The Defence for Children International-Colombia, DCI-Colombia is one of 47 National Sections of the Defence for Children International. Last year they issued a report on the situation of Children in Mitu-Vapès assesses the current status of the indigenous population of Colombia, particularly female children.
There is a population of 1,392,623 indigenous people in Colombia, which is 3.43% of the total population. In the past decade armed conflict in Colombia has claimed the lives of 40,000 people. The Committee on the Rights of Child expressed concern that the Afro-Colombian indigenous children were especially vulnerable to massacres by guerilla warfare fighters and forced displacement. In 2010, there was an increase in incidence of forced recruitment as well as an increase in sexual abuse of female indigenous children. Moreover, the municipality of Mitu was harassed by FARC throughout the 1970s and 1980s and such prolonged exposure to violence and abuse has affected children immensely.
Impact of Violence on indigenous females
DCI-Colombia engaged in three years of knowledge dialogue with a sample of indigenous girls and women to assess the impact violence in Colombia has had on them. This dialogue revealed lasting damage, particularly evoking feelings of insecurity, fear of abuse, and association of loud sounds with war. Yet this dialogue also seemed to have a healing impact on the participating members.
Therefore, DCI-Colombia proposes more spaces for knowledge dialogues as well as two forms of advocacy; political and social. The political advocacy focuses on direct engagement with Congress for more political control and the social advocacy works to make indigenous people visible among national social organizations.