In order to build a sustainable peace, it is essential to involve those that have suffered the impact of the conflict in the peace-building process. For this an enabling environment needs to be created – an environment where participative democracy and human rights are respected and promoted.
Building a sustainable peace is a lengthy process requiring long-term engagement and commitment from a wide range of social actors. Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) are essential for promoting dialogue with government, contributing to the construction of public policies and defending rights. CSOs provide collective organisation and access to technical skills that help to re-balance the inequality of power between citizens and the State, and between people and corporations. Whilst recognising and reaffirming that civil society groups and organisations are very diverse in Colombia, as they are in other countries, this report focuses on those groupings that are often marginalised in Colombia, namely women, peasant farmers (campesinos), Indigenous People, Afro-Colombians and mestizos.