For more than 50 years, Colombia has been immersed in an armed conflict that is considered the worst humanitarian crisis in the western hemisphere and the oldest on-going conflict in the world. Forced internal displacement directly affects around 6.9 million people. Despite the progress made in the peace dialogues led by the Colombian government, the youth sees their rights trampled on, finding themselves in situations of exclusion, displacement, armed recruitment, blockades and other types of violence associated with the armed conflict, leading sometimes to death.
In Colombia, discrimination and exclusion of women from social, economic, cultural and political life is widespread and encouraged by accepted social constructs and structural factors. Women suffer violations at alarming levels on a daily basis, as well violence against them in public and private spaces. Women and men face different types of violence in different regions because of different conflict dynamics. There is a clear relation between gender-based violence (GBV), human trafficking and the internal armed conflict in Colombia. As a result of these conditions, recruitment, forced displacement, constant migration, structural conditions of poverty, vulnerability of ethnic groups and drug trafficking take place. The diversity of armed participants involved, combined with the intensity and cruelty that characterizes it, have left thousands of victims of human rights violations and breaches of international humanitarian law.
In this context, women face greater risk of being victims of forced displacement and sexual violence. They are exploited and enslaved to perform domestic chores to illegal groups, and stripped of their land and heritage. Risk factors range from women´s membership in community organizations for the defense of human rights, to their personal or family relationships with members of legal or illegal armed groups, or as victims of gender based violence as indigenous, black or rural women in the middle of an armed conflict. Their own lives can be in danger because of the role they have played in a specific context across the critical conflict zones in the country.