Protection available to children who are victims of abuse (update to NIC33830.E of 4 May 2000) [NIC41907.E]

For recent information on protection or recourse available to children who are victims of physical or sexual abuse in Nicaragua, please consult NIC41906.E of 27 August 2003 and NIC41905.E of 28 August 2003, as well as Country Reports 2002 (Section 5, "Children"), all available through Regional Documetation Centres.

Further to the above, a June 2002 news article carried in El Nuevo Diario reports an increase in sexual abuse of children in Nicaragua (25 June 2003). The article states that, according to a Nicaraguan specialist on the issue, police and judicial authorities lack adequate knowledge of acts that could be considered sexual abuse of children, resulting in many cases brought before not being processed (ibid.).

The Ministry of Family of Nicaragua (Ministerio de la Familia, MIFAMILIA) issued a protest in July 2002 against a court decision that released a group of individuals who raped a child in the department of Leon (Nicaragua 25 July 2002). The Ministry's press release states that the perpetrators were released despite investigations having confirmed their responsibility for the crime (ibid.). It adds that although legal provisions mandate state protection of vulnerable children, the court ordered the local MIFAMILIA official to return the child to his home, where he lived and will continue to live with the perpetrators (ibid.). The source adds that the victim was never heard by the court, despite his right to the contrary as stipulated in the Youth and Children's Code (Código de la Niñez y la Adolescencia) (ibid.).

Earlier in July 2002, MIFAMILIA announced that a group of five youths who had escaped from one of its institution's youth shelters (centros de protección) in Managua were "rescued" (MIFAMILIA...rescató) and returned to the shelter (ibid. 1 July 2002). The Ministry announced that it would investigate the reason why the youths decided to escape from the shelter (ibid.).

Additional and/or corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the constraints of this Responses.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


El Nuevo Diario [Managua]. 25 June 2003. "Se incrementan casos de abuso sexual infantil." [Accessed 28 Aug. 2003]

Nicaragua. 25 July 2002. Ministerio de la Familia, Managua. Nota de Prensa. No. 52. "Ministerio de la Familia deplora fallo judicial en contra de menor." [Accessed 13 Aug. 2003]

_____. 1 July 2002. Ministerio de la Familia, Managua. Nota de Prensa. No. 44. "MIFAMILIA rescata a 5 niños que huyeron de un centro de protección local." [Accessed 13 Aug. 2003]

Additional Sources Consulted

Central America Report [Guatemala City]. 2000-2003

IRB Databases

Latinamerica Press [Lima]. 2000-2003

Internet sites and search engines, including:

Casa Alianza

El Nuevo Diario [Managua]. Searchable archives

Fempress [Santiago]. Searchable archives, 2000-2003

Isis Internacional

La Prensa [Managua]. Searchable archives

Proeycto de Promoción de Políticas de Género

United Nations (UNICEF and CEDAW)

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