Colombia: UN human rights office condemns forced displacement of indigenous people

Colombia: UN human rights office condemns forced displacement of indigenous people

The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights today condemned the forced displacement of some 800 indigenous people following threats by the rebel Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

The displacement in Tierralta, Córdoba, which affected some 250 children, constitutes a “grave breach of international humanitarian law,” the Bogotà-based office said, warning of serious effects on the indigenous group and urging efforts to preserve its social fabric.

All armed groups, particularly the FARC, have an obligation to respect the rights of the indigenous people not to participate in the armed conflict, the UN noted.

It also called on the Government to guarantee the rights of Colombia’s indigenous peoples and to help create the necessary conditions for the displaced to return voluntarily – in safety and with dignity – to their lands.