Human Rights and Protection of Lawyers

UIA Report - International Caravan of Jurists - Forth Biennial Visit to Colombia - August 23-31, 2014

From August 23 to 31, 2014, the International Caravan of Jurists (the “Caravana”) made its fourth biennial visit to Colombia.

The UIA, represented by Ms. Julie Goffin, Human Rights and Protection of Lawyers Coordinator, took part in the Caravana for the third time thank to the support of the Fondation Magna Carta. 78 lawyers, magistrates and students from 12 different travelled through 8 cities in 7 of the country’s administrative departments, in order to inventory human rights violations, meet victims of such violations and to support the lawyers condemning such violations. 

In the regions visited, the Caravana was able to observe that human rights defenders were always vulnerable, faced threats and aggression and were even sometimes killed. During the first six months of 2014, 194 human rights defenders were attacked, 40 more than over the same period in 2013.

The Caravana also noted serious malfunctioning with regard to access to justice. Legal aid does not seem to be working properly in a certain number of regions due to the lack of resources. A considerable number of lawyers also condemned the difficulties faced, for instance, when they wanted to visit their clients in prison. Impunity rates were still very high and even when proceedings were initiated, sentencing rates were very low, especially before military jurisdictions. 

Download the report below (Available in Spanish and French).

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