CHALLENGE: Colombia’s 2011 Victims and Land Restitution Law promises to provide comprehensive reparations to victims of the conflict, including land restitution. The law explicitly adopts a gender-sensitive approach and extends its sensitivity to characteristics of age, sexual orientation and disability. For the Government of Colombia (GOC) to best protect vulnerable populations, the Land Restitution Unit (LRU) must capture appropriate information in restitution requests. The form the LRU was using to conduct a situational analysis had very few fields about groups with a special protected status, and in the instructions for filling out the form, the LRU had not considered situations applying to women, children and youth, persons with a disability, elders, and/or LGBTI. Because the tool was general, the LRU did not have all the information it needed to implement the law.
INTIATIVE: LRDP provided technical assistance to the LRU to secure the inclusion of more gender/age/disability-sensitive variables. For example, in Bogota, a disability rights expert reviewed and proposed new fields to include in the LRU’s tool and held a series of strategic sessions with LRU regional offices. LRDP gave regional trainings to LRU lawyers and social experts on how to better apply the law in light of relevant legislation protecting human rights. Local LRU staff shared their experiences incorporating a disability-sensitive approach in their implementation of restitution policy and LRDP structured and modified products based on the feedback received.
RESULTS: A key modification to the LRU’s forms concerned disability. Although the LRU did ask about this previously, the question was limited to only asking about the title holder’s status. In suggesting the LRU modify the form to collect more disaggregated data (asking about disability of all members of the family group), LRDP helped position the LRU to be better able to ensure the restituted plot is accessible by the entire family.