Norma relacionada
Colombia
Practice Relating to Rule 132. Return of Displaced Persons
According to Colombia’s Law on Internally Displaced Persons (1997), forcibly displaced persons have the right to return to their places of origin. 
Colombia, Law on Internally Displaced Persons, 1997, Articles 2(6) and 10(6).
In 2004, in the Constitutional Case No. T-025/04, the Third Appeals Chamber of Colombia’s Constitutional Court declared that the State had violated the Constitution owing to its failure to guarantee the rights of displaced persons. The Court stated:
Regarding the right to return and resettlement, the authorities are obliged at the minimum: (i) not to apply coercive measures to force persons to return to their places of origin or to resettle in another place; (ii) not to prevent displaced persons from returning to their habitual place of residence or resettling in another place; …(iv) to refrain from promoting return or resettlement when such a decision entails exposing displaced persons to a risk to their lives or personal integrity. 
Colombia, Constitutional Court, Constitutional Case No. T-025/04, Judgment, 22 January 2004, pp. 25–26.
The Court also stated:
This Court has … highlighted that, owing to the circumstances surrounding internal displacement, individuals – for the most part women heads of household, children and the elderly – who are forced, “without warning, to abandon their place of residence and their usual economic activities, and move to another place within the boundaries of the national territory” to escape the violence generated by the internal armed conflict and the systematic disregard for human rights and international humanitarian law, are exposed to a much higher level of vulnerability. This implies a serious, massive and systematic violation of their fundamental rights, and for this reason merits special treatment by the State[.] 
Colombia, Constitutional Court, Constitutional Case No. T-025/04, Judgment, 22 January 2004, pp. 34–35.
[footnotes in original omitted]
In 2008, in its fourth periodic report to the Committee against Torture, Colombia stated:
140. With regard to forced displacement, a phenomenon that gave the Committee cause for concern during the examination of Colombia’s third periodic report [footnote: “That report makes reference to ‘the numerous forced internal displacements of population groups as a result of armed conflict and insecurity in the areas in which they live, taking into account the continuing absence in those areas of State structures for observing and ensuring compliance with the law’”.], the Government and the State as a whole have made a significant effort in implementing and effectively coordinating the policy for providing attention to the population concerned.
150. Accordingly, the Constitutional Court stipulates that the State must guarantee to the displaced population the following minimum rights:
(i) Right to repatriation and resettlement. 
Colombia, Fourth periodic report to the Committee against Torture, 21 February 2008, UN Doc. CAT/C/COL/4, submitted on 21 January 2008, §§ 140 and 150.
[footnote in original omitted]
Colombia’s Basic Military Manual (1995) provides that at the end of the conflict, the parties have a duty to “facilitate the return of the displaced population and to provide them with protection and humanitarian assistance”. 
Colombia, Derecho Internacional Humanitario – Manual Básico para las Personerías y las Fuerzas Armadas de Colombia, Ministerio de Defensa Nacional, 1995, p. 31.
Under Colombia’s Law on Internally Displaced Persons (1997), a National System of Integral Care for the Displaced Population on Account of Violence was created in order to facilitate the integration of displaced persons in Colombian society. A National Plan was also established in order to, inter alia, adopt means to facilitate the voluntary return of displaced persons. 
Colombia, Law on Internally Displaced Persons, 1997, Articles 2(6) and 10(6).
In 2004, in the Constitutional Case No. T-025/04, the Third Appeals Chamber of Colombia’s Constitutional Court declared that the State had violated the Constitution owing to its failure to guarantee the rights of displaced persons. The Court stated:
Regarding the right to return and resettlement, the authorities are obliged at the minimum … (iii) to provide the necessary information regarding the security situation in the place of return and the State’s commitment in relation to security and socio-economic assistance to ensure a safe return in dignified conditions; … and (v) to provide the necessary support so that the return is carried out in safe conditions and those who return are able to generate income to subsist autonomously. 
Colombia, Constitutional Court, Constitutional Case No. T-025/04, Judgment, 22 January 2004, pp. 25–26.
The Court also stated:
This Court has … highlighted that, owing to the circumstances surrounding internal displacement, persons – for the most part women heads of household, children and the elderly – who are forced, “without warning, to leave their place of residence and their usual economic activities and move to another place within the boundaries of the national territory” to escape the violence generated by the internal armed conflict and the systematic disregard for human rights and international humanitarian law, are exposed to a much higher level of vulnerability. This implies a serious, massive and systematic violation of their fundamental rights, and for this reason merits special treatment by the State[.] 
Colombia, Constitutional Court, Constitutional Case No. T-025/04, Judgment, 22 January 2004, pp. 34–35.
[footnotes in original omitted]
In 2010, in the Diego Vecino and Juancho Dique case, the Justice and Peace Chamber of Colombia’s High District Court of Bogotá convicted two members of the paramilitary group Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia) of several crimes committed against the civilian population. The Court stated:
336. … [I]n these circumstances, collective reparation programmes acquire particular relevance, … in particular those directed at creating the necessary security conditions for the victims to return, or in this case to remain, in the localities where they were victimized.
341. Considering that those who were forced to abandon their homes have not been able to return and their houses no longer exist, as a restitution measure, the Chamber orders the Ministry of the Environment … to prioritize subsidies for displaced households. 
Colombia, High District Court of Bogotá, Diego Vecino and Juancho Dique case, Judgment, 29 June 2010, §§ 336 and 341.
Regarding the responsibility of the defendants, the Court held:
In summary, these demobilized individuals are convicted of grave breaches of international humanitarian law because, as participants in an armed conflict, they attacked the civilian population by displacing it from its territory, taking the lives of non-combatants and pillaging its property after the incursion. However, owing to the limitation imposed by the principle of legality and considering the date when the acts took place, the offences are considered as ordinary crimes. [The accused] are also convicted of crimes against humanity because their punishable conduct was not isolated. 
Colombia, High District Court of Bogotá, Diego Vecino and Juancho Dique case, Judgment, 29 June 2010, § 144.
[footnote in original omitted]
In 2004, in its third periodic report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, Colombia stated:
117. The [Government’s] Programme of Comprehensive Care for the Displaced Population and the Social Solidarity Network are trying to find ways to improve living conditions for displaced people by providing comprehensive assistance that will enable families to become productive again and to recover their emotional stability, either by returning to their place of origin or by relocating elsewhere in the country.
118. Under … the resettlement arrangements, 9,285 households and 1,813 individuals benefited from expenditure of 13,099 million pesos on income-generating projects, training for entry into the job market and housing projects in towns and in the countryside. 
Colombia, Third periodic report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, 24 August 2005, UN Doc. CRC/C/Add.129, submitted 28 June 2004, §§ 117–118.
In 2008, in its Comprehensive Human Rights and IHL Policy, the Ministry of National Defence of Colombia stated:
130. The policy of the Ministry of Defence on displaced persons is set out in Directive No. 9 of 2005, produced in response to Judgment T-025 of 2004 of the Constitutional Court. The Directive establishes preventive and protective measures and procedures for responding to the urgent humanitarian needs of these persons and providing them with socioeconomic stability. These measures include:
- Assessing the viability of the return of displaced persons;
- Promoting initiatives for overseeing the return and resettlement of displaced persons; and
- Conducting operations aimed at monitoring the progress of communities of returned or relocated displaced persons, amongst others.
133. The Ministry of Defence also issued Directive No. 1 of 2007 for the purpose of establishing security protocols for the National Security Forces, in coordination with the National Police, for facilitating the return of displaced persons to their place of origin or their relocation, as appropriate, and for ensuring the[ir] physical safety … Measures introduced by this Directive include:
- Verifying the public order situation as regards [] the safety and protection of the return or relocation zone;
- Maintaining a detailed record of infringements of IHL and human rights violations occurring in risk areas during the period of displacement; …
160. For the purposes of compliance with the terms of the [1997] Ottawa Convention [on Anti-Personnel Mines] the Ministry of Defence has established the following main objectives: … the clearing of military bases that were mined before the Ottawa Convention came into force; the elimination of the risks surrounding these bases in order to facilitate the return of communities; humanitarian mine clearance; and the care and rehabilitation of military victims of anti-personnel mines. 
Colombia, Ministry of National Defence, Comprehensive Human Rights and IHL Policy, January 2008, §§ 130, 133 and 160.
According to Colombia’s Law on Internally Displaced Persons (1997), forcibly displaced persons have the right not to be discriminated against on account of their social condition, race, religion, political opinion, place of origin or physical disability. 
Colombia, Law on Internally Displaced Persons, 1997, Article 2(3).