Colombia: Sexual Violence Spans 50 Years of Conflict
Friday, May 23, 2014 10:35 AM

Women and girls in Colombia have suffered over 90,000 incidents of sexual violence during 50 years of armed conflict. Fewer than 10 percent of perpetrators have ever been prosecuted for these crimes according to statistics presented at a recent international forum on conflict related sexual violence in Colombia.

The forum followed a 2014 UN Secretary General report on sexual violence in war and armed conflict. The UN called the sexual exploitation of Colombian women and girls in areas under the influence of illegal armed groups, or groups emerging after the demobilization of paramilitary organizations, a “grave concern.” The report found that sexual violence in Colombia is perpetrated as a strategy to assert territorial control and to intimidate the civilian population. The Secretary General’s recommendations include encouraging the Colombian government to continue and expand its collaboration with the United Nations to combat the violence.

The Colombian forum was organized by the Norwegian Refugee Council, the Office of the Attorney General of Colombia and El Tiempo newspaper, and featured statements by victims and advocates as well as panel discussions among representatives of governments, academia and civil society.

Compiled from: Sheldon, Oliver, Impunity for sexual violence in Colombia reaches 98%: International forum, Colombia Reports (May 2, 2014); Conflict-related sexual violence: Report of the Secretary GeneralUnited Nations Security Council (March 13, 2014).