Spotlight - Gang and organized crime recruitment & use of minors
Organización Internacional para las Migraciones OIM, OIM
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Historically, illegal armed groups (IAGs) in Colombia have made a regular practice of recruiting and using minors. Given the prevalence of criminal gangs and bacrims (criminal gangs that emerged out of the United Self-Defense Forces demobilization in 2006), past precedent suggests that, unfortunately, youth recruitment will likely persist in some form in the Colombian context, even after current peace negotiations conclude in Havana. Children have been tasked with roles such as look-outs, gathering intelligence, transportation, and various forms of labor; they have also been used as key protagonists to carry out torture, assassinations, and to transport and plant explosives. Within the framework of the armed conflict, they have also been sexually abused, trafficked, and prostituted.