What is reintegration?
Who can access the reintegration process?
What are the benefits of the reintegration process?
How can I participate in order to support the reintegration process?
Reintegration requires the commitment of everyone?
Reintegration is a six and a half year offer made by the Colombian State through the Colombian Agency for Reintegration - ACR to the demobilized people of illegal armed groups who are willing to reintegrate into the social and economic life.
Reintegration seeks the development of citizen skills and competencies to be used by the demobilized people in their contexts. At the same time, the fostering of spaces for coexistence and reconciliation actions and the encouragement of shared responsibility of external actors are proposed.
The mission of ARN is to drive the return of the demobilized population to legality in a sustainable manner. This is why demobilized people not only are provided with education, training for work and psychosocial support but are also supported in the development of their productive projects.
Demobilized people that have been certified as such by the Operational Committee for the Abandonment of Weapons - CODA, may voluntarily access the Reintegration Process.
The Colombian State grants legal benefits for political crimes and related offenses to the demobilized people from organized illegal armed groups as long as they do not commit any crime after their demobilization.
When a person joins the Reintegration Process, he/she receives economic support for his/her reintegration if he/she attends at least 90 per cent of the activities scheduled by ARN.
Each person undergoing a Reintegration Process commits to develop at least 80 hours of Social Service actions that are fundamental to generate spaces for reconciliation.
The process can be accessed by persons accredited as demobilized by the Operational Committee for the Abandonment of Weapons (CODA) or the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace, who demobilized after January 24, 2003. Among the requirements are not having committed crimes against humanity, the violation of International Humanitarian Law, among others.
People who were part of the guerrilla groups (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia - FARC, National Liberation Army - ELN, People's Liberation Army - EPL, among others) and the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) guerrilla groups can participate in the process.
Disarmament, Demovilization and Reintegration
A person that abandons an armed group should go to the facilities of any military, police or civil authority. During the first days, he/she will remain in the Military or Police Unit that is closest to his/her place of surrender until the Group of Humanitarian Attention for the Demobilized (GAHD) of the Ministry of Defense transfers him/her to the place that will be set as his/her location.
The person is transferred to a Peace Home where he/she receives initial care in the form of accommodation, food, clothes, a personal hygiene kit and a transport subsidy. In addition, s/he may obtain a certificate as a demobilized person issued by the Operational Committee for the Abandonment of Weapons (CODA).
After obtaining the certificate, the person may voluntarily access the Process of Social and Economic Reintegration led by ACR. The Reintegration Route lasts 6 years and a half in average.
It is clear to ARN that Reintegration is a fundamental ingredient for advancing in the path to peace. The Reintegration Policy offers advice for obtaining legal and social benefits so that demobilized people acquire competencies and skills that will facilitate their return to social life.
The benefits of the Process are conditional on the demobilized person complying with the Reintegration Route, participating in 90% of the activities proposed by ACR, and not committing any crime after their demobilization. Otherwise, they will be expelled and will lose all the benefits.
In order to move forward in the social inclusion of the demobilized people, ACR provides:
- Economic Support for Reintegration.
- Psychosocial Care.
- Counseling for accessing Education.
- Training for Work.
- Benefit of Economic Insertion.
- Health Care.
Economic support for reintegration
An economic incentive that ARN grants (up to $ 480,000 Colombian pesos), subject to the compliance of 90% of each activity scheduled in their Reintegration Route. This support consists in $ 160,000 Colombian pesos for psychosocial care, education or training for work.
The Reintegration Process participant receives psychosocial care in order to develop and strengthen skills in their family, educational, productive and community life, and to guide their efforts towards resolving specific needs and problems. Psychosocial care will last a maximum of two years and six months but may be extended if required.
ARN coordinates, only once, the access to the public offer of the educational system for the demobilized person and his/her family. Literacy and basic primary, secondary and vocational forms of education are offered.
Training for work
ARN coordinates and guides the access to quotas for
training for work in the National Apprenticeship Service (SENA) and other
institutions accredited by the Ministry of National Education. Complementary
and operator, technician and technologist level education courses are offered.
Benefit of economic insertion
The seed capital for the development of business plans, which should be previously structured and approved, and the incentive for employability, which can be used for buying a property or mortgage payment, may be accessed once. Upon receiving this benefit, the participant is excluded from the economic support for Reintegration.
ARN registers the people undergoing a Reintegration
Process and their families in the Subsidized Regime of General System of Social
Security in Health.
How can I participate in order to support the reintegration process?
There are many ways of supporting the Reintegration Process. One of the mechanisms is the "Aportando Tiempo" (Contributing with Time) Program, a voluntary service where company executives and university students donate time to educate people that are being reintegrated in aspects such as financial education, entrepreneurship and finance.
Procurement is another mechanism where companies hire people that are reintegrating into social and economic life as contractors. Such procurement seeks the enhancement of business plans of people undergoing a Reintegration Process.
Companies can also financially support reconciliation projects where the people that undergoing a Reintegration Process share spaces with receptor communities and, at the same time, develop social service actions. One of the main purposes of the ACR is to facilitate spaces for reconciliation. Through employability, entrepreneurs or people may engage participants of the Reintegration Process as employees.
The ARN accompanies companies and owners in the process of choosing the people to be hired. The entity also cooperates in the training of people undergoing a Reintegration Process according to the needs of the companies that are willing to hire.
Reintegration is a fundamental ingredient for peace-building. For this reason, this complex tax requires the enthusiastic commitment of the majority of the people. Obviously, the National Government is the most active promoter of Reintegration, but this is not enough.
The success of the Reintegration Program requires the cooperation of the State in all of its levels, including territorial governments, i.e., governorates and municipalities. But this is not sufficient either. The help and participation of the private sector is also fundamental. It is of little use that the State invests time and money in the Reintegration of thousands of people if the doors are closed to them once they are immersed in society.
It is clear to ARN that a country like Colombia, afflicted by an armed conflict that has lasted decades, should be tuned with Reintegration in order for it to be successful.