Forced Displacement in Colombia Significantly Increased

1 October 2021

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) expressed its serious concern regarding the significant increase in the situations of forced internal displacement in Colombia.

Events of massive forced displacement in Colombia increased significantly currently Colombia continues to report the highest number of internally displaced people in the world, a total of 8.3 million people at the end of 2020.  

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), between January and August 2021, the number of internally displaced people in Colombia had increased by 135%, compared to the same period in 2020, with over 57,100 people forcibly displaced in 110 massive emergency events, the main cause of which was direct threats from paramilitary and other illegal armed groups. Similar reports were also issued by the Colombian Ombudsman’s office

Reasons behind the massive increase in forced displacement include limited progress made in the implementation of the Peace Agreement, especially in the components that seek to mitigate the structural causes of violence through the substitution of crops for illicit use (PNIS), for economic development with a territorial approach (PDET) and failure to develop a policy for the dismantling of the neo-paramilitary and other armed groups by the National Commission of Security Guarantees. According to the Colombian Ombudsman’s Office, the communities most affected are those that face a situation of historical and structural violation, such as indigenous and Afro-descendant ethnic communities (in 59% of cases) and peasants.


ABColombia calls on the UN Security Council to form a “Group of Experts” with technical expertise on organised crime, which includes experts on human rights, gender and ethnicity, to examine, together with the UN Mission of Verification and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, to examine the situation of neo-paramilitary and other illegal armed groups in Colombia and to provide technical advice to the National Commission of Security Guarantees