Nicaragua reviewed under UPR
Tuesday, 09 February 2010 17:01


On 8 February 2010 the Working Group on the UPR reviewed the situation of human rights in Nicaragua. Nicaragua was represented by a small delegation headed by the Minister of Interior, Ms Ana Isabel Morales Mazún, who presented the national report. The presentation mostly focused on the State’s achievements in the field of human rights and eradication of poverty, and it also stressed that the country is unable to achieve the Millennium Development Goals on account the conditioning of external aid and the injustice of international trade which hinders its development


After the presentation, Nicaragua used some time to respond to written questions of other States. The two main issues were the freedom of association and freedom of expression, which the delegation briefly rejected by stating that the freedom of association and expression are almost absolute in the country. Another question focused on the problem of illegality of abortion as stipulated in the Criminal Code. Nicaragua explained that the reason the law which criminalises the adoption was adopted by National Assembly is that it expresses the will of the people and their belief that the right to life of an unborn child is important and should be respected.


During the question and answer session, many States took the floor to praise and commend Nicaragua for its efforts in eradicating poverty, reducing illiteracy and implementing economic, social, and cultural rights. The main issue raised by Slovenia, Norway, Mexico, Belgium, Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic, and Germany was decriminalising abortion when women’s health is in danger in order to protect the reproductive health rights of women and the high levels of maternal and infant mortality, especially among poor, rural, indigenous and Afro-descendent women.


States such as Canada, United Kingdom, Slovenia, Norway, Mexico, Belgium, Finland, Azerbaijan, Sweden, the Netherlands, Spain, France, Chile, Czech Republic, Ireland, Italy, India, and Germany were also concerned with increasing violence against women, domestic violence, and femicide, and the problem of impunity of perpetrators committing crimes against women, accompanied by lack of access to police protection by women, and protection services for the victims. These States urged Nicaragua to take effective measures to combat violence against women as recommended during the 2007 review by CEDAW.


Another major issue raised was limiting the freedom of expression and freedom of association, accompanied by threats of violence and violence against journalists and civil society. Special focus in this regard was given to increasing violence and worsening working conditions for human rights defenders, that is why Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, France, Czech Republic, USA and Germany urged Nicaragua to take specific measures to fight these crimes.


Other issues raised during the question and answer session were: the need to ratify the Additional Protocols to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Convention concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries, and the Rome Statute of International Criminal Court; the increasing inmate population in prisons which leads to overcrowding, and worsening of conditions in prisons, including ill treatment of prisoners; lack of impartiality in the judiciary and equal access to justice for women; violations of rights of indigenous people, especially discrimination in several areas of society such as education, health services, election participation and land rights; and the lack of preventive mechanisms to stop violence and discrimination against LGBT persons.


Nicaragua provided responses to a relatively high number of questions during the first reound of replies. However some of the questions were refuted on the grounds that certain problems do not exist and that Nicaragua is doing everything to combat injustices. At the conclusion only three minutes were left for the Nicaragua to respond, which it used to assure that it will take all the recommendations under the consideration and provide further answers on questions which could not be answered due to time constraints.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 May 2010 10:12
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