On 21 September, we commemorate the International Day of Peace, a day dedicated to strengthening the ideals of peace among people and nations.
In light of recent conflict in Gaza, Iraq, Syria, Ukraine and other parts of the world - tragedies scarring children’s minds and bodies, preventing families from going about their daily lives safely and depriving many of their most basic rights - we honour this day and stand by this year’s theme: everyone’s right to peace.
Stories of despair in Colombia
Long-term war has affected many generations in places like Colombia, where 60 years of civil war has left 6.2 million people displaced from their homes and more than 218,000 people have been killed in the armed conflict.
Behind the numbers are millions of memories and stories of despair, but also hope for peace.
Less spoken about are the many Colombians who have fled overseas in search of better opportunities for their children or to flee persecution and murder - around 100,000 Colombians currently live in the UK.
For the last two years, the Colombian Government has been holding peace talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrilla group. While there are sceptics and criticism about the talks, it is undeniable that every effort to secure peace in Colombia is worth pursuing.
So far, they have reached agreements on rural development, political participation and illicit crops. The FARC and the Government have agreed on the rights of the victims to justice, truth, reparation and the guarantee of no recurrence.
Tackling violence and building peace
Alongside our partners, we have been helping displaced communities and survivors to claim their land back, bring perpetrators of violence to justice and offering protection from further attacks.
In the UK, our partners are working with the government to ensure British businesses operating in Colombia comply with the UK’s human rights commitments.
Our partner, ABColombia, has been lobbying the UK Government on these issues and calling for support at peace talks.
Key to this has been their support to the International Colombian Victim's Forum aimed at recognising that Colombians worldwide are also victims of the conflict and ensuring their voices are heard at the peace talks.
On this International Day of Peace we give recognition to the work of our partners, not only in Colombia but in all countries affected by conflict, for working to make peace a reality.