PATH TO PEACE: Canada’s Peace, Security and Development work in Colombia
After over six decades of internal armed conflict, the prospect of peace, which Colombians so richly deserve, is closer than ever. Canada has been there to support the Government of Colombia through initiatives implemented by key partners during the conflict. The Government and all Colombians can count on Canada’s continued support for their efforts to build long lasting peace and prosperity.
Canada’s support for Colombia’s ‘Path to Peace’ focuses on four main areas:
Canada's programs support children and youth, with a priority on child protection and access to education, by helping to break the cycle of violence and to prepare future generations for full integration into Colombian society. In partnership with Colombian state institutions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and civil society, Canada works to protect children, youth and vulnerable groups from violence, exploitation and abuse.
Without education or employment opportunities, vulnerable youth are at greater risk of being recruited into Colombia's illegal drug trade or armed conflict. Through the Vive la Educación project, in partnership with Save the Children Canada (SCC) and the Norwegian Refugee Council, Canada is providing $18.5 million (2013-2018) to help 100,000 vulnerable children and youth access quality education in some of the most conflict afflicted regions of Colombia.
“This project has helped make schools a safe place for children and youth. Through the project, children and youth learned to resolve conflicts and deal peacefully with violence in themselves, and in their families, schools, and communities. It helped them break the cycle of violence and start rebuilding their lives.”- Eleanor Douglas, SCC's expert on children in armed conflict
See how the SCC project is providing new opportunities for education:
Golombiao – the game of peace
Colombian youth are learning problem solving skills that are helping them from becoming involved in violence through an interesting mechanism - a variation on the popular game of soccer.
Through its work with UNICEF (2010-2015) Canada has supported a very successful peace game known as Golombiao. The game is a variation of soccer developed to strengthen peaceful co-existence and promote child and youth protection. It encourages participation, recognition, and respect for differences and diversity between women and men.
Read more about Golombiao’s impact in Colombia:
Proud to partner with:
- Save the Children Canada
- Norwegian Refugee Council
- Plan International Canada
- Mercy Corps
- War Child Holland
- $18.5 million since 2013 to help 100,000 vulnerable children and youth access quality education.
- 64,000 children have learnt peace and problem-solving skills through Golombiao.
Canada’s support for rural economic development in Colombia is helping to ensure that small-scale farmers, women, ethnic minorities and youth can earn a decent living and contribute to their local economy. Canada contributes to transforming Colombia’s rural areas by helping small-scale farmers increase their productivity, access credit and crop insurance, grow viable cooperative businesses and connect to new markets.
Colombia has great agricultural potential; however, small-scale farmers are being left behind. They lack access to financial services, training, production equipment and infrastructure, and have been constrained for decades by armed conflict.
Through the Improving the Economic Performance of Agricultural Cooperatives (IMPACT) project, implemented by the Canadian Cooperative Association (CCA), Canada is providing $15 million to create rural economic opportunities for small scale farmers in eleven areas of Colombia.
See how this project is assisting farmers in Colombia:
Proud to partner with:
- $15 million to create rural economic opportunities for small scale farmers
- 16,500 farmers assisted through the IMPACT project
Canada is supporting projects in Colombia to assist with the transition to a post-conflict environment. This includes working with Canada’s partners for the development of territorial peace and reconciliation initiatives, planning for the resettlement of internally displaced communities, implementing a new rural justice system and supporting victims of crime.
Promoting understanding of the Peace Process
Canada is working closely with the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace and the Office of the Counsel Minister for Post-Conflict to enhance the Government of Colombia's capacity to engage and coordinate with local leaders and citizens in relation to the current peace process and the implementation of a final peace agreement. Government of Canada is supporting the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) in order to work with political parties, candidates and elected officials as they seek to develop and implement policy proposals coming from the Peace Process.
The ultimate goal is to increase knowledge of both the Peace Process and public policies, to enable the public and government officials to become active participants in implementation. Canadian cooperation allows NDI leveraging the media to build this public knowledge base, as they will also train journalists on analyzing different public policy options, to improve election coverage and public awareness of important issues in the post-conflict environment.
Supporting Victims of Sexual Violence
Violence against women and girls is one of the most prevalent human rights abuses in the world. It undermines the ability of women to participate in rebuilding their communities and livelihoods in the aftermath of armed conflict.
Canada has provided $850,000 to launch an access to justice strategy for victims of sexual and gender-based violence in Colombia. This initiative will counter the existing high number of unregistered incidents, promote the registration of complaints and the investigation of these cases, and provide psychological support to the victims.
Proud to partner with:
- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
- United Nations Development Programme
- National Democratic Institute for International Affairs
- Corporación Excelencia en la Justicia
- International Organization for Migration
- $382,000 to support understanding of the Peace Process in Colombia
- $850,000 to support victims of sexual violence
- $40,000 to assist in implementing a new rural justice system
Canada is supporting the Government of Colombia’s continued efforts to curb violence, fight impunity from justice, and promote security and peace within a framework of human rights protection and the rule of law. Canada’s programs are working to reduce crime, strengthen citizen security and eliminate landmines in Colombia.
Colombia is one of the most landmine-affected countries in the world. Canada is proud to have been a lead donor on landmine action in Colombia, committing nearly $10 million to humanitarian demining initiatives.
Through the Assistance to Civilian Landmine Survivors project, implemented by Handicap International, Canada has provided $2.9 million since 2012 to deliver health, rehabilitation and psychosocial support to survivors of landmine accidents in 10 areas of Colombia. The project targets rural areas most affected by poverty and armed conflict.
See how the project is rebuilding lives:
In cooperation with partner Fundación Ideas para la Paz (FIP), Canada is supporting the Colombian National Police as it strives to reduce crime and strengthen citizen security in the 17 largest cities in Colombia, with special emphasis on areas in which violence and crime are affecting the most vulnerable populations.
Canada has provided $432,000 towards initiatives aimed to develop specific capacities within the Colombian National Police to reduce metropolitan crime (including violence against women and sexual violence) and improve the public's perception and confidence in the Colombian security sector.
For the first time within the National Police, there is a strong gender focus to address domestic violence in Colombia. As a result, the program allows the police to understand and address domestic violence against women, including how to ensure that women properly denounce this crime, how first responders can better support women in these situations and what services and resources are available to them.
Proud to partner with:
- Handicap International Canada
- United Nations Mine Action Service
- Fundación Ideas para la Paz
- The Halo Trust
- UN Multi-partner Trust Fund
- Colombia is one of the most landmine affected country in the world
- $10 million since 2003 to support demining initiatives
- $2.9 million to support survivors of landmine accidents
- $432,000 to support crime reduction projects in 17 Colombian cities
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