Phil Price


After nearly five decades of internal armed conflict, Colombia’s children and education system remain firmly under siege. Boys and girls as young as thirteen are pulled out of classrooms and thrown into battlefields. Teachers routinely disappear and/or are subjected to extrajudicial executions. Guerillas, paramilitaries, and the Colombian army all utilize school buildings as posts for their combatants. School zones have become littered with landmines. Child displacement and poverty have reached epidemic levels. In direct contradiction with the Rome Statute and the Colombian Ministry of Defense Directive 30743, the Colombian government is guilty of war crimes by employing children as spies and informants (Amnesty International 2008). Despite this multifaceted attack, however, dedicated individuals and organizations are working tirelessly to safeguard Colombia’s youth by ensuring access to education and implementing innovative curriculum that cultivates a vibrant civil society based on the values of peaceful convivencia.

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