La Corporación Jurídica Yira Castro (CJYC) was founded in 2001 with a mission to defend and demand respect for human rights in Colombia. It focuses particularly on members of the population in situations of vulnerability, often as a result of the armed conflict in the country. CJYC carries out legal work at a national and international level to promote greater social justice in Colombia, which it sees as central to ensuring the development of conditions for a sustainable peace.
CJYC has three areas of focus:
- Training in the culture of human rights, which gives the displaced population legal tools for use use at both a national and international level and which promotes greater participation in the construction of public policy.
- Legal assistance to victims of forced displacement, land theft, and related crimes which have been committed in the context of the armed conflict. CJYC files legal cases with the aim of overcoming impunity and gaining recognition for the right of victims to truth, justice and reparation.
- Advocacy through raising awareness in the national and international public opinion regarding the lack of protection for the displaced population and through promoting legal reforms.
As a result of work carried out by CJYC there have been important sentences which have exposed the responsibility of state agents and members of illegal armed groups in crimes of displacement and subsequent land theft. Exposing these activities is an important step towards creating a climate for peace.
The work of CJYC has also focused on ensuring laws that go against the rights of victims of forced displacement are retracted.
Decisions reached as a result of work carried out by CJYC in support of victims have on different occasions et precedence for other cases.
CJYC foms part of different national and international coalitions including the Coordinación Colombia Europa-Estados Unidos (CCEEU) and the Plataforma Colombiana Derechos Humanos, Democracia y Desarrollo, from where it works in defence of human rights.