Since 1997, Colombia has had a protection programme for human rights defenders (HRDs) at risk. Through Law 418 of 1997the Ministry of the Interior put in place a programme for the protection of people at risk, as a consequence of the armed conflict and political violence. This programme has undergone numerous developments and modifications. In 2018, through Decree 2137 of November 19, the current mechanism was established as the so-called Timely Action Plan for the Prevention and Protection of Human Rights Defenders, social and community leaders. This plan is implemented by the National Protection Unit (UNP) (PU: The National Protection Unit (UNP) articulates, coordinates and executes the provision of the service of protection of the rights to life, liberty, integrity and security of persons and communities that are in a situation of extraordinary or extreme risk as a direct consequence of the exercise of their political, public, social or humanitarian activities or functions-. The UNP was created by the Decree-Law 4065 of 2011.
On 10 December 2019 , the National Public Policy Framework for the Prevention and Integral Protection of Social and Community Leaders, Journalists and Human Rights Defenders was made public. This framework is to be translated into a public policy of the same name, supposedly before the end of President Duque’s current term in office in 2022.