By Valentina Muñoz, Intern for ABA ROLI’s Colombia Office
The American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI), seeks to document the patterns of human rights violations (HRV) against Venezuelan migrant and refugee populations in Colombia through the implementation of its USAID-funded project Conectando Caminos por los Derechos (CCD). To this end, ABA ROLI works with the Government of Colombia to strengthen their information systems and databases, and with civil society organizations that permanently monitor HRVs at the national or local levels applying a gender and social inclusion approach. This approach highlights the specific risks and damage that vulnerable populations face in the country.
In fact, as a result of the economic, social, and political situation in Venezuela, Colombia is the primary host country for the Venezuelan migrant and refugee population worldwide. Due to poverty, insecurity, access barriers, and institutional gaps in protection, the migrant and refugee population suffers from serious HRV. Migrant women are particularly vulnerable to gender-based violence (GBV) and often lack access to justice services. Furthermore, migrant women are often deprived of several fundamental rights. To document this situation, through CCD, ABA ROLI supports civil society organizations and national institutions, such as the Consultancy for Human Rights and Forced Displacement (CODHES) and the Presidential Counselor for Women Equity (CPEM for its acronym in Spanish).