Colombia recorded 184 cases of forced recruitment of children and adolescentsmostly from communities nativesby rebel groups and drug traffickers last year, revealed this Monday the Ombudsman’s Office.
The entity “was aware during 2023 of a total of 184 cases of recruitment of children and adolescents (NNA), of which 110 were children and adolescents and 74 were girls and adolescents,” the ombudsman’s office reported in a statement.
Of them, 68.4 percent of the minors “were part of indigenous communitiesthis population group being the most affected by crime,” the note adds.
The victims were between 9 and 17 years oldalthough the largest number of cases corresponded to the age range 14-17.
The most affected departments were Cauca, Norte de Santander, Nariño, Putumayo, Arauca, Valle del Cauca and Caquetá.
According to the Ombudsman’s Office, those most responsible for the recruitment were rebels from the FARC dissidents (91.1 percent), the ELN guerrilla (7 percent), others (1.3 percent) and right-wing squads of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (0.6 percent). percent).
“We have recommended to the National Government, in the development of peace dialogues with armed actors, the need to have a protocol for specialized care and assistance to guarantee the rights of minors,” urged Carlos Camargo, head of the entity.
The Colombian president, leftist Gustavo Petrois committed to a final negotiated solution to six decades of internal war and violence, after the historic peace agreement that seven years ago disarmed the bulk of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)).
Petro delegates hold talks with FARC dissidents and the National Liberation Army (ELN).
In the opinion of the Ombudsmanthese figures do not demonstrate the “reality of the situation” in Colombia Well, there is an under-registration.
The authority that ensures the rights of children (ICBF) attended to 196 cases of children recruited in 2023.
The Missing Persons Search Unit (UBPD) also warned this Monday, within the framework of the International Red Hands Day against the recruitment of minors, which has received 3,198 requests to trace children with unknown whereabouts during the conflict in Colombia.
The country lives a coarmed conflict driven by drug trafficking that in six decades leaves 9.5 million victims, most of them displaced.