23 June 2016 – Unicef Regional Director for Latin America and Caribbean, Marita Perceval said:

“Unicef welcomes the signing today by the Government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP), Colombia’s main armed opposition group, of a bilateral ceasefire and hostilities agreement to end the conflict in the country.

“Generations of children in Colombia have known nothing but war over the past 50 years. Thousands of boys and girls have been killed, injured, orphaned, forcibly displaced, recruited into armed groups, sexually abused and kept out of schools.

“National data show that out of 7.7 million people in Colombia who are registered as victims of the conflict, 2.5 million – or 1 in 3 – are children. 2.3 million have been displaced and 8,000 disappeared since data collection started in 198

“Today the country is poised to turn the page on a dark chapter in its history.

“Unicef stands ready to support national efforts to help children affected by the conflict and is hopeful that the peace agreement will be a fundamental step towards long-lasting peace.”

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Unicef UK Press Office, 0207 375 6030, media@unicef.org.uk

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Unicef is the world’s leading organisation for children, promoting the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. Unicef UK raises funds to protect children in danger, transform their lives and build a safer world for tomorrow’s children. As a registered charity we raise funds through donations from individuals, organisations and companies and we lobby and campaign to keep children safe. Unicef UK also runs programmes in schools, hospitals and with local authorities in the UK. For more information please visit unicef.org.uk