Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights in Colombia (A/HRC/19/21/Add.3)
Human Rights Council
Agenda item 2
Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General
Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
The present report highlights positive developments undertaken by the Government of Colombia to promote and protect human rights in 2011, as well as outstanding concerns.
It further summarizes the main activities undertaken by the office in Colombia of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and proposes practical recommendations to improve the human rights situation.
In 2011, political opportunities for the promotion and protection of human rights expanded. The High Commissioner recognizes the Government’s efforts to strengthen the rule of law. Significant legislative and public policy initiatives were undertaken, human rights violations were condemned and action against corruption and illegal land appropriation was taken. However, these efforts have yet to achieve the desired results at the local level.
Of particular importance were steps to address human rights violations of the magnitude of the extrajudicial executions in the form of “false positives” or the illegal mass wiretapping conducted by intelligence agencies recorded in prior years. The adoption of the “Victims’ and Land Restitution Law” demonstrated the Government’s commitment to upholding the rights of the victims of the internal armed conflict regardless of the identity of the perpetrator. Active and direct engagement by civil society, especially by victims and their organizations, is required to continue improving the situation.
A significant number of human rights and international humanitarian law violations are still committed, primarily by illegal armed groups, but also allegedly by State agents. The continuing high level of violence and the persistence of the internal armed conflict have serious humanitarian consequences for civilians.