Public Discussion “Promoting peace and the participatory rights of children and youth within contexts of enduring conflict – The example of “Benposta, Nación de Muchachos” in Colombia’’

The Association for Historical Dialogue and Research (AHDR) with the collaboration of POST Research Institute (POST RI) and Nicosia, Cyprus – City of Peace Committee held a Public Discussion titled “Promoting peace and the participatory rights of children and youth within contexts of enduring conflict – The example of “Benposta, Nación de Muchachos” in Colombia’’ with Professor Carlos Eduardo Martínez Hincapié, Director of the School for Peace and Development, UNIMINUTO, Bogota, Colombia.

The event explored the obstacles that exist for constructing peace in the case of countries suffering from intractable conflict, such as Colombia, as well as the efforts initiated by local civil society actors, within this context of conflict, to promote the rights of children to direct and effective participation in decision-making within their school and their community. The case of Benposta educational community in Colombia was elaborated by one of its founding members, Prof. Carlos Eduardo Martínez Hincapié, and connections were drawn with similar efforts initiated by Cypriot civil society, as well as with the status of participatory rights of children and youth within the Cypriot context.

Professor Carlos Eduardo Martínez Hincapié is a political scientist and holds a Masters Degree in Educational and Social Development from the Universidad Pedagógica Nacional in Colombia. He received his PhD in Peace, Conflict and Democracy from the University of Granada in Spain. His life experience, to which he attributes his thoughts and most important reflections, has derived from the field of Pedagogy, Pacifism and Nonviolence. He’s the Director of the School of Peace and Development at UNIMINUTO in Bogota, Colombia; and member of the research group on Citizenship, Peace and Development attached to Colciencias (Administrative Department of Science, Technology and Innovation of the Government of Colombia). He is also one of the founding members of Benposta ( in Colombia, and a member of the ‘Education for a Culture of Peace’ project’s Scientific Committee.


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