Colombia: human rights as an instrument for peace

Sébastien Coquoz*

This article is part of volume 2 of the Society of Common Good “reveal humanity, fight inhumanity”

Versión en español aquí.

An alarming global situation

According to one of the latest speeches of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, held before the Human Rights Council, the current situation in the world is alarming: conflicts in the Middle East, famine in Africa, treatment of migrants seeking to reach Europe, are just a few examples. During the first three years of his tenure, he says, the world has become “darker and more dangerous”.[1]

International media report a country which seems to be going in the other direction, moving towards peace after more than 50 years of conflict: Colombia. Obviously, the picture is not all bright in this vast Andean country of South America (about twice the size of France[2]): the implementation of the peace agreement between the government and the FARC[3] encounters many obstacles[4], the negotiation process between the government and the ELN[5] appears to be stagnating or even regressing, and the activities of armed groups and criminal gangs, as well as the increase in the killings of human rights defenders, show that the country is far from having reached peace. But a process is under way and the Colombian population affected by the conflict hopes to be able to benefit little by little.

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