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Urban indigenous people: the multidimensional vulnerability of the Colombian indigenous IDPs and the international legal instruments : the case study of Villavicencio

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Fattorelli, Erik

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Abstract Migration of the indigenous populations from their ancestral territories to the urban centres is a global phenomenon. It is determined from the tendency to urbanization affecting every category of people. Nevertheless, in Colombia it presents some distinguishing characteristics, in relation to the dynamics of the internal armed conflict and the problem of the forced displacement. The aim of this paper is to analyze the phenomenon of the urban migrations of the indigenous populations at global level, the general situation of the indigenous people in Colombia and the extent of the impact of the conflict especially in relation to the forced displacement. In particular, this paper analyzes the needs and the problems denounced by the displaced indigenous community of Villavicencio, on the basis of the experience acquired through a process of community and organizational strengthening targeting the community. The analysis reveals the multidimensional and aggravated vulnerability of the indigenous that are displaced or at risk to be displaced in the entire country. The second part of this work offers an overview of the international standards on indigenous collective rights and internal displacement, with a focus on the normative gap at this level. This study will show how the protection of the rights of the Colombian indigenous - at risk of extinction because of the conflict and the displacement - is a matter of national law. As the underlined by the Constitutional Court, this national law has been produced by the same State that failed to fulfil his obligations of prevention and protection in the moment the displacement took place. The role of mentor of these State obligations towards the indigenous communities can be therefore played only by the Colombian Constitutional Court. The international community seems not to be able or willing to take on such obligations, notwithstanding the multidimensional vulnerability of indigenous people in front of a displacement that puts them at serious risk of physical and cultural extinction.
Keywords Colombia; displaced person; indigenous peoples; migration; displacement; conflict; human rights; ethnic group; minority; international law; refugee
Classification Migration, Sociology of Migration; Ethnology, Cultural Anthropology, Ethnosociology; Law
Method descriptive study
Document language English
Publication Year 2010
Status Preprint; not reviewed
Licence Basic Digital Peer Publishing Licence
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