Socio economic reintegration of former combatants is one the most complicated stages in the aftermath of armed struggles and there is never a straightforward answer to its implementation. Although there has been theoretical and practical progress in these regards, ex-combatants often must face formal an informal constraints before regaining their citizenship. In these contexts, institutional interventions are crucial to facilitate the transition of this population into civilian life. This research analyses the role of the institutional framework and its impact in the proper economic reintegration of former politically motivated combatants in Colombia and Northern Ireland since 2000. Through a rigorous review of international examples, previous experiences in reintegration programmes, public policies and the examination of extensive literature, it was possible to identify punitive legislation, limited employment opportunities, discrimination, lack of skills and informal economies as main factors affecting the reintegration process. This overview was confronted with data collected through six semi-structured interviews with key actors in Colombia and Northern Ireland who have been deeply involved in conflict resolution matters. As a result of this triangulation, this exploration compares and concludes that the Colombian institutional framework is more advanced in terms of socio-economic reintegration of ex- combatants in comparison to the Irish case in which ex-prisoners’ role after the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement is not clear yet. In addition, this research identifies that former politically motivated combatants are still experiencing similar problems such as discrimination, exclusion and high levels of deprivation that official interventions have not been capable of addressing in both countries. Finally, two recommendations are stated in order to strengthen these programmes from a people-centred perspective and a sensitive approach that takes into account specificities of ex-combatants in terms of employment, self-employment and training.