Eight Humanitarian Consequences of Colombia’s War

As the conflict in Colombia reaches near finality with the ratification of the Peace Treaty and weapons being laid-down by both sides, it is worth examining the devasation created by the half-century civil conflict. Here are eight of the major consequences to the war-torn country: 

  • There are 7.6 million war victims registered on the government’s official register, the majority of whom have been forcibly driven from their homes by the warring sides.
  • With 6.7 million people displaced, Colombia has one of the world’s highest displaced populations.
  • More then 230,000 children have been forced to flee their homes since peace talks with the FARC began in November 2012.
  • More than 7,500 children were recruited between 1985 and 2014 by all participants in the war in which the guerrillas, the military and state-aligned paramilitary groups were active.
  • Over the decades, rebel groups have planted landmines to push back government troops making Colombia quite literally a minefield. It’s not known exactly where all the landmines are.
  • Colombia is quite literally a minefield. It’s not known exactly where all the landmines are.
  • After Afghanistan, Colombia has the second highest number of landmine casualties, with 11,400 people killed or injured by landmines since 1990.
  • Rape has been used as weapon of war by all factions. Nearly 14,000 women, men and children have been victims of sexual violence.
  • At least 40,000 Colombians have disappeared without a trace during the conflict.

Sources: Colombian government’s victims’ unit, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), United Nations Children’s Agency (UNICEF). Photo credit: Fabio Cuttica/Al Jazeera  Read more here

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