Last Updated: Monday, 30 May 2016, 14:07 GMT

Amnesty International Report 2008 - Nicaragua

Publisher Amnesty International
Publication Date 28 May 2008
Cite as Amnesty International, Amnesty International Report 2008 - Nicaragua, 28 May 2008, 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.


Head of state and government: Daniel Ortega (replaced Enrique Bolaños in January)
Death penalty: abolitionist for all crimes
Population: 5.7 million
Life expectancy: 71.9 years
Under-5 mortality (m/f): 39/31 per 1,000
Adult literacy: 76.7 per cent

Local organizations continued to call for better enforcement of health and safety standards for workers and protection of freedom of association. Women's organizations continued to challenge a 2006 law prohibiting abortion in all circumstances. Criminalization of gay and lesbian relationships was ended.


Nicaragua signed the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture in March.

In a speech before the National Assembly in October, President Ortega reportedly stated that Nicaragua would not sign the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

The National Assembly approved a new Criminal Code which omitted an article criminalizing gay and lesbian relationships which had been present in the previous criminal code.

Health – reproductive rights

Approximately 50 appeals challenging as unconstitutional a law which prohibits therapeutic abortions (abortions carried out where the life, physical or psychological integrity of the women would be at risk if the pregnancy proceeded) were before the Supreme Court of Justice at the end of the year. Despite the fact that judgments on the appeals were pending, the National Assembly approved a new criminal code which incorporated the law.

In 2006, the Inter-American Human Rights Commission's Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women had noted that therapeutic abortion was a necessary service for women and that its prohibition would put women's lives and heath at risk, in addition to presenting difficulties for medical staff.

  • In April, a 24-year-old woman died of complications related to an ectopic pregnancy. A women's health organization that investigated the case believed that a contributing factor to her death was that life-saving treatment (which Health Ministry regulations explicitly require) was delayed by medical staff because of their concerns over the possibility of being prosecuted for carrying out an abortion.

Workers' rights

Local organizations reported that labour rights continued to be poorly enforced. Workers lodged various complaints with the authorities and human rights organizations regarding working conditions, including adverse effects on health, and freedom of association.

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