PBI-Colombia accompanies the Nydia Erika Bautista Foundation as Comprehensive Law on the Rights of Women Searchers receives Senate approval

On April 4 (at 12:05 pm ET), PBI-Colombia posted: “#Rights For Women Seekers At this moment accompanying the @nydia_erika Foundation in the last Senate debate on the draft Law for the Protection of Women Searchers of the #Disappeared.”

Later (at 4:14 pm ET), PBI-Colombia posted: “We celebrate the approval of the Comprehensive Law for the Protection of the Rights of Women Searchers. And we congratulate @nydia_erika for all the efforts, the tireless commitment, and the daily defense of the rights of the disappeared.”

This follows the post from the Foundation that said: “#Approved Comprehensive Law for the Protection of the Rights of Search Women, now it is the Law of the Republic, the fight for its implementation continues, Thank you Women from all territories. We made history!”

Comprehensive Law approved!

El Tiempo further explains: “In the plenary session of the Senate, the bill that establishes protections for the rights of women searching for victims of forced disappearance was approved in its last debate. Bill No. 242 of 2022 grants recognition as peacebuilders and subjects of special protection to women and people looking for victims of enforced disappearance.”

“The initiative was promoted by the Nydia Erika Bautista Foundation for Human Rights. The organization is dedicated to protecting the rights of women and family members who are victims of enforced disappearance. Its founder, Yanette Bautista, created the foundation in exile after her sister, Nydia Erika Bautista, was forcibly disappeared in 1987.”

Why was the Law needed?

El Espectador notes: “The Nydia Erika Foundation [says] that 95% of those who are looking for a missing person are women: grandmothers, mothers, daughters, wives or girlfriends. …The Foundation said that while they are searching for their disappeared, they have suffered sexual violence, arbitrary detentions, kidnappings, threats and sometimes, they have seen how another of their loved ones is submerged in the universe of war. That is without leaving behind the psychological effects of not knowing the fate and whereabouts of their relatives for years.”

National Day, October 23

El Tiempo adds: “The law also establishes October 23 as the National Day of Recognition for Women and Persons Searching for Victims of Enforced Disappearance. In addition, the initiative provides for the offer of subsidies and social housing and housing improvement programs to families of women and people seeking victims of enforced disappearance. Other special guarantees of access to social security and health are also introduced.”

The legislative process began in October 2022

El Espectador also notes: “The initiative was filed in October 2022 and; Despite the fact that groups and congressmen denounced at the end of 2023 that the project was being postponed and silenced, after more than 15 months, the victims finally see a glimmer of hope in the approval of the law.”

PBI-Colombia accompanied the Foundation at key points during the process of achieving this law, including:

On October 19, 2022, PBI-Colombia tweeted: “#Today the first Bill of Law in #LatinAmerica was filed in #Colombia that protects the rights of women seekers.”

Instagram photo of the day the Bill was filed.

On March 15, 2023, PBI-Colombia tweeted: “We are accompanying the Meeting with the @FirstCommission to promote the Bill on #WomenSearchers of #EnforcedDisappearance in Colombia @nydia_erika”

On Instagram they noted: “We accompanied the Meeting with the First Commission of the House of Representatives to push for the prioritization of the dialogue of the Bill on #WomenSearchers of victims of #EnforcedDisappearance in Colombia as @fundacionnydiaerikabautista”

The First Commission (Comisión Primera) is the “Permanent Constitutional Commission of the Congress of the Republic of Colombia that processes in first debate the Bills and Legislative Act.”

And on May 16, 2023, PBI-Colombia accompanied the Foundation at the First Debate on the Comprehensive Law.

Instagram photo of First Debate.

On June 27, 2023, PBI-Colombia posted: “The Commissioner of the @CIDH [Inter-American Commission on Human Rights] @JulissaMantill6 visits the office of @nydia_erika in support of the risk situation that the Foundation faces in its fight against forced disappearance and in support of the Women Searchers bill.”

On July 27, 2023, PBI-Colombia posted: “Today vice minister @liliasolanor [Lilia Solano] facilitated an important push for law 242, protection for #WomenSearchers promoted by @nydia_erika. There was the participation of @ONU [United Nations] Women, @OACNUDH [the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights-Central America and the Caribbean], and the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Defence.”

On October 27, 2023, PBI-Colombia posted: “We were with @nydia_erika at the meeting with @ONUMujeresCol [the United Nations agency in Colombia for gender equality and the empowerment of women] and @ONUHumanRights [UN Human Rights Colombia] to follow up on the draft Law for the Comprehensive Protection of #WomenSearchers of Victims of #MissingPersons.”

On February 27, 2024, PBI-Colombia posted: “Talking at the headquarters of the @nydia_erika Foundation about the importance of advancing and making a reality the Law Project on Guarantees for Women Seekers, a pioneering initiative presented last week to the UN Committee against Enforced Disappearances.”

April 4, 2024!

PBI-Colombia began accompanying the Nydia Erika Bautista Foundation occasionally in 2007 and fully since 2016.


Instagram video.


Published by Brent Patterson on