Security trainings for human rights defenders in Colombia

Due to increased threats against human rights defenders in Colombia the Norwegian Human Rights Fund has initiated a project with SweFOR to improve the security of the NHRF’s grantees in Colombia.

– We are very happy to be able to offer our grantees these important security trainings. They safety of human rights defenders is under threat and it is essential to take measures to improve the security of those in the frontline, says executive director of the Norwegian Human Rights Fund Sandra Petersen.

They safety of human rights defenders is under threat and it is essential to take measures to improve the security of those in the frontline. Executive Director of the Norwegian Human Rights Fund Sandra Petersen

Civil society plays an important role in the development of democracy and peace in Colombia. Since the signing of the peace agreement between the Colombian state and the FARC, the human rights situation has developed negatively in some areas. November 17th, the UN Refugee Agency sent out a message of concern regarding the increase in murders and threats against human rights defenders and community leaders in Colombia. So far in 2017, 78 activists have been killed. This is an increase compared to previous years.

Thanks to the collaboration with the Swedish Fellowship of Reconciliation (SweFOR), five of NHRF's grantees in Colombia will recieve security trainings the next monhts. The grantees are: Corporación Regional para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos (CREDHOS), Asociación de Defensores y Defensoras de Derechos Humanos (dhColombia), Comité de Integración Social del Catatumbo (CISCA), Confluencia de Mujeres para la Acción Pública, and Red Juvenil del Suroccidente de Barranquilla. All of them have been subject to threats and intimidation in direct link to their work as human rights defenders and peace builders. With this workshops, the organizations’ staff will learn ways to identify and mitigate the risks they encounter, establish security protocols and improve their political discourse. Working to improve the organizations’ abilities to protect themselves from the risks they face is on NHRF’s mandate, and a responsibility we take seriously.

SweFOR is a nonviolence movement that works for peace and justice. Their aim is a world free from violence, be it in the form of war, oppression or injustice.

Participants from CREDHOS discussing security strategies.