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Colombia

International Organization for Migration (IOM): Establish Policies to Ensure Adequate Account of the Rights of Migrants
Statement to the IOM and its Member States at the 2005 Governing Council Meeting (90th Session)
Human Rights Watch urges the Governing Council to take a much more active and critical role in evaluating IOM activities in countries where the asylum system and/or immigration policy and practice routinely deny the right to seek asylum and violate refugees’ and migrants’ rights. IOM cannot be guided disproportionately by the dictates of individual Member States that are willing to fund projects that promote their particular state interests, but which do not necessarily take fully into account the rights of migrant and refugee populations.
November 29, 2005    Press Release
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Colombia: Millions Displaced by Conflict Denied Basic Rights
The Colombian government has failed to protect the basic human rights of millions displaced by the country’s armed conflict, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Displaced families are often denied access to education, emergency healthcare and humanitarian aid.
October 14, 2005    Press Release
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Colombia: Displaced and Discarded
The Plight of Internally Displaced Persons in Bogotá and Cartagena
The families interviewed for this 60-page report described fleeing their homes after receiving threats, being subjected to torture, or seeing relatives or neighbors killed. When they flee their communities and seek shelter elsewhere, they may wait weeks or even months for emergency aid, are often denied medical care, and may be unable to enroll their children in schools.
HRW Index No.: B1704
October 14, 2005    Report
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U.S.: Ecuador’s Labor Abuses Violate Trade Act
The United States should suspend Ecuador’s trade benefits due to the country’s failure to comply with the labor rights requirements of the Andean Trade Preferences Act, Human Rights Watch said today in a petition filed with the U.S. Trade Representative. Human Rights Watch called for suspension of Ecuador’s trade benefits because of the country’s poor record on workers’ right to freedom of association and harmful child labor.
September 19, 2005    Press Release
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Ecuador: Petition Regarding Ecuador's Eligibility for ATPA Designation
September 2005
In September 2003 and September 2004, Human Rights Watch argued for partial or total suspension of tariff benefits when we submitted Andean Trade Preferences Act (ATPA) petitions to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). In those petitions, we detailed Ecuador’s failure to meet the ATPA and ATPDEA workers’ rights criteria. However, USTR has yet to rule on these petitions, and Ecuador has made little progress in addressing the violations of workers’ rights that we identified. This petition serves to reinforce and update our prior petitions, particularly our September 2004 submission.
September 19, 2005    Background Briefing

United States: Accept Andean Proposal to Add Non-Discrimination Provision to U.S.-Andean Free Trade Agreement
Letter to United States Trade Representative Robert Portman
As currently negotiated, the U.S.-Andean Free Trade Agreement would not require countries to ensure that their domestic anti-discrimination laws comply with international standards nor even to enforce their existing laws. The Andean countries, however, have proposed language that would at least require countries to enforce their domestic non-discrimination laws, but the United States has reportedly not accepted this proposal. Human Rights Watch urges the United States to reconsider this wrong and misguided position.
September 6, 2005    Letter
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Colombia: Demobilizations Legitimize Paramilitary Power
Interviews Expose Fatal Flaws in Government Approach
Colombia’s demobilization process is strengthening the power of paramilitary groups without furthering a genuine peace, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today.
August 1, 2005    Press Release
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Smoke and Mirrors
Colombia’s demobilization of paramilitary groups
Drawing on interviews with numerous demobilized paramilitaries, the report is the first to document the Colombian government’s mishandling of the recent paramilitary demobilizations. As the report documents, demobilized paramilitaries are not confessing, turning over substantial assets, or disclosing substantial information about their groups’ criminal networks and financing streams as part of the demobilization process. Instead, paramilitaries are taking full advantage of the demobilization process to launder their illegal fortunes and legitimize their political control. The 64-page report also shows that demobilizations are not bringing real progress towards peace.
HRW Index No.: B1703
August 1, 2005    Report
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Colombia: U.K. Should Reject Pro-Paramilitary Law
Demobilization Bill Would Preserve Power of Groups Responsible for Terrorism
The British government should not support Colombia’s new paramilitary demobilization law, which Colombian President Alvaro Uribe will promote when he meets with Tony Blair at Downing Street this week, Human Rights Watch said today.
July 13, 2005    Press Release
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Colombia: Women Face Prison for Abortion
Human Rights Watch Joins Challenge to Restrictive Abortion Laws
In Colombia, women can be imprisoned for up to four and a half years for having abortions even in cases of rape or when their lives are at risk. In a brief to Colombia’s Constitutional Court, Human Rights Watch said the country’s penal sanctions for abortion are inconsistent with international human rights obligations and should be declared unconstitutional.
June 27, 2005    Press Release
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Colombia: Sweden and Netherlands Should Withdraw Support for OAS Mission
Letter to the Foreign Minister of Sweden
Today, Human Rights Watch sent letters to the governments of Sweden and the Netherlands, requesting the withdrawal of their financial support for the OAS Mission supporting the process of demobilization of paramilitary groups in Colombia.
June 23, 2005    Letter
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Colombia: Sweden and Netherlands Should Withdraw Support for OAS Mission
Letter to the Foreign Minister of the Netherlands
Today, Human Rights Watch sent letters to the governments of Sweden and the Netherlands, requesting the withdrawal of their financial support for the OAS Mission supporting the process of demobilization of paramilitary groups in Colombia.
June 23, 2005    Letter
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Colombia: Bill Leaves Paramilitary Structures Intact
Congress Should Amend Draft Law to Require Confession and Genuine Demobilization
The draft law for the demobilization of paramilitary groups that the Colombian Congress began to debate this afternoon would leave the underlying structures of those groups intact, Human Rights Watch said today.
June 15, 2005    Press Release
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Colombia: Paramilitary Leader Must Be Held Accountable
Credibility of Demobilization Process at Stake in ‘Don Berna’ Case
A top Colombian paramilitary commander who surrendered to the authorities on Friday should be barred from receiving a reduced sentence or other benefits under a pending demobilization bill, Human Rights Watch said today.
May 29, 2005    Press Release
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A Bad Plan in Colombia
By José Miguel Vivanco, director of Human Rights Watch's Americas Division, and Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno, Human Rights Watch Colombia researcher
Published in The International Herald Tribune
After pouring $3 billion into Plan Colombia, the United States is about to be betrayed by one of its closest allies in the fight against drugs and terror. The Colombian government is putting the final touches on a scheme to launder the criminal records of top paramilitary commanders—including some of the country's most powerful drug lords—while allowing them to keep their wealth and maintain their control over much of the country. Should the plan be approved, it will be an enormous setback for U.S. counternarcotics and counterterror efforts, as well as for human rights in Colombia.
May 20, 2005    Commentary
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Colombia: Prominent Journalists Receive Death Threats
Government Must Provide Immediate Security and Pursue Thorough Investigation
A string of anonymous death threats this week against prominent journalists in Colombia could seriously undermine press freedom in the country, Human Rights Watch said today.
May 18, 2005    Press Release
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Colombia: More FARC Killings with Gas Cylinder Bombs
Atrocities Target Indigenous Group
Colombia’s largest guerrilla group must immediately cease its use of gas cylinder bombs and other indiscriminate weapons, Human Rights Watch said today.
April 15, 2005    Press Release
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Statement to the 61st Session of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights: Human Rights in Colombia
Agenda Item 3: Organization of the Work of the Session
Colombia’s forty-year internal armed conflict continues to be accompanied by widespread violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. Both guerrillas and right-wing paramilitary groups commit serious violations, including massacres, targeted assassinations, and kidnappings.
April 13, 2005    Oral Statement
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Colombia: Human Rights Concerns for the 61st Session of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights
The Commission on Human Rights should recommend that the United Nation’s human rights work in Colombia be expanded. Specifically, the number of permanent staff of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Colombia should be increased, and visits by U.N. thematic mechanisms to investigate specific aspects of Colombia’s human rights record should be encouraged. The Commission should also support broadening the mandate of and increasing the resources available to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Colombia.
March 10, 2005    Campaign Document
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Colombia: Armed Groups Send Children to War
U.N. Security Council to Discuss Colombia’s Child Soldiers
Colombia’s armed groups are among the worst violators of international norms against the recruitment and use of child soldiers, Human Rights Watch said today. The Colombian government should ratify and implement the United Nations treaty prohibiting this practice.
February 22, 2005    Press Release
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