House Resolution 1224, currently in the US House of Representatives, would bring the population of internally displaced peoples (IDPs) in Colombia one step further towards ensuring that their human rights are upheld.
The incidence of displacement in Colombia is not something to be overlooked – it is one of the highest in the world. Between 3 and 4 million people have been forced to flee their homes and seek refuge elsewhere in the country; a further 500,000 are believed to have fled to neighboring countries. Even worse, is that a disproportionate number of these internally displaced are indigenous peoples, afro-descendants and campesino communities. Displacement has forced these rural dwellers to migrate to large urban areas and it has drastically increased the number of people living in city slums.
In 2004, the Colombian Constitutional Court issued two declarations calling for the Colombian government to protect IDPs and their human rights (see pages 9-18). Unfortunately, the government of Colombia has yet to implement these recommended public policies and IDPs in Colombia continue to suffer. More people are continuously forced from their land, more people are discriminated against, and more poverty exists.
37 Representatives have signed onto this resolution, but more support is needed! Contact your local Representative to bring the millions of internally displaced Colombians one step closer to justice.
Kristin Keohan contributed to this post