III. Internal Displacement In Colombia
Over 150,000 persons were forcibly displaced from their homes in the first six months of 2005, a 17 percent increase from the same period in 2004, the nongovernmental Consultancy on Human Rights and Displacement (Consultoría para los Derechos Humanos y el Desplazamiento, CODHES) reports.8 Since 2002, when displacement hit a five-year peak, at least 3 million people have been forced out of their homes and communities. That is, over 5 percent of Colombias total population of 43 million has been forcibly displaced in the last three years alone. Colombia is therefore by far the biggest humanitarian catastrophe in the Western Hemisphere, U.N. humanitarian coordinator Jan Egeland said at a press conference in May 2004.9 Worldwide, only Sudan has more displaced persons, according to data collected by the Global IDP Project.10
Forced displacement is a consequence of Colombias armed conflictoften a response to fear generated by indiscriminate attacks by all parties to the conflict but in many cases to massacres, selective killings, torture, and specific threats. As Francis Deng, the U.N. secretary-generals representative on internally displaced persons, observed in 2000, [D]isplacement in Colombia is not merely incidental to the armed conflict but is also a deliberate strategy of war.11 In a 1999 report on Colombia, written well before the recent peak in 2002, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights observed, The phenomenon of internal displacement has reached such proportions in Colombia in recent years that [the commission] considers it to be one of the gravest aspects of that countrys overall human rights situation.12 Nevertheless, government officials often discount the scope of displacement and suggest that many families have chosen to relocate for economic reasons rather than because of the armed conflict.
A key component of President Álvaro Uribe Vélezs response to internal displacement has been to promote return to home communities. Displaced persons, nongovernmental organizations, and officials with many international agencies have roundly criticized the governments return policy, saying that lack of security prevented safe return. Theres not a sign of any one of the three necessary conditions for return. Theres no security, no dignity, and very often no voluntariness, Jorge Vallés, an official with the United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF), told us in August 2004.13 Returns that are not voluntary and in conditions of safety and dignity do not comply with international standards.
The Conflict in Colombia
Colombia has seen conflict of one kind or another for over 150 years, beginning with struggles between the Conservative and Liberal parties in the nineteenth centuryscuffle[s] that provok[ed] thirteen coups and uprisings between 1849 and 1900, as Robin Kirk notes14and escalating into a fourteen-year period from 1948 to 1964 known as La Violencia.15 Every bit as violent as its name suggests, La Violencia appears in retrospect as little more than the opening act for twenty-five years of military rule under a state of emergency, four decades of organized armed rebellion that official repression helped foster, and the horrific abuses by all sides that continue to this day.
Since its formation in the mid-1960s, Colombias largest guerrilla insurgency, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia-Ejército del Pueblo, FARC-EP), has been responsible for the killing and abduction of civilians, hostage-taking, disappearances, the use of child soldiers, grossly unfair trials, the cruel and inhuman treatment of captured combatants, and the forced displacement of civilians. Further, FARC-EP forces have continued to use prohibited weapons, including land mines and gas cylinder bombs that wreak havoc and cause appalling fatalities and injuries, and to attack medical workers and facilities in flagrant disregard of international legal norms.16
The other major guerrilla insurgency, the National Liberation Army (Ejército de Liberación Nacional, ELN), is little better. The International Crisis Group notes that the ELN is responsible for a large proportion of about 4,000 kidnappings committed every year in Colombia.17
Colombias right-wing paramilitary groups, in turn, trace their origins to small self-defense groups formed by local landowners and businessmen to defend themselves and their property against guerrilla violence, and to death squads created by drug cartels in the 1970s and 1980s. Operating with the tolerance of, and often in collusion with Colombian military units, paramilitary groups have a long history of a litany of abuses against civilians, including massacres, assassinations, torture, forced displacement, forced disappearances, and kidnappings.18
A casual observer might easily confuse the various illegal armed groups, which long ago abandoned most of their ideological underpinnings. Both guerrilla and paramilitary groups pay for war with profits from illegal activities, among them kidnapping, contraband, and the international trade in weapons and narcotics.19 Although Colombias paramilitary groups declared a unilateral cease-fire in 2002, in practice both guerrillas and paramilitary groups continue to commit massacres, assassinations, acts of torture, and other grave breaches of international humanitarian law.20 One out of every four irregular combatants in Colombia is under the age of eighteen, Human Rights Watch found in 2003; and guerrilla and paramilitary groups, in particular the FARC-EP, continue to recruit and use child soldiers.21
Beginning in late 2002, while pursuing a military offensive against guerrilla groups, the government negotiated for the demobilization of paramilitary groups. The negotiations were accompanied by ceremonies in which thousands of purported paramilitaries have turned in weapons to the government. At the same time, however, paramilitaries flouted their Organization of American States (O.A.S.)-monitored demobilization negotiations while consolidating their control over vast areas of the country. In addition, the demobilization process lacked an adequate legal framework to ensure the dismantling of complex and economically powerful paramilitary structures or to provide for the effective investigation and prosecution of paramilitaries implicated in the commission of atrocities.22 There was no progress in 2004 in peace negotiations between the government and guerrillas.23 In June 2005, over the objections of local and international nongovernmental organizations and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the Colombian Congress enacted controversial legislation that granted a virtual amnesty to members of paramilitary groups.24
In August 2004, when we asked Angela Borges, then the director of the government office responsible for coordinating humanitarian assistance for displaced persons in the Bogotá suburb of Soacha for the most common reasons why displaced persons come to that municipality, she replied, First, because they have received threats. Second, because of fear of violence.25 Reports collected by the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) from local ombudmans offices, the Consultancy for Human Rights and the Displaced (Consultoría para los Derechos Humanos y el Desplazamiento, CODHES) and other groups suggest both that the same is true for displacement throughout the country and that 2005 was no different from 2004 in this respect.26
Many of those we interviewed said that they left after they or family members received specific threats. For example, ten-year-old José F. fled Tolima with his family in 2002 because his cousins army service left them open to the charge that they were collaborators. They threatened us, José said, without specifying the group. They said that if we didnt leave, they would kill us. They gave us half an hour to leave.27 Later the same day, we interviewed a relative of his, Marina F. She explained, My [older] brother is in the army, so the groups didnt like that. They told my dad that we had to leave. If we didnt, they would kill my brother.28 In all, fourteen members of their extended family fled their Tolima village for Bogotá.
We heard from others that they had also been accused of collaboration, although the details differed. A.B., a man from Caldes, explained that in his case:
I had to pay a vacuna [a levy or bribe] to the paracos [paramilitaries]. Then the guerrillas came and saw that I had paid the vacuna, so they came to kill me. I had to pay the paramilitaries, and then I was afraid. It was 3,000 pesos [$1.20] that I paid. The problem wasnt the money. It was that they [the guerrillas] thought we were collaborating with the paramilitaries. . . . They told me they would kill me.29
Those we interviewed were frequently unable or unwilling to identify the groups that made the threats. L.Z., a woman we interviewed in Cazucá, told us that she and her family came to Bogotá in 2001. I came from a farm in the country. My husband and I lived there. He was threatened. There were other deaths, she said. If I didnt go, they would kill me and my husband. Asked who had made the threats, she replied, They were hooded. I dont know if they were paramilitaries or guerrillas.30
Others left out of fear after neighbors or employers were killed. In a typically spare account, a woman in her mid-fifties told us why she and her family fled their home in Tolima in 2001: A man was killed on the farm and we had to leave. It fell to us to leave. Later in our interview, she explained that the man had been the owner of the farm. The killers wore hoods, she said. There were nine of them, and they also attacked another farm. We thought they would kill us if we stayed. When we spoke with her in July 2004, she was living in Cazucá with her daughter and seven other family members.31 Still others, such as M.D. and her family, profiled in the summary, told us that they left because they had reason to believe that a family member would be forcibly recruited.32
The Scope of Internal Displacement
It is difficult to ascertain with certainty the number of persons who have been forcibly displaced since the 1960s, when Colombias modern conflict is generally considered to have begun.33 Even for recent years, estimates of the displaced population vary considerably. In 2002, for example, the year recognized by all authorities as one in which displacement was at its peak, the Social Solidarity Network initially estimated that nearly 270,000 persons were displaced. The nongovernmental organization CODHES estimated that 412,500 persons were displaced during the year, finding that the increase in displacement between July and September of that year was the most significant in seventeen years:
In those three months the number of persons forcibly displaced reached the figure of 149,387 as compared with 90,179 and 113,554 in the first two semesters [of 2002]. That is, an average of 1,623 persons each day, 67 persons each hour, one family every ten minutes.34
Arriving at such estimates is necessarily prone to error. Even so, CODHES contends that its estimates have been borne out once the Social Solidarity Network has released its data on the number of persons actually registered during the year. For the four years 2000 to 2003, in fact, the number of actual registrations recorded by the Social Solidarity Network was 5 percent higher, on average, than CODHESs estimate. In 2002, for example, the Social Solidarity Network eventually reported that 423,231 persons were enrolled in its Uniform Registration System (Sistema Único de Registro) as displaced persons, over one-and-a-half times its initial estimate of 270,000 and 10,731 persons more than CODHES estimated.35
Forced displacement fell in 2003, but when Human Rights Watch interviewed humanitarian workers and displaced persons in mid-2004, they suggested that displacement was on the rise again. Families are arriving daily. Twenty-five families have arrived in the last fifteen days, said O.L., interviewed in Altos de Cazucá in August 2004. But the government is saying that this displacement has ended.36 A worker with the nongovernmental Association for the Welfare of the Colombian Family (Asociación Probienestar de la Familia Colombiana, Profamilia) in Cartagena told Human Rights Watch that same month, In 2002 and 2003, we saw a reduction in the numbers coming to Cartagena, she told Human Rights Watch. In 2004, the numbers are increasing again.37
These impressions have proven to be correct. Some 287,500 persons were forcibly displaced in 2004, a 38 percent increase over 2003.38 The first six months of 2005 were, if anything, worse: On average, 848 persons were displaced every day during this period, as compared with an average of 724 persons per day during the first half of 2004, CODHES reports.39 With regard to Bogotá and Cartagena, local officials and representatives of nongovernmental organizations generally agreed that both metropolitan areas continued to receive displaced families in large numbers in 2004 and 2005.40 Between April and June 2005, for example, CODHES reports that some 11,000 displaced persons relocated to Bogotá and 2,400 to Cartagena.41
Estimates of the racial and ethnic composition of displaced persons vary as well. CODHES estimated that 33 percent of those displaced in 2002 were Afro-Colombian; the Social Solidarity Network put the figure at closer to 18 percent. Even the lower of these figures indicates that Afro-Colombians are far more likely than other groups to suffer displacement. Less than 4 percent of the national population is Afro-Colombian, according to the 1993 census.42 Similarly, some 12 percent of Colombias displaced population is indigenous, even though indigenous peoples make up less than 2.5 percent of the national population.43
The ombudsmans office and other observers suggest that Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities disproportionately suffer forced displacement because their lands are frequently of strategic interest to Colombias armed groups.44 [T]hey are especially vulnerable to being pushed off their land, which is coveted by armed groups for the cultivation of African palm and other lucrative crops, including coca, Erin Mooney, senior advisor to the representative of the U.N. Secretary-General on the human rights of internally displaced persons, observed in June 2005.45 As one example of forced displacement in Afro-Colombian communities, 1,200 Afro-Colombians fled their homes along the Bojayá River in Chocó in February 2005 in response to increased presence of the FARC-EP and paramilitary groups.46 Similarly, the special rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people has observed that the activities of armed groups in indigenous regions have increased recently as those groups have increased the cultivation of illicit crops in these areas and as military pressure has forced members of armed groups into these areas.47
More than half of all displaced persons are children under the age of eighteen. Of those recorded as displaced by the Social Solidarity Network between 1995 and August 2005 and whose ages are known, 54 percent were under age eighteen.48 Their data are similar to the findings of an International Organization for Migration (IOM) survey of internal displacement in the departments of Caquetá, Nariño, Norte de Santander, Putumayo, Santander, and Valle del Cauca conducted in 2001. In that survey, the IOM found that nearly one-quarter of those surveyed were under the age of seven and 55 percent were under the age of eighteen. Children, particularly those under seven, made up a larger proportion of the displaced population in urban areas.49 A 2003 study of displaced persons in Bogotá found that 56 percent of the displaced population was under the age of eighteen, with 31 percent younger than age seven and 25 percent between the ages of eight and seventeen.50 More recent studies indicate that children may make up an even higher percentage of the total. Sixty-two percent of those surveyed for a March 2005 study by the World Food Programme and the International Committee of the Red Cross were under the age of eighteen. In the province of Norte de Santander, children made up 77 percent of displaced persons included in the survey.51
Sixty-three percent of those who are forcibly displaced relocate to Colombias largest cities, according to the ombudsmans office.52 Taking into account only those who had registered with the governments Social Solidarity Network as of December 2002, Bogotá and Cartagena were the second- and fourth-largest recipients of displaced persons. The Social Solidarity Network reported that some 46,000 displaced persons had registered in Bogotá and over 24,000 had registered in Cartagena as of that date.53
Displaced persons who come to the metropolitan region of Bogotá typically end up in the citys poorer neighborhoods, places such as Bosa, Ciudad Bolívar, and Ciudad Kennedy; in and around the neighboring municipality of Soacha, particularly in makeshift housing on the hills known as the Altos de Cazucá; and in rural communities in the capital district, such as Usme.54 In Cartagena, most displaced families settle in shantytowns in the Nelson Mandela, El Pozón, and Villa Hermosa communities, places that are, in the words of U.N. undersecretary for humanitarian affairs Jan Egeland, floating in a sea of sewage and garbage.55 (Villa Hermosa is more commonly known as the Barrio Bill Clinton, a name its inhabitants adopted informally after President Clintons visit to Cartagena in August 2000.) These communities tend to have a high level of violence, the result both of gang activity and the presence of one or more of the paramilitary and guerrilla groups. In Altos de Cazucá and Ciudad Bolívar in particular, local human rights groups report high homicide rates for youths under the age of twenty-five.56
Displaced families in El Pozón, on
the outskirts of Cartagena, crowd into single-room shacks haphazardly
constructed from scraps of lumber, cardboard, plastic sheeting, and corrugated
Officials in President Uribes administration frequently describe displaced persons in terms that equate their circumstances with those of impoverished Colombians in general. As a consequence of this view, the government has suggested that programs that address the needs of displaced persons are discriminatory against the rest of the poor, arguing that it is improper to offer more assistance to one group of impoverished people than to others.57 This attitude ignores the reality that displaced people have lost their homes and their livelihoods. Fleeing violence or threats of violence, they have abandoned their communities and have sought refuge in unfamiliar and often miserable surroundings. Purely in objective termsquality of housing, access to sanitation, level of education, and access to employmentdisplaced families are almost always worse off than other poor families who have not been displaced, as a 2002 investigation by the Social Solidarity Network found.58 Among the studys findings:
In addition, as an official with the Spanish section of Médecins sans Frontières noted, displaced persons have psychological needs that set them apart from other poor members of the communities in which they now live. Theres a difference in the kind of trauma theyve gone through, he said.62
Displaced families face the enormous challenge of finding new homes and employment at the same time that they are struggling to cope with the events that caused them to flee their communities. Its emotionally difficult for these children. They had to leave their homes on short notice. Most had to be gone by a certain time, a teacher in Cartagena told Human Rights Watch.63 L.Z., a middle-aged woman living in Cazucá, said, We spent a lot of days hungry when we first came here. I would go out and start to cry. Seeing the children hungry, thats what wounds the soul. That was very hard. We left the farm, the bull, the cows, the other animals, everything.64
Displaced families must frequently live in close quarters in their new surroundings. Thirteen-year-old Yolanda R., who fled Córdoba with her extended family because of violence, told Human Rights Watch that there are fourteen of us living in a two-bedroom home on the outskirts of Cartagena.65 Esmeralda Rodríguez, a teacher and lawyer working in Cazucá, reported that many displaced families had a hard time adjusting to the conditions in the neighborhood where she worked. Theres no running water here, she said. Many of the people who are displaced are campesinos who had their own land. Here, they live in a marginalized situation where there is a lack of public serviceshealth, education, shelter.66
Unemployment is high among displaced persons, and many of those we interviewed complained that they were unable to find a job. I worked in construction, A.B. said of his life in Caldes before he fled to Bogotá. They dont give me work wherever I go.67 The lack of job opportunities is particularly acute among those over the age of fifty. Nobody has given me work because of my age, said A.G., a sixty-five-year-old woman who stirred a large tub of cocado, a popular Colombian sweet made by browning coconut, as she talked with us. She told us that she made and sold the sweet every day to support her large extended family.68
One result of the widespread unemployment and underemployment of adults in displaced families is that their children are likely not to finish their schooling. The issue of earnings is related to education, said Camila Moreno, then the head of the Displacement Unit in the ombudsmans office, noting that parents inability to support their families means that all members of the family have to contribute to the household income. Older children have to go to the streets to work, or they must stay at home to care for small children, she said.69
Domestic violence is higher among displaced families than in the population as a whole and is another consequence of the stresses that displaced families face. A 2001 Profamilia survey of displaced women found that 52 percent of respondents had suffered some form of physical violence at the hand of a partner. Of those, 44 percent had been pushed at least once, 41 percent had been slapped or punched, 18 percent dragged or kicked, 15 percent hit with a hard object, 14 percent forced to have sex, and 14 percent threatened with a firearm.70
Crime is rampant and both
guerrilla and paramilitary groups operate openly in the Altos de Cazucá, where
many displaced families who come to the Bogotá metropolitan area find shelter.
The government of President Uribe, who took office in August 2002, has promoted return to home communities as its principal response to displacement. A document setting forth President Uribes controversial democratic security policy (política de seguridad democrática) notes, for example:
The hundreds of thousands of Colombians who year after year are displaced from their lands and reduced to misery by the terror of illegal armed organizations require the most urgent attention from the State and the solidarity of society. In coordination with local authorities and organizations, the Social Solidarity Network will carry out, with the agreement of displaced families, return plans to facilitate their collective return to their places of origin. The Government, through the actions of the Public [Armed] Forces, will restore conditions of security to the zones and then channel resources by means of microcredit, food security programs, and community escort programs.71
The vice-presidents 2003 report on human rights and international humanitarian law observes: On the understanding that returning home is the best alternative, the Government has been working towards helping at least 30,000 families, that is some 150,000 Colombians, to return to their own land.72 The government announced that some 70,000 internally displaced persons were returned in 2003 and 2004 as the result of this policy.73
In particular, beginning in June 2004, the government has offered housing subsidies to displaced families who return to their home communities. These subsidies are not available to families who choose not to return. The office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees has criticized this approach, saying, The measure discriminates against those people who are unwilling to return and runs counter to the principle of voluntariness that should be present in returns . . . .74
Many of the displaced families we spoke with expressed serious doubts that they could return to their home communities safely. Its a lie that things have improved, said L.D., uprooted for a second time after the government helped him and his family to relocate to Nariño. Things are worse. Theyre sending people to their deaths. Return means death. . . . What the government says? Its deceit, a lie, totally false.75
Several representatives of nongovernmental organizations knew of similar cases of families displaced for a second time after returning to their home communities. I spoke with a woman from Santa Marta who received a letter in 2000 certifying her status as displaced. She told me, I returned to my land, and I was there six months before I left again. There arent sufficient guarantees for the people to return. . . . They have to leave again out of fear, reported Patricia Ospina, the coordinator of Profamilias program for displaced families.76
Such accounts are not unusual, other experts told us. In Valle del Cauca, for instance, we have heard of twenty-five cases of return to areas that did not offer conditions of security, said Juan Carlos Monge, an official with the office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, in an interview in August 2004. The result of such returns, he said, would be renewed displacement.77
An early warning system established by the ombudsmans office could help notify returnees and others of risks, but the government has undermined the systems effectiveness. The U.N. Inter-Agency Internal Displacement Division observed after its January 2005 mission:
In 2003, the Government decided that early warnings could no longer be issued directly from the Ombudsmans Office to the pertinent civilian and military authorities but had to go through a bureaucratic process managed by an inter-institutional government committee (CIAT). According to the Ombudsmans Office, this extra layer has drastically diminished the efficiency of the system. Of the 90 proposed early warnings sent to the CIAT in 2004, only 18 were accepted and issued. Some of the Regional Ombudsmen informed the mission that in many cases the system is not used at all because of its perceived lack of effectiveness.78
The 2005 national plan calls for the Inter-Institutional Early Warning Committee to strengthen the early warning system.79
Despite these serious concerns, the governments policy favoring return has support from the United States, by far Colombias largest donor government. In interviews with Human Rights Watch, some U.S. officials echoed the official views of the Colombian government, particularly in their tendency to minimize the extent to which displacement is the result of the conflict. Kenneth Weigand of the U.S. Agency for International Development (AID) told our researcher in August 2004, for example, Theres constant migration out of some places into others. Its impossible to know to what degree they are really displaced because of violence. Switching into Spanish, he added, We strongly support the policy of return. He discounted the possibility that the lack of physical security and lawlessness prevents many from returning to their home communities, saying, Once they taste the city, they see more opportunities.80
In late 2005, however, other AID officials were less categorical. We support returns if there is security, if they are voluntary, and if there is assistance in place for returnees, said Ileana Baca, internal displaced persons project manager in Colombia.81
Elsewhere, there is little support for the governments return policy. The return policy is a disaster, Harvey Suárez, then the executive director of CODHES, stated bluntly. Returns arent complying with any of the conditions.82 Officials with the office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR or, in Spanish, ACNUR) and UNICEF used more measured language but were no less critical. A UNHCR report concluded, for example:
UNHCR considers that, in general terms, to date: (1) conditions do not exist to guarantee the effective application of the basic principles of voluntariness, security, and dignity; (2) the rights set forth in internal norms; and (3) the response of the State does not offer real alternatives other than the return of the populace. The return process does not constitute a durable solution because the situations of instability remain.83
Referring to the requirement that returns comply with conditions of security, dignity, and voluntariness, Jorge Vallés of UNICEF stated, We support return if it meets these conditions. . . . But conditions in Colombia dont allow for returns at the time of our interview in August 2004. The conditions just arent there, he repeated.84
Under the Guiding Principles, states have the responsibility to establish conditions, as well as provide the means, which allow internally displaced persons to return voluntarily, in safety and with dignity, to their homes or places of habitual residence, or to resettle voluntarily in another part of the country.85 The state should not encourage returns to home communities when they are not voluntary and in conditions of safety and dignity.
Internal Displacement in International and Colombian Law
The Guiding Principles use the term displaced persons to refer to those who have been forced or obligated to flee or to leave their homes or places of habitual residence, in particular as the result of or in order to avoid the effects of an armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights or natural or man-made disasters, and who have not crossed an internationally recognized State border.86 Colombias Law 387, adopted in 1997, generally conforms to this definition except that it does not recognize natural or man-made disasters as reasons for displacement:
A displaced person is any person who has been forced to migrate within the national territory, abandoning his place of residence or habitual economic activities, because his life, physical integrity, security, or personal liberties have been abridged or are directly threatened by one of the following factors: internal armed conflict, internal disturbances or tension, generalized violence, massive violations of human rights, infractions of international humanitarian law, or other circumstances resulting from the foregoing factors that can alter or have altered drastically the public order.87
Forcible displacement infringes on the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose ones residence, guaranteed in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and, in the Americas, by the American Convention on Human Rights.88 This right is subject to restrictions that are provided by law and necessary to protect national security, public order, public health or morals, or the rights and freedoms of others, and it is derogable in times of public emergency.89 As Francis Deng has observed:
[P]opulation movements may be undertaken during genuine public emergencies, such as armed conflicts, severe communal or ethnic violence, and natural or human-made disasters. These, however, must be strictly required by the exigencies of the situation and must not be inconsistent with other State obligations under international law or involve invidious discrimination. Even in such cases, therefore, the forced movement must not violate non-derogable human rights.90
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights applied these principles in a case involving the forcible relocation of Miskito communities in Nicaragua.91 Summing up the commissions analysis, Deng writes:
Relevant principles of protection relating to forced relocation . . . may be deduced as follows: (a) official proclamation of a state of emergency has to be communicated effectively to avoid terror and confusion when it involves relocation; (b) relocation should only be proportionate to the danger, degree and duration of a state of emergency; (c) relocation must last only for the duration of an emergency.92
When forcible displacement occurs in an armed conflict, it may violate the obligation to protect civilians, recognized in the Fourth Geneva Convention and in Protocols I and II to the Geneva Conventions.93 In particular, article 17 of Protocol II, which deals with non-international armed conflicts, provides:
1. The displacement of the civilian population shall not be ordered for reasons related to the conflict unless the security of the civilians involved or imperative military reasons so demand. Should such displacements have to be carried out, all possible measures should be taken in order that the civilian population may be received under satisfactory conditions of shelter, hygiene, health, safety and nutrition.
2. Civilians shall not be compelled to leave their own territory for reasons connected with the conflict.94
As Deng notes, This wording makes clear that article 17 prohibits, as a general rule, the forced movement or displacement of civilians during internal hostilities. . . . The forced displacement of civilians is prohibited unless the party to the conflict were to show that (a) the security of the population or (b) a meticulous assessment of the military circumstances so demands.95 All sides to an armed conflict, including armed opposition groups, must observe this prohibition.
Forced displacement also violates the right to protection from interference with ones home, guaranteed by the ICCPR and the American Convention, and may violate the right to an adequate standard of living (including adequate housing), set forth in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.96 Displacement is frequently preceded or accompanied by violations of the right to life, the right to freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment or punishment, the right to security of the person, and other rights.97
The Colombian constitution provides that international treaties ratified by the state prevail over domestic legislation.98 In addition, the Colombian Constitutional Court has directed public officials to follow the Guiding Principles, in addition to constitutional norms, in taking action to address displacement.99
Applying the Guiding Principles in a landmark January 2004 decision, the Constitutional Court reviewed the governments response to the displacement crisis. The level of coverage of every component of the policy is insufficient and there exist at all levels serious problems relating to the institutional capacity of the state to protect the rights of the displaced population, the court found.100 Indeed, the problems were such that they amounted to an unconstitutional state of affairs, a finding of a repeated and constant violation of fundamental rights affecting a multitude of persons and requiring the intervention of distinct entities to attend to problems of a structural nature.101 The court ordered the state to identify the number and needs of the displaced population, define a comprehensive national plan of action, determine the resources necessary to implement the plan of action, and, within six months of the courts decision, ensure that all displaced persons enjoy a minimum level of protection of their rights.102
In response to the decision, the government enacted a new national plan of action and substantially increased the budget for programs that assist displaced persons.103 Nevertheless, in a series of three orders issued in August and September 2005, the court found that the governments response fell far short of what was required to remedy the unconstitutional state of affairs.104
The Constitutional Court has now given the government until December 1, 2005, to submit a plan for allocating the necessary funding to the various government agencies responsible for assisting displaced persons.105 It also directed the government to submit periodic reports indicating the amounts spent by each government agency on assistance for displaced persons.106
 See Consultoría para los Derechos Humanos y el Desplazamiento (CODHES), Situación de conflicto y desplazamiento en las fronteras: El cerco se cierra (Bogotá: CODHES, 2005), p. 24. CODHES estimates that 130,300 persons were forcibly displaced in the first half of 2004 and that some 287,500 persons were forcibly displaced from their communities from January to December 2004. See CODHES, Conflicto humano y crisis humanitariano en Colombia: Desplazados en el limbo, CODHES Bulletin No. 56 (Bogotá: February 1, 2005), p. 1.
 Crisis Facing Colombians Is Called Worst in Hemisphere, The New York Times, May 11, 2004, p. A8.
 See Global IDP Project, IDP Estimates, August 2005, http://www.idpproject.org/statistics.htm (viewed August 10, 2005).
 See U.N. Economic and Social Council, Commission on Human Rights, 55th sess., provisional agenda item 14(c), Specific Groups and Individuals: Mass Exoduses and Displaced Persons, Report of the Representative of the Secretary-General on Internally Displaced Persons Submitted in Accordance with Commission Resolution 1999/47, Addendum: Profiles in Displacement: Follow-Up Mission to Colombia, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/2000/83/Add.1 (2000), para. 2. See also U.N. Economic and Social Council, Commission on Human Rights, 56th sess., provisional agenda item 14(c), Specific Groups and Individuals: Mass Exoduses and Displaced Persons, Report of the Representative of the Secretary-GEneral, Mr. Francis M. Deng, Submitted Pursuant to Commission on Human Rights Resolution 1999/47, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/2000/83 (2000), para. 51. His observation is amply supported by the findings of Human Rights Watch and other groups. See, for example, Human Rights Watch, War Without Quarter: Colombia and International Humanitarian Law (New York: Human Rights Watch, 1998), p. 205; John Borton, Margie Buchanan-Smith, and Ralf Otto, Support to Internally Displaced PersonsLearning from Evaluations: Synthesis Report of a Joint Evaluation Programme (Stockholm: Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, 2005), p. 41, www.sida.se/content/1/c6/03/46/05/SIDA4587en_Learning.pdf (viewed April 20, 2005); Global IDP Database, Colombia: Democratic Security Policy Fails to Improve Protection of IDPs, www.db.idpproject.org/Sites/IdpProjectDb/idpSurvey.nsf/wViewSingleEnv/ColombiaProfile+Summary (viewed April 22, 2005).
 Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Third Report on the Human Rights Situation in Colombia, OEA/Ser.L/V/II.102, Doc. 9 rev. 1 (1999), chapter 6, paragraph A1, http://www.cidh.oas.org/countryrep/ Colom99en/chapter-6.htm (viewed September 10, 2005).
 Human Rights Watch interview with Jorge Vallés, UNICEF, Santafé de Bogotá, August 6, 2004.
 Robin Kirk, More Terrible Than Death: Massacres, Drugs, and Americas War in Colombia (New York: Public Affairs, 2003), p. 15.
 See Germán Guzmán Campos, Orlando Fals Borda, and Eduardo Umaña Campos, La violencia en Colombia, 2 vols. (Bogotá: Taurus Historia, 2005).
 See, for example, Human Rights Watch, Beyond Negotiation: International Humanitarian Law and Its Application to the Conduct of the FARC-EP (New York: Human Rights Watch, 2001); Human Rights Watch, Colombia: More FARC Killings with Gas Cylinder Bombs, April 15, 2005, www.hrw.org/english/docs/2005/04/15/ colomb10496.htm (viewed May 18, 2005).
 International Crisis Group, Colombia/Andes, http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=1269&l=1 (viewed July 13, 2005).
 Human Rights Watch has extensively documented such abuses and the collusion between paramilitary groups and Colombias military. See, for example, Human Rights Watch, The Sixth Division: Military-Paramilitary Ties and U.S. Policy in Colombia (New York: Human Rights Watch, 2001); Human Rights Watch, The Ties That Bind: Colombia and Military-Paramilitary Links (New York: Human Rights Watch, 2000). See also Juan Forero, Colombia: Unearthing Plight of Its Disappeared: Families of Victims of Right-Wing Militias Come Forward, The New York Times, August 10, 2005, p. A1.
 See United Nations Development Programme, El conflicto, callejón con salida: Informe nacional de desarrollo humano para Colombia2003 (Bogotá: UNDP, 2003), pp. 285-319; Robin Kirk, More Terrible Than Death, pp. 65-70.
 See Commission on Human Rights, 61st sess., provisional agenda item 3, Report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the Human Rights Situation in Colombia, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/2005/10 (2005), ¶¶ 104-116.
 See Human Rights Watch, Youll Learn Not to Cry: Child Combatants in Colombia (New York: Human Rights Watch, 2003), p. 4; Human Rights Watch, Colombia: Armed Groups Send Children to War, February 22, 2005, www.hrw.org/english/docs/2005/02/22/colomb10202.htm (viewed May 18, 2005).
 See Human Rights Watch, Colombia: Letting Paramilitaries Off the Hook, January 2005, www.hrw.org/backgrounder/americas/colombia0105/index.htm (viewed May 18, 2005).
 See Report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, ¶ 10.
 See Human Rights Watch, Smoke and Mirrors: Colombias Demobilization of Paramilitary Groups (New York: Human Rights Watch, 2005); Human Rights Watch, Colombia: Sweden and Netherlands Should Withdraw Support for OAS Mission, June 23, 2005, http://hrw.org/english/docs/2005/06/23/ colomb11216.htm (letter to Dutch foreign minister) and http://hrw.org/english/docs/2005/06/23/ colomb11214.htm (letter to Swedish foreign minister) (viewed July 13, 2005).
 Human Rights Watch interview with Angela Borges, director, Unidad de Atención y Orientación, Soacha, Cundinamarca, July 30, 2004. (Angela Borges is now the director of a similar office in Bogotá.) A study by the Universidad Colegio Mayor de Cundinamarca notes that Soacha is the principal recipient community of the displaced population in the whole of the national territory, with displaced persons mainly coming from elsewhere in the department of Cundinamarca and the departments of Tolima and Santander. Yenny Vásquez et al., Tabulación de datos: Barrios en los cuales residen los usuarios de la Unidad de Atención y Orientación (unpublished manuscript, Universidad Colegio Mayor de Cundinamarca, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Programa de Trabajo Social VIIIB, 2003), p. 5.
 See, for example, Oficina para la Coordinación de Asuntos Humanitarios, Sala de situación humanitaria, informe junio 2005, June 2005, pp. 2-3.
 Human Rights Watch interview with José F., Altos de Cazucá, Cundinamarca, August 3, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interview with Marina F., Altos de Cazucá, Cundinamarca, August 3, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interview with A.B., Ciudad Bolívar, Santafé de Bogotá, August 4, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interview with L.Z., Altos de Cazucá, July 30, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interview with E.D., Altos de Cazucá, Cundinamarca, July 30, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interview with M.D., Ciudad Bolívar, Santafé de Bogotá, August 4, 2004.
 See Robin Kirk, More Terrible Than Death, pp. 55-70. For a brief overview of displacement as a tool of warfare before the modern conflict in Colombia, see Defensoría del Pueblo, El desplazamiento forzado en Colombia (Santafé de Bogotá: Defensoría del Pueblo, n.d.), pp. 21-25.
 CODHES, Boletín Informativo No. 43 (2002), p. 2.
 See CODHES, Desplazado forzado interno en Colombia: El falso debate de las cifras (April 2005), p. 18, www.codhes.org.co/Documentos/480/Ponencia%20Cifra.pdf (viewed April 20, 2005).
 Human Rights Watch interview with O.L., Altos de Cazucá, Cundinamarca, August 13, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interview with Profamilia worker, Cartagena de Indias, August 9, 2004.
 Compare CODHES, Número de personas desplazadas por departamento (recepción) por trimestre año 2004 (Bogotá: CODHES, 2005), p. 1, http://www.codhes.org.co/cifra/Dpto_Recp_Pers_2004.pdf (viewed September 14, 2005), with CODHES, Número de personas desplazadas por departamento (recepción) por trimestre año 2003 (Bogotá: CODHES, 2005), p. 1, http://www.codhes.org.co/cifra/Dpto_Recp_Pers_2003.pdf (viewed September 14, 2005).
 CODHES, Situación de conflicto y desplazamiento en las fronteras, p. 24.
 See, for example, Oficina para la Coordinación de Asuntos Humanitarios, Sala de situación humanitaria, informe junio 2005, p. 1.
 CODHES, Situación de conflicto y desplazamiento en las fronteras, p. 26.
 Defensoría del Pueblo, El desplazamiento forzado en Colombia, pp. 30-31, 38.
 See U.N. Economic and Social Council, Commission on Human Rights, 61st session, provisional agenda item 15, Human Rights and Indigenous Issues: Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, Mr. Rodolfo Stavenhagen, Addendum: Mission to Colombia, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/2005/88/Add.2 (2005), ¶¶ 33, 3.
 See, for example, Defensoría del Pueblo Colombia, XI informe del Defensor del Pueblo al Congreso de Colombia (Santafé de Bogotá: Defensoría del Pueblo Colombia, 2003), p. 446; U.N. Economic and Social Council, Commission on Human Rights, Report by Mr. Doudou Diène, Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance on His Mission to Colombia, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/2004/18/Add.3 (2004), ¶ 34; U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Concluding Observations on Colombia, U.N. Doc. CRED/C/304/Add.76 (1999).
 Testimony of Erin Mooney, deputy director, The Brookings Institution-University of Bern Project on Internal Displacement, and senior advisor to the representative of the U.N. Secretary-General on the human rights of internally displaced persons, at the U.S. Congressional Human Rights Caucus Members Briefing on the Human Rights Situation in Colombia: Afro-Colombian and Indigenous People, Washington, D.C., June 8, 2005.
 UNHCR, Some 1,200 People Fearing Fresh Clashes Flee Their Homes, UNHCR News Stories, February 18, 2004, www.unhcr.ch (viewed April 23, 2005).
 See Human Rights and Indigenous Issues: Report of the Special Rapporteur, ¶ 23. See also U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, El conflicto colombiano puede provocar la desaparición de pueblos indígenas, advierte el ACNUR, April 22, 2005, www.acnur.org/paginas/?id_pag=3539 (viewed April 22, 2005); CODHES, Continúan en grave riesgo comunidades indígenas del Chocó, May 1, 2004, www.codhes.org.co/dbreves2.php?breve=102 (viewed April 22, 2005).
 See Red de Solidaridad Social, Desplazamientos masivos e individuales por departamento de 1995 a agosto de 2005, n.d.
 Organización Internacional para las Migraciones, Diagnóstico sobre la población desplazada en seis departamentos de Colombia, 2001 (Bogotá: IOM, 2002), p. 13. The International Organization for Migration is an intergovernmental entity that supports and assists in the development and implementation of projects and programmes focusing on strengthening the capacity of governments, and at times NGOs and other actors, to more effectively manage migration. See International Organization for Migration, Technical Cooperation on Migration, www.iom.int/en/what/technical_cooperation.shtml (viewed April 21, 2005).
 María Fernández Campos, La población desplazada en Bogotá: Una responsibilidad de todos, October 7, 2003, www.empresario.com.co/portal/informes/bogota/bogota_como_vamos/documentos/desplazados.pdf (viewed May 1, 2004), p. 73.
 See Identificación de las necesidades alimentarias y no alimentarias de los desplazados internos: Una encuesta conjunta de las poblaciones desplazadas internamente en Colombia (Bogotá: World Food Programme and International Committee of the Red Cross, 2005), p. 48.
 Defensoría del Pueblo, El desplazamiento forzado en Colombia, pp. 25-27.
 Ibid., p. 27 (citing data from the Social Solidarity Network and the National Department of Statistics).
 See, for example, Marta Beltrán, El último refugio de los desplazados, El Tiempo (Santafé de Bogotá), July 31, 2004, pp. 1-2; Human Rights Watch interview with Angela Borges, July 30, 2004.
 Peter Canby, Latin Americas Longest War, The Nation, August 16-23, 2004, p. 31.
 See, for example, Proyecto Justicia y Vida, Presentación del informe sobre asesinato de jóvenes en Cazucá y Ciudad Bolívar, May 25, 2005; Diagnóstico: Situación sociopolítico, Altos de Cazucá y Usme, September 2004; Letter from Red de Organizaciones Sociales de Ciudad Bolívar to Luis Eduardo Garzón, alcalde mayor de Bogotá, September 1, 2005; Médicos sin Fronteras, Altos de Cazucá: Hasta cuándo en el olvido (Bogotá: Médicos sin Fronteras, 2005), p. 5.
 See Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Refugiados (ACNUR), Balance de la política pública de prevención, protección y atención al desplazamiento interno forzado en Colombia, agosto 2002-agosto 2004 (Bogotá: ACNUR, Oficina para Colombia, 2004)p. 59. See also Edgar Forero, El desplazamiento interno forzado en Colombia (Washington, D.C.: Kellogg Institute, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and Ideas para la Paz, September 22, 2003), pp. 17-18; Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Refugiados-Oficina para Colombia, Balance de la política de atención al desplazamiento interno forzado en Colombia, 1999-2002 (Bogotá, D.C.: ACNUR, 2002), p. 63.
 See Luis Eduardo Pérez Murcia, Población desplazada: entre la vulnerabilidad, la violencia y la exclusion (Santafé de Bogotá: Red de Solidaridad Social, 2002), pp. 28-43.
 See ibid., pp. 29, 31.
 See ibid., p. 34.
 See ibid., p. 35.
 Human Rights Watch interview with Médicos sin Fronteras España, Santafé de Bogotá, August 6, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interview with Catalina Altamira Suárez, teacher, Cartagena de Indias, August 9, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interview with L.Z., Altos de Cazucá, Cundinamarca, July 30, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interview with Yolanda R., Cartagena de Indias, August 9, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interview with Esmeralda Rodríguez, lawyer and teacher, Altos de Cazucá, Cundinamarca, August 3, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interview with A.B., Ciudad Bolívar, Santafé de Bogotá, August 4, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interview with A.G., Altos de Cazucá, Cundinamarca, July 30, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interview with Camila Moreno, Displacement Section, Defensoría Pública, Santafé de Bogotá, August 17, 2004.
 Gabriel Ojeda and Rocío Murad, Salud sexual y reproductiva en zonas marginales: Situación de las mujeres desplazadas (Santafé de Bogotá: Profamilia, 2001), p. 109.
 Presidencia de la República and Ministerio de Defensa Nacional, Política de defensa y seguridad democrática (Santafé de Bogotá: República de Colombia, 2003), pp. 49-50, www.presidencia.gov.co/documentos/ seguridad_democratica.pdf (viewed April 22, 2005).
 Vicepresidencia de la República, Programa Presidencial de Derechos Humanos y Derecho Internacional Humanitario, Annual Report on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law 2003 (Santafé de Bogotá: República de Colombia, 2004), p. 45.
 See OCHA, Report on the Inter-Agency Internal Displacement Division Mission to Colombia (16-27 January 2005), February 9, 2005, p. 3. See also UNHCR, Colombia: UNHCRs Protection and Assistance Programme for IDPs and Refugees, March 2004, www.unhcr.ch (viewed April 23, 2005).
 ACNUR, Balance de la política pública, p. 37. The mandate of the office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees in Colombia extends to displaced persons as well as refugees. See UNHCR, El mandato y las actividades del ACNUR en Colombia, www.acnur.org/paginas/index.php?id_pag=569#ACNUR (viewed April 22, 2005); ReliefWeb, Colombia: UNHCR Expands IDP Programme, December 3, 2004, www.reliefweb.int/ rw/rwb.nsf/AllDocsByUNID/c84c884d12321df7c1256f5f0046eb63 (viewed April 23, 2005).
 Human Rights Watch interview with L.D., Ciudad Bolívar, Santafé de Bogotá, August 4, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interview with Patricia Ospina, coordinator, Program on Displacement, Profamilia, Santafé de Bogotá, July 27, 2004. The registration process is outlined in Chapter IV.
 Human Rights Watch interview with Juan Carlos Monge, Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Santafé de Bogotá, August 2, 2004.
 OCHA, Report on the Inter-Agency Internal Displacement Division Mission to Colombia, p. 2.
 See Plan Nacional para la Atención Integral a la Población Desplazada por la Violencia, Decreto No. 250 of 2005, p. 9.
 Human Rights Watch interview with Kenneth Weigand, U.S. Agency for International Development, Santafé de Bogotá, August 17, 2004. The U.S. Agency for International Developments description of its Internally Displaced Persons Program does not explicitly support the governments policy of return but notes, Whenever possible, the Government of Colombia prefers that IDPs return to their original places of residence. See U.S. Agency for International Development, Data Sheet: Colombia: Internally Displaced Persons, n.d., p. 1, http://www.usaid.gov/policy/ budget/cbj2005/lac/pdf/514-009.pdf (viewed September 14, 2005).
 Human Rights Watch interview with Ileana Baca, IDP project manager, U.S. Agency for International Development, Santafé de Bogotá, September 20, 2005.
 Human Rights Watch interview with Harvey Suárez, executive director, CODHES, Santafé de Bogotá, August 6, 2004.
 ACNUR, Balance de la política pública, p. 38.
 Human Rights Watch interview with Jorge Vallés, August 6, 2004.
 See Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, art. 28(1).
 Ibid., introd., ¶ 2.
 Ley 387 of 1997, art. 1. For a brief description of earlier administrative measures to protect displaced persons, see Defensoría del Pueblo Colombia, El desplazamiento forzado en Colombia, pp. 62-63.
 See International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), art. 12(1), opened for signature December 16, 1966, 999 U.N.T.S. 171 (entered into force March 23, 1976, and ratified by Colombia October 29, 1969); American Convention on Human Rights, opened for signature November 22, 1969, O.A.S.T.S. No. 36 (ratified by Colombia May 28, 1973, and entered into force July 18, 1978).
 See ICCPR, art. 12(3), 4. The American Convention allows for restrictions of the right under similar circumstances. See American Convention, art. 22(3).
 U.N. Economic and Social Council, Commission on Human Rights, 54th session, provisional agenda item 9(d), Further Promotion and Encouragement of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms Including the Question of the Programme and Methods of Work of the Commission: Questions of Human Rights, Mass Exoduses and Displaced Persons, Report of the Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Francis Deng, Submitted Pursuant to Commission on Human Rights Resolution 1997/39, Addendum: Compilation and Analysis of Legal Norms, Part II: Legal Aspects Relating to the Protection Against Arbitrary Displacement, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/1998/53/Add.1 (1998), ¶ 53.
 See Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Report on the Situation of Human Rights of a Segment of the Nicaraguan Population of Miskito Origin, OEA/Ser.L/V/II.62 (1983).
 Report of the Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Francis Deng, Submitted Pursuant to Commission on Human Rights Resolution 1997/39, Addendum: Compilation and Analysis of Legal Norms, Part II: Legal Aspects Relating to the Protection Against Arbitrary Displacement, ¶ 54.
 See Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (the Fourth Geneva Convention), adopted August 12, 1949, 75 U.N.T.S. 135 (entered into force October 21, 1950); Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), adopted June 8, 1977, 1125 U.N.T.S. 3 (entered into force December 7, 1978); Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts (Protocol II), adopted June 8, 1977, 1125 U.N.T.S. 609 (entered into force December 7, 1978). Colombia ratified the Fourth Geneva Convention in 1963 and Protocol II in 1996.
 Protocol II, art. 17.
 Report of the Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Francis Deng, Submitted Pursuant to Commission on Human Rights Resolution 1997/39, Addendum: Compilation and Analysis of Legal Norms, Part II: Legal Aspects Relating to the Protection Against Arbitrary Displacement, ¶ 56. See also Declaration on Minimum Humanitarian Standards, American Journal of International Law, vol. 89 (1995), pp. 219-223; International Committee of the Red Cross, Commentary on the Additional Protocols of 8 June 1977 to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 (Geneva: International Committee of the Red Cross, 1987), pp. 1472-73.
 See ICCPR, art. 17; American Convention, art. 11; International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, art. 11(1), adopted December 16, 1966, 993 U.N.T.S. 3 (entered into force January 2, 1976, and ratified by Colombia October 29, 1969). The right to protection from arbitrary or unlawful interference with ones home is subject to derogation [i]n time of public emergency which threatens the life of the nation and the existence of which is official proclaimed . . . to the extent strictly required by the exigencies of the situation, provided that the limitations imposed are not inconsistent with other international obligations and do not involve discrimination solely on the ground of race, colour, sex, language, religion or social origin. ICCPR, art. 4(1). The right to an adequate standard of living may be subjected only to such limitations as are determined by law only in so far as this may be compatible with the nature of these rights and solely for the purpose of promoting the general welfare in a democratic society. International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, art. 4.
 The right to life is guaranteed by article 6 and the right to freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment is guaranteed by article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The right to security of the person is set forth in article 9(1) of that treaty (Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person.). Although article 9(1) includes the right to liberty, the right to security of the person is not limited to instances of arbitrary deprivation of liberty. In Delgado Páez v. Colombia, a case involving an author who was attacked after receiving death threats and whose colleague was shot dead by unknown assailants, the Human Rights Committee concluded, Although in the Covenant the only reference to the right to security of person is to be found in article 9, there is no evidence that it was intended to narrow the concept of the right to security only to situations of formal deprivation of liberty. Human Rights Committee Decision No. 195/1985, ¶ 5.5, excerpted in Sarah Joseph et al., The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: Cases, Materials, and Commentary (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), p. 207. And as Manfred Nowak observes:
A systematic interpretation reveals that security of person provides the individual with legal claims that are independent of liberty of person. In keeping with the ordinary meaning of the word . . . , these claims are directed primarily against interference with personal integrity by private persons.
Manfred Nowak, U.N. Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: CCPR Commentary (Kehl am Rhein: N.P. Engel, 1993), p. 162.
 See Constitución Política de Colombia (1991), art. 93, www.presidencia.gov.co/constitu (viewed April 14, 2004).
 See Sentencia T-327 of 2001 (Col. Const. Ct. March 26, 2001).
 Sentencia T-025 of 2004 (Col. Const. Ct. January 22, 2004), part III, sections 6.2 (Los niveles de cobertura de todos los componentes de la política son insuficientes), 7 (en todos los niveles de la política pública de atención a la población desplazada existen problemas graves relacionados con la capacidad institucional del Estado para proteger los derechos de la población desplazada). For a summary of the steps taken by the Colombian government prior to 2004 to implement Ley 387, see Sentencia T-025 of 2004, annex 5; Comisión Colombiana de Juristas, Colombia: Derechos humanos y derecho humanitario: 1997 a 2001, vol. II, El Estado colombian y la comunidad internacional frente a la situación en Colombia (Bogotá: Comisión Colombiana de Juristas, 2004).
 See Sentencia T-025 of 2004, part III, section 7 (la vulneración repetida y constante de derechos fundamentales, que afectan a multitud de personas, y cuya solución requiere la intervención de distintas entidades para atender problemas de orden estructural).
 See ibid., part IV.
 See Ley 917 of 2004, Diario Oficial 45,75, December 3, 2004.
 [A]ún no se han reestablecido los derechos de los desplazados ni eliminado las causas del estado de cosas inconstitucional. Auto No. 176 of 2005 (Col. Const. Ct. August 29, 2005), p. 1. See also CODHES, Los autos de la Corte, September 21, 2005.
 See Auto No. 176 of 2005 (Col. Const. Ct. August 29, 2005), pp. 8-9.
 See ibid., pp. 9-10.