Last Updated: Friday, 27 May 2016, 08:49 GMT

U.S. Department of State 2003 Trafficking in Persons Report - Nicaragua

Publisher United States Department of State
Author Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Publication Date 11 June 2003
Cite as United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2003 Trafficking in Persons Report - Nicaragua, 11 June 2003, available at: [accessed 30 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.

Nicaragua (Tier 2)

Nicaragua is source and transit country for persons trafficked for sexual exploitation. Many of the victims are minors trafficked within the country, including children in prostitution and girls who dance in nightclubs. Some Nicaraguan women and children are trafficked to other parts of Central America for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Nicaragua is also a transit country for illegal migrants; some of those migrants may be trafficked.

The Government of Nicaragua does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Aware of the problem, the government does not tolerate trafficking in persons. The government carries out measures against cross-border trafficking in the context of combating migrant smuggling. Government efforts to address internal trafficking, which most often involves the exploitation of children, are complicated by a lack of resources and politicization of the issue.


A government national council headed by the First Lady has developed strategies to protect children against forced labor and sexual exploitation. These measures focus on raising awareness of public officials. The police work with schools to warn at-risk teenagers about trafficking. The government works with a number of international organizations and NGOs that promote children's welfare, but the government does not conduct any public awareness campaigns.


Nicaragua has a law prohibiting trafficking for sexual exploitation, and authorities have made some arrests under this law, but there have been very few prosecutions. A joint Nicaraguan-U.S. task force coordinates strategy and law enforcement on the illegal international movement of persons. A special police unit combats trafficking as a part of migrant smuggling. Enforcement of child labor rules is spotty. Corruption is an overall problem, although there is no evidence that Nicaraguan officials are engaged in trafficking-related corruption. The government does not adequately monitor its borders, but officials are taking steps to improve technology and methodology.


The government does not provide special services to Nicaraguan trafficking victims beyond general limited assistance to victims of violent crime. The government does not provide assistance to foreign victims of trafficking. Police are not trained to recognize trafficking victims other than minors in nightclubs. Government efforts to inspect working conditions of children are limited.

Search Refworld