About Colombian Caravana
The Colombian Caravana UK Lawyers Group is a group of international lawyers that monitor the human rights abuses faced by legal professionals in Colombia.
The Colombian Caravana believes that without lawyers and legal professionals there can be no justice. If they are compromised by the infringement of their right to practise independently in the interests of their clients, then justice itself is also compromised.
The work of Colombian lawyers, particularly human rights lawyers, judges, other legal professionals and human rights defenders ensures access to justice. However, in doing this work individuals suffer threats of violence, intimidation and assassination in Colombia. It is vital that lawyers, judges, other legal professionals and human rights defenders are supported and the Caravana has built an international legal network to highlight and tackle the issues they face.
In this way the Caravana seeks to contribute to positive and lasting change in the lives and work of these lawyers and other legal professionals. In doing this we aim improve access to justice in Colombia, a country where the violation of human rights is a systematic problem.
Members of the group first visited Colombia in 2008 at the invitation of the Association of Defence Lawyers “Eduardo Umaña Mendoza” (Asociación Colombiana de Abogados Defensores de Derechos Humanos, ACADEHUM), which is an umbrella organisation for Colombian human rights lawyers and legal professionals. ACADEHUM had issued a call for an international delegation of jurists – the International Caravana of Lawyers (Caravana) – to visit several regions of the country to meet lawyers, human rights defenders at risk and victims which they represent. Since, the Caravana has organised biennial delegations to Colombia, including lawyers and legal professionals from Europe, Canada and Latin America. The reports of each delegation can be found here
After the first delegation of International Caravana of Jurists, a number of the delegates returned to the UK and established the Colombian Caravana UK Lawyers Group. The organisation was incorporated as a company in 2010 and achieved charity status in 2011.