Practice Relating to Rule 55. Access for Humanitarian Relief to Civilians in Need
Colombia’s Basic Military Manual (1995) states the duty to allow relief organizations, such as the Red Cross, to perform humanitarian activities in favour of non-combatants and civilians.
Colombia’s Decree No. 138 (2005) states:
All authorities and persons in Colombia must protect … relief personnel and the persons who permanently or temporarily carry out humanitarian tasks in situations of armed conflict or natural disasters, facilitating their free transit and the transport of drugs, food and drink and humanitarian aid, evacuating the dead, wounded and sick, cooperating with them as necessary for the fulfilment of their tasks.
The Report on the Practice of Colombia refers to a draft internal working paper in which the Colombian Government stated: “The accomplishment of the functions of humanitarian organizations shall be facilitated.”
Colombia’s Penal Code (2000) imposes a criminal sanction on “anyone who, during an armed conflict, obstructs or impedes … the realization of medical and humanitarian tasks which, according to the rules of international humanitarian law, can and must take place”.
The Report on the Practice of Colombia refers to a draft internal working paper in which the Colombian Government stated: “The parties in conflict must guarantee the right to protection and humanitarian assistance of the victims of political violence.”