Women and children deemed most vulnerable in Colombian armed conflict
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Women and children deemed most vulnerable in Colombian armed conflict

A report released by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has found that women and children are the most vulnerable groups in international armed conflict.

During the past five years, some 59.5 million people have either been displaced or forced to seek refugee status as a result of armed conflict, a total which has not been reported since the Second World War, El Espectador reports.

“The humanitarian crisis has had a disproportionate effect on children, adolescents and women, placing them at a disadvantage which limits the time they take to recover and survive. They are placed at greater risk of abuse, sexual exploitations, violence, unwanted pregnancies, early pregnancies where the infant is delivered by a non-qualified individual, abortion and sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV and aids, due to the lack of access to health services and adequate protection,” the report outlines.

Displaced populations

Syria has over half of the world’s current displaced population, close to 7,600,000 people. Colombia follows in second place, with around 6,044,200 people, the majority of whom are from indigenous populations.

“Colombia remains the sight of the most serious ongoing humanitarian crisis in Latin America, which has affected the lives of millions of people, in particular women, children and adolescents,” the report “Shelter from the Storm” outlined.

Guerrilla groups, paramilitary members, the armed forces and drug traffickers are just some of the groups directly linked to pregnancies in adolescent girls, according to Noticias RCN.

The report concludes that on average there are 55.25 deaths per 100,0000 newborn infants.

Some 406 municipalities in Colombia have reported the presence of armed conflict, that’s some 36.10 percent of the country’s municipalities, home to around 53.7 percent of Colombia’s total population.

“Some 55.4 percent of children aged between 10 to 14-years-old and 54.5 percent of adolescents aged 15 to 19-years-old live in regions affected by conflict,” the report concludes.

Colombia’s armed group the FARC remain in talks with President Juan Manuel Santos, with hopes that a peace agreement will be reached by March next year.

See also:

Violence against women continues to rise across Latin America

Colombia’s FARC face ban from participating in politics