Colombia: Geneva Call invited to support the demobilization of minors from the ranks of the FARC-EP
28 June 2016
Geneva Call is pleased with the 15 May 2016 agreement between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (FARC-EP) regarding the demobilization of minors from FARC-EP camps. As a part of this agreement, the parties to the conflict have invited Geneva Call to support, accompany and follow up on the process of reintegration into civilian life for the children and adolescents associated with or recruited by the FARC-EP.
Geneva Call has accepted this invitation and is looking forward to contributing to this crucial step in the peace process. “We hope this agreement can soon be implemented and that all children can return safely to civilian life, with good prospects for their future and the support of their communities,” declared Anki Sjöberg, Programme Director at Geneva Call.
This agreement came a few weeks before the conclusion of a “Bilateral and definitive cease-fire and cessation of hostilities agreement” on 22 June, in Havana, between the Colombian Government and the FARC-EP.
For more than 10 years, Geneva Call has been engaged in a dialogue with the FARC-EP and the Colombian government regarding humanitarian issues and International Humanitarian Law, in order to improve the protection of civilian populations, particularly regarding issues related to anti-personnel mines and explosive remnants of war, the protection of children from the effects of armed conflict, and to prevent sexual violence and gender-based discrimination.
In addition to these important milestones for peace in Colombia, there are now prospects for the initiation of official talks with the National Liberation Army (ELN), and it is hoped that similar humanitarian steps can be taken as soon as possible.