Colombia

 

Operation: Opération: Colombia

Location

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Key Figures

2017 year-end results
126,080 vulnerable people received civil registration or identity documents 
19,860 people of concern received legal assistance
220 households received multipurpose or sectoral cash assistance 
160  local and national level State institutions were provided with capacity-building to protect and facilitate durable solutions for IDPs
2018 planning figures
119,000 vulnerable displaced and conflict-affected people will receive ID documents
15,500 people will receive legal assistance
180 refugee and asylum-seeker households will receive multipurpose cash grants to help meet their basic needs
98 national and local  institutions will receive technical assistance to strengthen their capacity to protect people of concern and facilitate durable solutions 
18 community-based committees/groups working on SGBV prevention and response will be supported
80% of the Colombian legal framework relating to refugees will be consistent with international standards

People of Concern Personnes relevant de la compétence du HCR

5%
Increase in
2017
2017 7,747,365
2016 7,411,675
2015 6,941,212

 

[["Refugees",277],["Asylum-seekers",540],["IDPs",7677609],["Returned refugees",194],["Stateless",11],["Others of concern",68734]]
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Colombia

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2017 {"categories":[2013,2014,2015,2016,2017,2018],"budget":[29.63863097,30.54009716,31.64999552,31.48831469,29.10286757,31.81689295],"expenditure":[19.72971212,18.22635741,15.30149255,14.34249313,16.34013628,null]} {"categories":[2013,2014,2015,2016,2017,2018],"p1":[1.25005017,1.36255488,1.28923061,0.97474715,2.23460232,10.26039746],"p2":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[28.3885808,29.17754228,30.36076491,30.51356754,26.86826525,21.55649549]} {"categories":[2013,2014,2015,2016,2017,2018],"p1":[0.85886962,0.71250308,0.65932352,0.57263632,1.97688292,null],"p2":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[18.8708425,17.51385433,14.64216903,13.76985681,14.36325336,null]}
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  • 2014
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  • 2018

Operational context

Despite the Peace Agreement signed between the Government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in 2016, many challenges remain, mainly linked to the continued presence of other illegal armed actors. New displacement, child recruitment and sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) continued especially along the Pacific Coast and on the Venezuelan border. 

UNHCR increased its emergency response capacity and border monitoring in 2017 and advocated with the Government for the establishment of a special protection regime for Venezuelans. Official estimates reported 550,000 Venezuelans in Colombia by the end of 2017, some 68 per cent of whom were present in the country irregularly.

UNHCR led the Protection Cluster, monitored and raised awareness about new internal displacement and supported State institutions and community leaders in improving their protection capacities. The Office continued to empower displaced communities to ensure they have the tools required to achieve durable solutions.

Population trends

At end 2017, there were 7.6 million registered IDPs, representing some 15 per cent of the total population. More than 75,000 were newly displaced in 2017.
 
At the end of the year there were 277 recognized refugees in Colombia. There were 625 new asylum-seeker cases in 2017, mainly from Venezuela (92 per cent). Some 190,000 Colombians returned from Venezuela, however, the mixed nature of these returns hinders the identification of people of concern to UNHCR. In 2017 UNHCR facilitated the voluntary repatriation of 74 Colombian refugees, the majority of whom were from Venezuela, and provided counselling to 80 spontaneous returnees.

Key achievements

  • Through the provision of technical assistance, UNHCR strengthened the capacity of local authorities to prevent and respond to the needs of new IDPs. The Collective Protection Decree, aimed to improve measures to guarantee displaced communities’ rights, was adopted in late 2017, after four years of technical assistance from UNHCR.
  • The Office made progress on its three-year strategy for the legalization of informal IDP settlements. Ten out of 30 prioritized settlements were legalized by the end of 2017 and the engagement of development actors in this strategy was promoted.
  • UNHCR and IOM co-led the inter-agency response to arrivals from Venezuela, a significant portion of whom were found to have international protection needs.
  • UNHCR expanded its presence along the Venezuelan border, reinforced protection networks, carried out profiling of arrivals from Venezuela, and implemented quick impact projects to increase reception capacity.
  • UNHCR supported government institutions and NGO partners through trainings on child protection, SGBV prevention and response as well as protection and solutions for ethnic communities.

Unmet needs

UNHCR had limited human and operational resources to reach people in need of international protection across the country.
Insufficient funds prevented UNHCR from increasing its support to the Government to implement more collective protection measures, and from implementing peace education exercises.
UNHCR was able to implement only limited projects in response to the needs of Venezuelan arrivals, and could not cover several border and receiving areas, including major cities such as Barranquilla, Bucaramanga and Cali.

Working environment

At the close of four years of intense negotiations with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a final peace agreement was signed on 26 September 2016 and put to a nationwide referendum on 2 October 2016.  In a surprise outcome, Colombians voted to reject the peace deal, with the no vote leading by a margin of less than 1 percent.  A revised peace agreement, mentioning UNHCR’s role in supporting the protection of IDP rights, was announced in mid-November and is expected to be put to a congressional vote before the end of 2016 to start implementation in 2017. UNHCR will closely monitor the situation as it evolves and continue to provide protection and seek solutions for Colombians who are internally displaced or refugees. 
Displacement inside the country is ongoing, mainly due to new dynamics relating to violence, although numbers have decreased in recent years.  Moreover, mixed flows are increasing due to the political and economic situation in other countries in the region.  

Key priorities

In 2017, the operation will focus on:
  • Providing technical assistance to the Government of Colombia to strengthen the national system aiming to protect and guarantee non-repetition of human rights violations linked to displacement.  This is achieved by identifying risks and implementing appropriate protective measures in response to the new dynamics of violence;
  • Enhancing the self-determination of displaced and host communities during the immediate post-peace agreement phase by using an age, gender and diversity approach and contributing to the meaningful involvement of all groups in the durable solutions process, as well as by building trust between communities and the authorities;
  • Advising the government in the design and implementation of rights-based public policies on durable solutions for internally displaced people (IDPs), taking into account their possible return, relocation and local integration. Emphasis will be placed on factors that contribute to local integration in urban settings;
  • Mobilizing resources locally to fund solutions for IDPs, which represent nearly 15 per cent of the Colombian population, to ensure that their reintegration into society helps sustain peace.