Protect Colombia’s Women’s Rights Advocates

Target: Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos

Goal: To provide the advocates for women’s rights in Colombia the chance for a hearing at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and to secure their safety while they fight to defend women’s rights.

Recently in Colombia, a hearing with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on violence and intimidation faced by defenders of women’s rights, reproductive rights, and LGBT rights was cancelled. This hearing was meant to be a crucial step towards ensuring the safety of human rights advocates in Colombia. Sign this petition and ask Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos to guarantee that this important hearing be rescheduled so that these human rights defenders have the opportunity to bring the crimes against them to light.

A writer for Amnesty International highlights the story of one human rights activist and attorney, Monica Roa, who is working with Women’s Link Worldwide in Bogota, Colombia. Roa helped win a ruling in favor of partial decriminalization of abortion in Colombia and has been working on a campaign to highlight the state’s failure to correctly implement the ruling. The Bogota office for Women’s Link Worldwide has been a hotspot of violence against Roa and other human rights activists, ranging from power lines being cut, to break-ins and theft of computers, to death threats, and then most recently in May of 2012, gun shots fired through the office.

These activists are working to end violations of human rights. Their safety needs to be ensured so that they many continue to defend women’s rights, reproductive rights, and LGBT rights. The violence against them needs to be taken seriously and they need to be able to present their case to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Sign this petition and ask Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos to reschedule the hearing and work to end the violence and harassment against these human rights defenders.



Dear Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos,

The recent hearing with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to discuss the violence and harassment faced by defenders of women’s rights, reproductive rights, and LGBT rights was cancelled–with some believing the cancellation to be politically motivated. This hearing was meant to highlight the failure of the state to protect those activists who are fighting to make Colombia a safer place for women and the LGBT community and is a necessary step towards ensuring the safety of these activists.

After Amnesty International published it’s 2011 report on ‘Justice: Impunity for Sexual Violence against Women in Colombia’s Armed Conflict,‘  Colombian legislators worked closely with Amnesty International to pass new laws that would work to protect the victims of domestic violence and sexual violence and work to create gender equality for women in Colombia. However, as Monica Roa and Women’s Link Worldwide and Amnesty International have seen, the issue is not the willingness of the government to pass new resolutions and directives, but rather the government’s inability and failure to implement them across the country.

These activists need to be protected so that they may continue to fight against violence and hatred. Please reschedule the hearing with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and hear their grievances and work to protect them as they dedicate their lives to defend the rights of others.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: cascade_of_rant via Flickr

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