The strategies to guarantee access to justice and the protection of minors’ rights are a priority for the Office of the Attorney General. These are defined in the roadmap for this four-year period.
The Attorney General, Francisco Barbosa Delgado, participated in the presentation of the strategy to strengthen services for childhood Estrategia de Fortalecimiento de los Servicios para la Primera Infancia ‘Betto’ by the Presidency of the Republic and the Colombian Institute (Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar ICBF); and he announced the investigative guidelines defined to guarantee the protection of the rights of girls, boys and adolescents.
Crimes against minors were prioritized in the Strategic Direction 2020-2024. The Office of the Attorney General aims at improving the levels of clarification of actions that threaten their integrity and sexual development; as well as prosecuting criminal structures that employ children to engage in illegal activities.
In this sense, the Delegate Office on Public Office permanently guides prosecutors who deal with these cases in the territories. With the support of the sectional directorates and the national working group Grupo de Trabajo Nacional para el Fortalecimiento de la Investigación y Judicialización de la Violencia Sexual en contra de Niñas, Niños y Adolescentes, meetings are held to understand the different contexts of violence against minors and to verify the compliance with the measures of assistance, protection and restoration of rights.
“We are providing this support in the regions through the contact centers which are allowing us to have risk identification forms in each of our Sectional Offices, in order to have a clear analysis of whether we are facing cases of recidivism or not, and as a third item, to know if the attacks against our children have to do with crimes that may be related to that aggression, for example personal injuries against their parents, or whether there are criminal records (…) so that, the Office of the Attorney General can prioritize and work”, said the Attorney General, Francisco Barbosa.
The inter-institutional work of the Office of the Attorney General and CTI with the National Police and the Army has been decisive in the dismantling of criminal structures that have used children and adolescents for their criminal purposes, or have recruited them to be involved in the conflict.
“We have carried out massive arrests in the country related to sexual crimes involving minors. Three massive national operations in coordination with the National Police were carried out and we obtained 81 arrests in July, 121 in August, 80 in October. All the arrested people were charged and most of them were sent to prison” stated the Attorney General.
Joint works with different entities are officialized through agreements, such as those signed with the Colombian institute Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar ICBF and the Ministry of Health, which allow the development of technical assistance actions in the regions and the establishment of communication channels that facilitate information flow, prompt assistance to victims and the strengthening of the collection of evidence used for investigations.
As the Attorney General Barbosa Delgado said, the combination of capacities has allowed to obtain outstanding results in 2020. “Copies of 1,363 indictments sent to judges, 836 last year. We are talking about a pandemic and we have achieved a balance in the level of action of the Office of the Attorney General in year 2020. We are one point below, in comparison to 2019 and the end of 2020 is one month away.
With 8 months of lockdown, we, the Office of the Attorney General have not stopped, we are in the streets, we have a commitment to the people”, he said.
The Office of the Attorney General continues with the policy of improving access to justice for girls, boys and adolescents with a differential and gender perspective to offer a preferential assistance when receiving complaints, carrying out proceedings*, and investigative work. In this way, their vulnerability is compensated and the universal principles about assistance to victims and the specific rights of minors are guaranteed within the framework of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
“The message that we send with our campaign today ‘No se atreva’ (Don´t dare) and that we have combined with this campaign that was presented by the ICBF, is that nobody can lay a hand on our children and adolescents” concluded the Attorney General Barbosa.
The Office of the Attorney General makes this information public for reasons of general interest.
*Actos Urgentes. A term used in Spanish to refer to judicial police activities during investigation and questioning process such as: processing a crime scene, interviews, corpse examination, questionings among others