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5 May 2021 - News

Save the Children Colombia rejects violence against civilians during ongoing protests, social unrest throughout the country

Save the Children Colombia expresses its concern and indignation about the recent violence against civilians – including children and adolescents – during ongoing popular protests throughout the country. We express our solidarity in this difficult moment with all who have been affected, especially those who have been injured, those who have disappeared, and those who have lost their lives.

Save the Children urgently calls for the guaranteed respect for and protection of human rights, as well as the rights of free association, mobilization and protest without delegitimizing the multiple demands and disagreements expressed by different social groups. While acts of vandalism and delinquency should be addressed individually within the confines of the rule of law, Save the Children firmly rejects the use of force as a mechanism to resolve differences.

"In these moments of crisis, we must ensure the integrity of the lives of adolescents and young protesters throughout Colombia. Coupled with their right to participate and protest is the responsibility not to use excessive force against them. My thoughts are with the families of those who have died and disappeared in recent days," said Maria Paula Martinez, Save the Children Colombia´s Executive Director.

Likewise, Save the Children Colombia joins national and international civil society organizations and other entities in the call against the militarization of cities as a response to the current situation of social unrest.

As a humanitarian organization, Save the Children reaffirms our commitment to the protection and respect of human rights. We also remain committed to establishing and fostering safe and peaceful environments for children, adolescents and their families, regardless of their social status, race, nationality or ethnicity.

We also reiterate the necessity to establish humanitarian corridors that allow civil society to address the needs of the most vulnerable communities – including migrants, victims of the conflict, and those living in extreme poverty - in the country.