Online Discussion to Highlight Roles and Challenges of Colombian Civil Society Working on Missing Persons

Bogota, 13 October 2020 –The roles of and challenges faced by Colombian civil society organizations working on the issue of missing persons will be the focus of an online discussion hosted today by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) and the German Development Cooperation Agency (GIZ).

The event, to be held in Spanish, will be streamed live on ICMP’s Spanish Facebook page starting at 2 p.m. Colombian time (19:00GMT). The discussion will be based on a recent ICMP report that maps data on the work of civil society organizations, including family associations and other networks, involved in the efforts to account for the more than 120,000 persons who are estimated missing from Colombia’s more than 50 years of conflict.

The publication, the first of its kind in Colombia, highlights the central role played by civil society in ensuring that the state fulfils its obligation to investigate all missing persons cases, regardless of the timeframe or circumstance of their disappearance, and to secure the rights of all families of the missing. ICMP notes in the report that Colombia civil society acts as the “motor that has brought progress in the development of policies and institutions on the issue of disappearance”.

The Peace Agreement mandates ICMP to support the Search Unit’s and Colombia´s efforts to account for missing persons. ICMP has been assisting Colombia since 2019 through supporting the work of the Search Unit, and the participation of civil society organizations, particularly families of the missing.

The research phase of the report was supported by the German Development Cooperation Agency (GIZ). The publication of the report was financed by the European Union through its Foreign Policy Instruments.

For more information or to request interviews, please contact the ICMP.