This report is based on findings from a participatory workshop and individual interviews conducted with nine individuals in Cúcuta, Colombia, in July 2022. MEAC is grateful for the opportunity to conduct these activities with this group, and thanks Bogotá-based NGO the Coalition against the Involvement of Children and Young People in the Armed Conflict in Colombia (COALICO) for their support in this endeavour.

It presents findings on their experiences of leaving armed groups as children and reintegrating back into civilian life without formal support. This data may be useful to government, UN, and NGO partners working in Colombia, supporting their policies and programming to prevent and respond to child recruitment and reintegration. The report ends with key policy and programmatic recommendations that were constructed with the nine participants as part of the participatory exercise.

The version in Spanish is available here.

Citation: Cristal Downing, Ángela Olaya, and Sofía Rivas (2022) "It’s Like Starting From Scratch”: Informal Support Accessed by Individuals who Disengaged from Armed Groups as Children in Colombia," MEAC Findings Report 21, United Nations University, New York.