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Monica Roa

Mónica Roa

Women's Link Worldwide

One has to be proud of the work we are doing. There are a few people in the world who are strong enough and brave enough to take these risks for a cause that is greater than we are, and the results are going to effect so many people that it is worth it.

Mónica Roa is a human rights lawyer and she is the Director of Programmes in Women's Link Worldwide, an international human rights non-profit organisation working on gender equality issues. In 2006, Mónica Roa and her organisation persuaded the Constitutional Court of Columbia to overturn the ban on abortion, on grounds that the ban was violating the country’s commitments to international human rights treaties concerning a woman’s right to life and health.


HRDs in Colombia work in a violent and unsafe environment. They are subjected to threats, intimidation, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances, physical assaults, torture, killings, illegal searches of their homes and offices and stigmatisation as a result of their activities in defence of human rights. The perpetrators of these abuses are frequently paramilitary groups, many of whom have links to the government or security services, or armed opposition groups. The continued frequent and severe threats and attacks against HRDs around the country contradict government claims of paramilitary demobilisation.


Mónica Roa