colombia
This project supports lawyers, counsellors, and researchers working with women who are victims of sexual violence in the context of the Colombian conflict, specifically in building and prosecuting legal cases against paramilitary groups that committed sexual violence. The Norwegian Refugee Council works with national legal aid and women’s organizations on previously and newly identified cases of sexual violence which are emblematic. It is also developing litigation strategies and gender-sensitive support structures to protect women who are victims of sexual violence, and it is strengthening efforts to address crimes of sexual violence through Colombia’s transitional justice and regular justice systems.
Fund for Strengthening the Justice System in Colombia
This project is a coordinated, multi-donor program implemented by the United Nations Development Programme Justice Fund, that provides financial and policy support to Colombian government institutions responsible for the Justice and Peace Law. This project has increased the number of cases under the Justice and Peace Law process and the diversity of victims participating in the process, and it has improved the ability of justice professionals (state and independent) to carry out these cases.
The Organization of American States’ Mission to Support the Peace Process in Colombia
The Organization of American States Mission to Support the Peace Process in Colombia was created at the request of the Colombian Government. It is the key entity that ensures the credibility, impartiality and effectiveness of Colombia’s demobilization, disarmament and reintegration program, and the Justice and Peace Law process. START has supported the continued presence and monitoring/verification work of the OAS Mission to Support the Peace Process in Colombia in 28 of the 32 departments through 14 field offices, with special attention to municipalities with ex-combatants going through the reintegration process.
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