Columbia: the invisible displacement
|Theme||EuropeAid - ECHO - UNHCR|
|Speaker||Roberto MIGNONE Deputy Represantive UNHCR Colombia - Esko KENTRSCHYNSKYJ Head of Unit Unit A4 Asia and Latin America, Caribbean and Pacific Regions DG ECHO|
After 50 years of internal armed conflict, the world seems to have looked away from the crisis in Colombia. A crisis that has generated hundreds of thousands of refugees, asylum seekers and more than three million internally displaced persons (IDPs).
Colombia has the second largest IDP population in the world after Sudan and their number is increasing: in 2008, there were 300.000 newly registered IDPs and the 2009 figure is similar. Gender-based violence, child recruitment and antipersonnel mines are of increasing concern.
Moreover, by the blurring of civil-military lines and repeated violations of International Humanitarian Law, the possibilities to provide help for these people by humanitarian organisations is shrinking.
The European Commission Directorate for Humanitarian Aid is working in the field since 1993 together with UNHCR. The focus is on emergency assistance and protection of displaced people in Colombia, and Colombian refugees in Ecuador and Venezuela.
A representative of UNHCR freshly back from the field and a colleague from ECHO will present and debate the situation at the Info Point.