In collaboration with the Colombian newsletter El Espectador, ABA ROLI’s USAID-funded program in Colombia, Conectando Caminos por los Derechos (CCD), implemented by ABA ROLI in partnership with Pact International, Freedom House and Internews, developed the short-film documentary Justice Without Borders. The film, through polyphonic storytelling, explores the daunting challenges and lessons learned of the Venezuelan migrant experience to empower vulnerable communities, bridge gaps in access to justice, and promote the protection of their human rights. This program, which ended on June 30, 2023, amplified the voices of migrants, refugees, and returnees as they recall their journey in accessing justice despite the institutional and societal barriers that persist in Colombia.
Amidst the unfolding migration of the Venezuelan population, certain migrants and refugees, including members of the LGBTQI+ community, women, children, and adolescents, find themselves particularly vulnerable to an array of human rights violations. Notably, the fundamental human rights of migrant, returnee, and refugee individuals in Colombia are compromised, primarily when confronted with an irregular migratory status. This pressing reality underscores the urgent need for comprehensive protection measures and interventions to mitigate the risks they face.
Justice Without Borders consists of four episodes, each representing a piece of a puzzle that, when put together, tells the resilient story of the migrant, refugee, and returnee population and their journey to defend their human rights in Colombia. Each episode takes place in one of the four target territories of Barranquilla, Medellín, Cali, and Cúcuta, where individuals share their experiences and perceptions of specific cases of Venezuelan migrants that are facing human rights violations and their route to access to justice. Despite the physical distance between each of the highlighted cases, the risks and vulnerabilities faced by these individuals transcend local boundaries, affecting the migrant population at the national level. Gender-based violence, statelessness, and human trafficking, among others are includes as some of the violations depicted.
Furthermore, the polyphonic narration of the documentary is voiced by migrants, refugees, and returnees as well as legal practitioners, public officials, civil society representatives, social leaders, judges, and magistrates of the Colombian Courts. The independent voices harmonize through the polyphonic approach to ensure the creation of a comprehensive resource that serves as a valuable guide for migrants, offering insights into the available avenues for protecting their rights. The thoughtful construction of the short-film documentary serves both as an informative resource for migrants as well as a practical guide, empowering them to navigate the intricacies of institutionality and access the necessary channels for the protection of their fundamental rights.