Support for internally displaced people in Colombia
Canadian Jesuits International supports the work of Jesuit Refugee Services (JRS) in Colombia. JRS has been accompanying people displaced by Colombia’s civil war for more than 15 years, persevering in its mission to build a society based on respect for life with dignity for all.
JRS works in regions where communities of internally displaced people (IDPs) are least supported. JRS runs projects in Soacha, Magdalena Medio, Valle del Cauca and Cucuta, all deeply affected by the violence.
JRS programmes in Colombia focus on psychosocial accompaniment, training in human rights, local integration and community-building programmes, with special attention for children and adolescents.
A pressing concern is the restitution of the rights of people displaced by the war. A major step was taken at national level in June 2011 when the government passed the Victims Land Restitution Law of Colombia, known as the Victims Law.
Taking advantage of this historic opportunity, JRS Colombia started a new project in 2012 to enable displaced families in the Magdalena Medio region to better access their right to restitution. JRS is also training local leaders to be more aware of their rights and to negotiate with policymakers.
This initiative complements JRS projects already under way in the region. Situated in the heart of Colombia, Magdalena Medio is one of the poorest and most violent parts of the country and is a microcosm of the actors and issues underlying Colombia’s armed conflict. The region contains great natural and productive wealth, but not everyone benefits from this wealth, so that 70% of the population live below the poverty line. JRS has been present in Magdalena Medio since 1995.
Director: Fr John Montoya SJ
Visit the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) website: http://jrs.net