Colombia: UPR mid-term report
20 September 2021

Colombia: UPR mid-term report

Colombia

In preparation of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Colombia in 2023, Lawyers for Lawyers, Lawyers’ Right Watch Canada and the Colombian Caravana have written a mid-term report. In this report, we set out to what extent Colombia has implemented the recommendations it accepted during the 2018 UPR process in relation to the role of lawyers.

During the UPR in 2018, Colombia accepted four recommendations with respect to effective protection of human rights defenders (HRD), including lawyers and two recommendations on the need to conduct investigations against threats, attacks and killings of HRDs. Moreover, Colombia assumed the voluntary commitment to continue the adoption of measures required for the protection of HRD, including lawyers. Our report concludes that Colombia has not adequately implemented the recommendations with respect to lawyers.

The Colombian authorities have failed to respect the rights of lawyers by not adequately adopting measures required for the effective protection of HRDs. Since May 2018, a number of lawyers have been harassed, threatened and submitted to illegal surveillance which are alleged to have led to serious crimes, such as physical attacks. This prevents them from performing their professional functions without external interference.  Furthermore, the Colombian authorities have failed to conduct timely and impartial investigations into these threats and attacks against lawyers in order to hold the perpetrators accountable.

We urge the Colombian authorities to:

  • Respect the rights of lawyers and guarantee that lawyers are able to perform all of their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference by taking effective measures to prevent these attacks and effectively protect HRDs at risk, in line with Principle 16 (a) of the Basic Principles.
  • Hold perpetrators of human rights violations committed against lawyers accountable by conducting prompt, effective, independent, impartial, investigations into these cases. This is essential to ensure that lawyers can carry out their work free from intimidation, threats, harassment, and attacks in line with Principle 16 (a) of the Basic Principles.

Click here to read the report.

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