Residents of the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua face the highest ratio of poverty and unemployment in the country, and natural resources guaranteed to the Atlantic Coast region by the 1987 Nicaraguan Constitution and the Autonomy Statute have not been implemented. Few local judicial institutions exist through which indigenous communities can demand redress for violations of their economic, social and cultural rights resulting from government granting of logging concessions to foreign corporate interests and national bills impinging on land rights (including a bill on mining, forestry, and fishing ). The status of afro-Caribbean and indigenous populations is made more vulnerable by racially discriminatory practices.
Following a 1996 workshop on access to justice in the Atlantic Coast, IHRLG launched our Nicaragua program to promote and protect economic, social and cultural rights; combat racial discrimination and address the isolation of indigenous and Afro-Caribbean communities due to their geographic location. Operating offices in Puerto Cabezas and Bluefields, IHRLG combines human rights advocacy training, coalition building and litigation support to help groups in the Atlantic Coast access the legal system and break down the barriers of racial discrimination against indigenous and Afro-Caribbean communities and their resultant political, economic and social marginalization.
We also empower and partner with indigenous and Afro-Caribbean women as they press for gender equity; facilitate community access to information through regular human rights radio shows, dissemination of IHRLG's illustrated human rights manual, and operation of multi-lingual resource centers. We amplify the voices of indigenous and Afro-Caribbean groups through litigation and advocacy support on cases before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and Inter-American Court of Human Rights and regular delegations to the UN Commission on Human Rights.
Click on the links below to learn more about IHRLG's activities in Nicaragua
Strengthening the advocacy skills of NGOs and facilitating coalition building
Increasing communities' access to justice and supporting legal action and advocacy
Increasing communities' access to human rights information and education