Geographically, ethnically and linguistically diverse, Colombia is found in Latin America’s Andean region. It shares a mountain range with Ecuador and Venezuela, as well as an area of Amazon rainforest.
The middle-income nation is home to Latin America’s longest-running civil conflict; 6.9 million people are still internally displaced – the world's highest number. As a result of disrupted education and poverty, a large number of children live on the streets and child labour is common.
Young people in cities are in danger of being coerced into joining illegal armed groups. They are also at risk of drug and alcohol addiction, teenage pregnancy, family breakdown and domestic violence. Throughout the conflict, thousands of women have suffered from sexual violence at the hands of rebels, which has left a generation of women scarred emotionally and physically.
Although Colombia is developing rapidly and is currently the fourth largest economy in Latin America, there are still vast inequalities: 27.8 per cent of the population still live below the poverty line. All this is worsened by Colombia’s vulnerability to natural disasters; more than 11 million people are affected each year by droughts, earthquakes and flooding.