Collective Protection

Protection Desk Colombia (PDCOL) – PI’s joint project with Pensamiento y Acción Social (PAS) – recently published in Spanish and English: Collective protection on human rights defenders of the right to land and territory in Colombia: Conceptual developments and methodological challenges.

This report studies the challenges in the implementation of collective protection measures in rural-based communities by the country’s protection mechanism. Based on a Constitutional Court ruling, the Interior Ministry of Colombia adopted Resolution 1085 of August 2015, which includes the first protocol in its kind to implement a Plan for Collective Protection of communities or organisations at risk.

Key findings:

  1. Collective protection goes beyond protecting individual community leaders considered to be most at risk.
  2. The communities’ need for an organisational structure was directly related to the level of risk that they were facing at the time.
  3. We could establish that there was an almost symbiotic relationship between the grassroots organisation that protects the interests and rights of the communities and the communities who protect their organisation.
  4. The repercussions the definition of the collective subject (community vs grassroots organisation) has on the protection strategies and measures to be adopted, since social subjects need to be recognised as both subjects and agents of protection.

We in PI continue to explore collective protection and its implications for HRD beyond Colombia.


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