Avon Global Center for Women and Justice at Cornell Law School - Green Background

Country Details


  • Sentencia A092/08, Colombia, Constitutional Court, 2008.
    The Court recognized the special constitutional protection that women displaced by armed conflict are entitled to, as well as international obligations applicable to women displaced by armed conflict. The Court ordered the creation of programs to bring attention to the plight of displaced women and to strengthen their constitutional rights. The court also granted protective orders to more than 600 displaced women. Finally, the court alerted the Attorney General of numerous sexual crimes committed against women during Colombia's armed conflict. 
  • Sentencia T-058/08, Colombia, Constitutional Court, 2008.
    Reversing an appellate court ruling and affirming a trial court ruling, the Court reaffirmed the rights to employment of pregnant and nursing women.  
  • Sentencia T-088/08, Colombia, Constitutional Court, 2008.
    Recognizing the constitutional vulnerability of pregnant women and unborn and newborn children, the Court ordered defendant, and insurance company, to insure plaintiff, an 18-year old pregnant woman, who had lost the right to her parents' insurance upon reaching the age of 18. 
  • Sentencia T-209/08, Colombia, Constitutional Court, 2008.
    Therapeutic abortion in cases of rape, incest, and to save the health and life of the woman. The Court reaffirmed that a ban on abortion in all instances would an unconstitutional violation of women's fundamental rights. 
  • Sentencia T-496/08, Colombia, Constitutional Court, 2008.
    Court recognized the special vulnerability of women in situations of armed conflict and ordered the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Justice, as well as the Attorney General, to implement and revise programs to protect victims and witnesses of armed conflicts, consistent with national and international law and practice.
  • Sentencia T-549/08, Colombia, Constitutional Court, 2008.
    Reversing a lower court's finding, the Court ordered defendant to reinstate plaintiff in her prior place of employment after it found that defendant had improperly fired plaintiff due to her pregnancy, thereby violating her rights as a pregnant woman. 
  • X and Relatives v. Colombia , Colombia, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, 2008.
    Rape by military members. Case was brought before the Commission against Colombia for failing to prosecute members of the Colombian military for sexually assaulting the victim. The Complaint sought to have Colombia assume international responsibility for violating articles 1(1), 5, 7, 8, 10, 11 and 22 of the American Convention on Human Rights, as well as Articles I, V, VII, XI, XVIII and XXVI of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man. Colombia and the petitioners were able to reach a friendly settlement under which the victim was awarded moral and material damages. Under the friendly settlement, Colombia also agreed to pay for the victim's education, provide her with medical and psychological services, and other necessary services to fully compensate the victim and her family. Colombia also agreed to reopen the criminal investigation and to work with the victim to fully investigate and prosecute her case.
  • Auto 102-07, Colombia, Constitutional Court, 2007.
    The Court ordered the Secretary General of the Court to hold a planning session along with several other governmental and non-governmental entities to address issues of forced displacement of women.
  • Sentencia T-549/07, Colombia, Constitutional Court, 2007.
    Court held that plaintiff, who was accused of raping two women, did not have his due process rights violated when tried by an indigenous tribunal because the due process followed by the indigenous tribunal was consistent with the due process requirements of the national courts. 
  • Sentencia T-877/07, Colombia, Constitutional Court, 2007.
    The Court affirmed that an employer is not only constitutionally-required to provide adequate maternal leave for pregnant workers, but also bound by regional and international treaties to which Colombia is a signatory, such as the Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights  ("Protocol of San Salvador").
  • Sentencia T-988/07, Colombia, Constitutional Court, 2007.
    The Court ordered defendant, a health-care provider, to provide a mentally and physically-disabled woman with an abortion after she became pregnant from nonconsensual sexual intercourse. The Court held that because of her mental disability, the woman's parents could request the abortion, despite the fact that the woman was 24-years old. The Court also held that the rape need not have been reported to the authorities, as was argued by the defendant.
  • Sentencia C-322/06, Colombia, Constitutional Court, 2006.
    The Court was asked to reexamine the domestic implications of Colombia's adoption of the CEDAW. Those opposing the CEDAW argued that its adoption would have grave consequences and be inconsistent with the Colombian Constitution. The Court affirmed the constitutionality of Colombia's participation in the CEDAW.
  • Sentencia C-355/06, Colombia, Constitutional Court, 2006.
    The Court ruled that a complete ban on abortion was unconstitutional and legalized abortion in cases of incest, danger to the health of the mother, and rape, involuntary insemination, serious deformity to the fetus, or when the mother is under the age of 14. In instances of deformity to the fetus or danger to the mother, the Court required that medical evidence be provided.  The Court relies on its obligations in international law to protect women's rights to health and life, among others.
  • Sentencia C-667/06, Colombia, Constitutional Court, 2006.
    The Court held that existing legal provisions and international treaties that provide women with special rights and considerations were not in violation of the Colombian Constitution's equal rights provision. The Court reasoned that such provisions were not aimed at withholding rights from men, but instead were aimed at correcting any shortcomings in the rights owed to women. 
  • Sentencia C-101/05, Colombia, Constitutional Court, 2005.
    Explaining that the right to marry or remarry is a fundamental right, the Court held that wills and testaments that required a woman to remain single or widowed were unconstitutional. 
  • Sentencia C-534/05, Colombia, Constitutional Court, 2005.
    The Court held that 4, while prima facie unconstitutional, is acceptable if done with the constitutional purpose of furthering the rights of women, considered a constitutionally-protected class, and not with the purpose of maintaining traditional societal roles. The Court held that "the special protection of women allows for discriminatory treatment with constitutional ends." The Court also affirmed that minors are a protected class, protected both by the Colombian Constitution but also by the international treaties to which Colombia is a signatory.
  • Sentencia T-622/05, Colombia, Constitutional Court, 2005.
    The Court held that prison procedural rules that required vaginal inspections of female visitors, and that did not allow female visitors to enter the prison while menstruating, violated female visitors' right to dignity, personal liberty and health. The Court ordered the National Institute of Prisons and Jails (Instituto Nacional Penitenciario y Carcelario) to stop such intrusive inspections and install at the prison in question, the Cárcel Distrital Villahermosa de Cali, equipment necessary to accomplish the safety objectives of a vaginal inspection without needing to conduct such an inspection.
  • Sentencia C-507/04, Colombia, Constitutional Court, 2004.
    The Court was asked to examine the constitutionality of Article 34 of the Colombian Civil Code, which established the minimum age of marriage for women as 12, while the minimum age for men as 14. The Court struck the wording from the Civil Code that differentiated in age based on gender, and set the minimum age of marriage at 14.