Press Release

IACHR Calls on Nicaragua to Eradicate Violence Against Women, Girls and Adolescents

March 28, 2018

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Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) expresses its concern over the reports on the high prevalence of gender-based violence against women, girls and adolescents in Nicaragua and calls on the State to act with due diligence to prevent, investigate and sanction these facts.

According to information of public knowledge, on February 20, 2018, a 12-year-old girl was found murdered, with signs of having suffered rape, in the town of Los Llanos. This crime occurred within a context marked by worrying reports of murders for motives of gender against women, girls and adolescents in Nicaragua, the lack of accurate and reliable statistics on these facts, and the fallacies in the prevention, investigation and punishment of these crimes.

"The Nicaraguan State must recognize the seriousness and extent of gender-based violence and seriously commit to immediately address these violations of the fundamental rights of women, girls and adolescents in the country," said Margarette May Macaulay, President of the IACHR and Rapporteur on the Rights of Women.

The Commission has received worrying information about the prevalence of sexual violence against female children in Nicaragua, which represents 80% of all reported cases of sexual violence against women. Many of these facts are committed by people close to them, such as relatives, neighbors, acquaintances, teachers and colleagues.

"In Nicaragua, many girls and adolescents face unwanted pregnancies as a result of acts of sexual violence. These pregnancies are the direct and unacceptable consequence of a crime and have a severe impact on the life, integrity and personal development of the victims. This has to be recognized by the State,"said Esmeralda Arosemena de Troitiño, Rapporteur on the Rights of the Child of the IACHR.

The Commission recalls that in the face of the murder of a woman, girl or adolescent committed in the general context of gender-based violence, States have the obligation to investigate ex officio the possible discriminatory connotations of the crime, whether committed in the public or private sphere. In the face of cases of sexual violence, States must adopt research protocols that avoid re-victimizing women, girls and adolescents, as well as facilitating access to comprehensive support services and adapted medical care, including legal, timely and safe interruption of pregnancies resulting from sexual violence.

The IACHR reiterates that the States must produce comprehensive and properly disaggregated statistics on the causes, consequences, frequency and response of the State to these acts. The information collected should be used as a basis for the design and evaluation of the effectiveness of regulatory frameworks and public policies adopted to prevent, sanction and eradicate violence against women, girls and adolescents.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for and to defend human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 068/18