Posted by: astridstort | January 27, 2011

Second round of Dialogues started in Medellin, Colombia

This Wednesday, January 26 the second round of Regional Dialogues on Women and Girls started in Medellin, Colombia.

A team of UNHCR staff and members from the Centre of Refugee Research at the University of New South Wales, Sydney (Australia) travelled over the weekend to Bogota, where initial consultations were held with UNHCR staff in-country, as well as partner organisations responsible for specific assistance to the displaced people. In Medellin, the team will be able to get first hand accounts from the women, girls and men who have been displaced by the internal struggles that have been haunting Colombia for a long time.

As one of the major events marking the 60th anniversary of the Refugee
Convention, women, girls but also men in seven locations world wide ( Colombia,
Jordan, India, Uganda, Zambia, Thailand and Finland) will be consulted on the
problems facing refugee girls and women today. Women and girls are often the
most vulnerable when in flight, and need additional support as a result. UNHCR aims to improve its assistance to this particular group.

“We are very privileged that we can spend several days having in-depth
discussions with this group of displaced– mostly women- who face such hardship in their lives.

Their experiences as well as their ideas for solutions are absolutely cucial for
us to improve our programmmes and help them better,” says UNHCR’s senior gender advisor Luisa Cremonese, one of the team members who is presently in Medellin meeting with the displaced.

“I was humbled in India during the first dialogues, when all participants so
openly shared the problems they faced as vulnerable strangers far away from
home, yet at the same time to see their resilience and wish to work on
solutions– even small ones– to improve their lives. I am looking forward to
having this quality time as well with the people we care for in Medellin.”

In Medellin, UNHCR staff and Australian team will be meeting over one hundred
internally displaced (IDPs) women, men and girls from all over Colombia
over the period of one week. Following these internal meetings the IDPs will present
their problems and suggested solutions to the Colombian Government, UNHCR and
donor countries.

Forced displacement remains a challenge in Colombia, where by mid-2009 the
number of officially registered internally displaced people (IDPs) rose to more
than three million. There is also a steady flow of Colombians seeking protection
in neighbouring countries and other parts of the world. Most forced displacement
has resulted from the long-lasting conflict, widespread violence and the illegal
production of coca.

The regional dialogues kicked off successfully mid November last year in New Delhi, India. A total of 120 women and girls and fifty men from Somalia, Afghanistan and Myanmar participated.




  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by UN Refugee Agency, Sharon59, Susanna Metzger, sara, C F and others. C F said: RT @RefugeesCE: RT @refugeewomen: Blog: Second Dialogues on Women and Girls #refugees #women #UNHCR […]

  2. This is great! Thanks for posting. Paulette

  3. I just want to thank everybody and all humanitarian organisations worldwide, particularly th UNHCR for the wonderful job your are doing. I saw so many women and children whose lives have improved because of all your love, efforts and courage. Let’s’ all get involved and make a difference.

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