Since 2017, Colombia has experienced a gradual deterioration of the humanitarian situation in country due to the confluence of multiple crises: the resurgence of the internal armed conflict and new dynamics of violence against the civilian population, the arrival of refugees and migrants from Venezuela and mixed movements of other nationalities, an increase in the frequency and severity of disasters and climate change, and a deepening of protection needs due to the social impact of COVID-19.
The revitalisation of the internal armed conflict has been accompanied by a massive influx of refugees and migrants from Venezuela to Colombia, who have been exposed to dynamics of social and territorial control, which consequently exacerbate their protection risks. The intensification of the conflict has also had a specific impact on binational indigenous communities that are located in border areas under dispute between illegal armed actors with a presence on both sides of the Colombian-Venezuelan border.
In 2022, the National Protection Cluster (NPC) estimates that 4.6 million Colombians are experiencing human rights violations as direct consequence of the ongoing internal conflict. Of these, a total of 2.4 million are at severe or extreme risk of violations of their rights, living in areas highly affected by the internal armed conflict and/or under the control of illegal armed groups. Moreover, the Inter-agency Coordination Platform for Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela (GIFMM-R4V) estimates that a total of 4.4 million refugees and migrants from Venezuela as well as host communities are exposed to a myriad of protection risks.
This is a joint Protection Analysis Update from the National Protection Cluster and the Coordination Platform for Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela. Both coordination structures highlight as priority protection risks in Colombia the following:
- Violence, threat and homicides
- Forced displacement and confinement
- Gender-based violence, including sexual violence and exploitation
- Recruitment, Use and Utilisation of Children and Adolescents
- Presence of Anti-Personnel Landmines (APL), Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs)
- Trafficking in persons