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Colombia: European Union should insist on human rights guarantees

Amnesty International is concerned that although the the EU Presidency in effect endorsed these recommendations at the 2001 UN Commission on Human Rights, and the European Parliament has issued several resolutions calling for their implementation, the language of the recent statement does not underline the importance of these recommendations. Moreover, whilst it calls on Colombia's largest armed opposition group - Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC )- to respect international humanitarian law, it does not stress the the obligation of the Colombian government to guarantee the respect of human rights.

Failure by both sides in the conflict to respect international humanitarian law and human rights not only risks weakening the peace process - both sides question each other for violations and abuses of human rights - but leaves the civilian population at risk.

'The EU should play a more positive role to ensure that human rights and international humanitarian law are prioritised within the peace process and that the civilian population is removed from the conflict,' Amnesty International said. 'Yesterday's [Thursday 17th]statement by the Presidency does not indicate that the EU is playing this role.'

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