The Andean country faces acute challenges, from the large mixed migration flows into the country due to the Venezuelan crisis in the past few years, to the mass internal displacement of over 6 million Colombians by the armed conflict and a peace agreement that remains fragile.

More than 1,800000 refugees and migrants are living today in Colombia, which makes it the Southern American country with the largest mixed migration on its territory. Colombia is both a transit and destination country for migrants and refugees from Venezuela, as well as for Asian and African extra-continental migration mainly in route towards the United States. The main migratory route remains the one towards Peru, Ecuador, Chile, and other Southern American countries, but there is also a South-eastern route towards Brazil, and a Northern route towards the Caribbean and the US.

Many Venezuelan migrants increasingly seek to stay in Colombia, either by choice or due to a lack of alternatives. They mostly settle in peripheral suburban settlements in the main cities, including Bogotá, Medellín, and Barranquilla. Bordering department such as La Guajira, Norte de Santander, or Nariño are also receiving a huge part of the migration flows. These migrants and refugees face great protection risks, including access to legal documentation, to basic social services: health, education and livelihoods opportunities, and exclusion from their surrounding environment - among many other issues. Tackling these short- and long-term challenges is vital for Colombia to ensure the social stability of a country in a post-conflict context, as well as to provide a dignified response to those in need of assistance. Without adequate protection, migrants, refugees, and asylum-seekers in Colombia are extremely vulnerable to exploitation and abuses. Abusive smuggling practices and trafficking are key concerns, especially in the border with Venezuela.

Colombia also hosts the world’s largest population of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) due to the armed conflict that has pervaded Colombia during more than 60 years. IDPs face protection risks, including land rights. The armed conflict has also led to a heavy presence of mines, Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in the country, which remain a significant obstacle to creating a lasting peace.


DRC/DDG established operational presence in Colombia in 2011 with focus on Humanitarian Mine Action (HMA) and providing support to conflict-affected population in the south of the country. With the onset of the large mixed migration flows into Colombia due to the Venezuelan crisis, DRC started up an integrated humanitarian response in 2018 to meet the urgent needs of refugees, asylum seekers, migrants, Colombian returnees, and host communities. Hence, DRC has been able to assist the Colombian population, Venezuelan refugees, migrants and host communities through its integrated humanitarian response. Primarily based on protection activities (protection monitoring, individual protection assistance and legal assistance), the response also includes components of Camp Management (Transit camp of Maicao), Multi-Purpose Cash Assistance (MPCA) and cash for Rent, Non Food Items distributions, livelihood interventions, prevention and response to Gender Based Violence (GBV). Lastly, through DDG it also conducts Humanitarian Mine Action (HMA) programming in the department of Caquetá.  Through community liaison, Mine Risk Education sessions, technical and non-technical surveys and clearance activities, the programme focus on returning cleared land to the population in different areas of the country.

DRC also focuses on accountability and improving the effectiveness of the humanitarian response in Colombia, playing an important role in humanitarian coordination in support of UNHCR and IOM as coordination lead agencies of the GIFMM (Inter-Agency Group for Mixed Migration Flows); also protection and GBV co-lead in Barranquilla, Medellin, and Riohacha. It is also an active participant in fora such as the Humanitarian Country Team, the INGO forum and Cash Working Group Steering Committees, as well as with Descontamina Colombia and the Organization of American States (OAS) regarding Humanitarian Mine Action. Through this myriad programming, DRC seeks to address the immediate needs of displaced populations, support vulnerable host populations, and build safer communities.

Currently, DRC Colombia’s programming is taking place in some of Colombia’s most vulnerable areas such as the Caribbean coastal areas (Riohacha and Barranquilla), urban centres (Bogota and Medellin), and along the border with Venezuela (Vichada, Guainia).


The Mixed Migration Centre is established in Colombia since 2019 through its flagship project the Mixed Migration Monitoring Mechanism Initiative (4Mi), through which it conducts research on the needs of refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants. In Latin America, 4Mi is currently being implemented in six locations across two countries (Riohacha, Cúcuta, Barranquilla, Bogotá and Ipiales in Colombia; and Lima in Peru) on the Southwestern route out of Venezuela. Key findings from MMC’s research and 4Mi data are used to inform DRC-Colombia’s programming as well as the broader humanitarian community.


DRC is also assisting people on the move in Peru, Guatemala and Mexico from its main office in South America in Bogota, Colombia. DRC and partners are implementing activities such as protection monitoring and legal aid in Lima, Guatemala City and Tapachula to assist refugees and migrants.


Managed by DRC in collaboration with an inter-agency PIM Reference Group, the 2020-21 Latin America PIM ‘capacity building learning project’ targets protection working groups (PWGs) and clusters organizations across Central and South America as well as regional protection and information management colleagues, with objectives to build PIM Capacity, Competencies and Learning and establish and strengthen a PIM Community of Practice in the Americas.

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Danish Refugee Council – DRC Programme Colombia de conformidad con el Artículo 7º de la Resolución 0019 del 28 de marzo de 2018, publica a continuación para consulta de la comunidad en general, los documentos que forman parte de la renovación del Régimen Tributario Especial.


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