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Nicaragua: Information on conjugal visits in prison, on co-ed jails, and on whether two unmarried inmates of the opposite gender would be allowed opportunities for sexual relations

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 1 November 1995
Citation / Document Symbol NIC22385.E
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Nicaragua: Information on conjugal visits in prison, on co-ed jails, and on whether two unmarried inmates of the opposite gender would be allowed opportunities for sexual relations, 1 November 1995, NIC22385.E, available at: [accessed 28 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.


This Response adds to the information found in Response to Information Request NIC20204.E of 29 March 1995 and its attachments. The information that follows was provided during a 29 November 1995 telephone interview by a representative at the Comisión Permanente de Derechos Humanos (CPDH) in Managua.

There are different types of jails in Nicaragua. Some have jail sections for both sexes, and some have facilities for conjugal visits. One prison-farm near Managua, La Esperanza, is exclusively for women. Normally, the inmates are not allowed to receive conjugal visits.

The main and largest prison in Nicaragua, called Cárcel Modelo, is located in Tipitapa district, department of Managua. There is a section for conjugal visits, which are normally scheduled to take place once a month.

Other jails in the country's interior, such as those in Estelí, Granada and Chinandega, have a section for female inmates in addition to their sections for men. The ratio of male to female inmates in these prisons is about 300 to 15-20. The women occupy separate sections and jail cells within the prison. In some of these jails the men are allowed to receive conjugal visits. Sometimes relationships between inmates of opposite sexes develop or continue in these jails. Although the source was unsure about the possibility of interaction between inmates of opposite genders outside their holding cells, regulations require inmates to be formally married before being allowed conjugal visits. The source stated that prisoners cannot have sexual relations with an inmate of the opposite sex by simply expressing their desire to do so; a formal union is a requisite for intimate contact.

Finally, the source stated that conjugal visits by unjailed unmarried partners are allowed in the prisons that provide facilities for this. In Nicaragua many unions and partnerships have a "de facto" recognition by society and authorities, as couples may live together and have children without ever formalizing their marriage. Thus, unmarried prisoners whose partners are outside jail generally can receive visits from their "de facto" spouses or partners to whom they are not legally married.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB 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 a list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Comisión Permanente de Derechos Humanos (CPDH), Managua. 29 November 1995. Telephone interview with representative.

Additional Sources Consulted

Amnesty International Report. Yearly.

Central America NewsPak [Austin, Tex.]. Fortnightly.

Central America Report [Guatemala]. Weekly.

      Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. Yearly. U.S. Department of State. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office.

      Critique: Review of the Department of State's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. Yearly. New York: Lawyers Committee for Human Rights.

      Human Rights Watch World Report. Yearly. New York: Human Rights Watch.

      News from Human Rights Watch/Americas [New York]. Monthly.

Latinamerica Press [Lima]. Weekly.

      Latin American Weekly Report [London]. Weekly.

      Latin American Regional Reports: Central America & the Caribbean [London]. Monthly.

Material from the Indexed Media Review (IMR) or country files containing articles and reports from diverse sources (primarily dailies and periodicals) from the Weekly Media Review.

Newspapers and periodicals pertaining to the appropriate region.

IRB, USINS and UNHCR databases.

On-line searches of news articles.

Note on oral sources:

Oral sources are usually contacted when documentary sources have been exhausted. However, oral sources must agree to be quoted in a publicly available Response to Information Request. If they refuse, the Response will read "no information currently available." Contacting oral sources is also subject to time constraints; for example, there are periods of the year when academics are unavailable.


This list is not exhaustive. Country-specific books available in the Resource Centre are not included.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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