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Nicaragua Issues - 2024


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Disputes - international

Nicaragua-El Salvador-Honduras: the 1992 ICJ ruling for El Salvador and Honduras advised a tripartite resolution to establish a maritime boundary in the Gulf of Fonseca, which considers Honduran access to the Pacific; the court ruled, rather, that the Gulf of Fonseca represents a condominium, with control being shared by El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua; the decision allowed for the possibility that the three nations could divide the waters at a later date if they wished to do so

Nicaragua-Costa Rica: Nicaragua and Costa Rica regularly file border dispute cases with the ICJ over the delimitations of the San Juan River and the northern tip of Calero Island, virtually uninhabited areas claimed by both countries; there is an ongoing case in the ICJ to determine Pacific and Atlantic ocean maritime borders as well as land borders; in 2009, the ICJ ruled that Costa Rican vessels carrying out police activities could not use the river, but official Costa Rican vessels providing essential services to riverside inhabitants and Costa Rican tourists could travel freely on the river; in 2011, the ICJ provisionally ruled that both countries must remove personnel from the disputed area; in 2013, the ICJ rejected Nicaragua's 2012 suit to halt Costa Rica's construction of a highway paralleling the river on the grounds of irreparable environmental damage; in 2013, the ICJ, regarding the disputed territory, ordered that Nicaragua should refrain from dredging or canal construction and refill and repair damage caused by trenches connecting the river to the Caribbean and upheld its 2010 ruling that Nicaragua must remove all personnel; in early 2014, Costa Rica brought Nicaragua to the ICJ over offshore oil concessions in the disputed region; in 2018, the ICJ ruled that Nicaragua must remove a military base from a contested coastal area near the San Juan River, and that Costa Rica had sovereignty over the northern part of Isla Portillos, including the coast, but excluding Harbour Head Lagoon; additionally, Honduras was required to pay reparations for environmental damage to part of the wetlands at the mouth of the San Juan River

Nicaragua-Colombia: Nicaragua filed a case with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Colombia in 2013 over the delimitation of the Continental shelf beyond the 200 nautical miles from the Nicaraguan coast, as well as over the alleged violation by Colombia of Nicaraguan maritime space in the Caribbean Sea, which contains rich oil and fish resources; as of September 2021, Colombia refuses to abide by the ICJ ruling

Trafficking in persons

tier rating: Tier 3 — Nicaragua does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so, therefore, Nicaragua remained on Tier 3; the government took some steps to address trafficking, including passing a new National Action Plan; however, the government continued to minimize the severity of the trafficking problem, did not have shelters, and did not allocate funding for victim services; authorities made negligible efforts to address labor trafficking—which remained a serious concern—and victim identification efforts remained inadequate; officials did not convict any traffickers and did not support Nicaraguan trafficking victims identified in foreign countries; the government did not cooperate with civil society to fund their work or refer victims to them for support (2023)

trafficking profile: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Nicaragua, as well as Nicaraguans abroad; women, children, and migrants in Nicaragua are most at risk; women and children are subject to sex trafficking within the country and in other Central American countries, Mexico, Spain, and the US; victims’ families are often complicit; Nicaraguans who migrate or are forcibly displaced to other Central American countries and Europe risk sex and labor trafficking, both in transit and after reaching their destinations; traffickers use social media and other means to recruit victims with promises of higher-paying jobs in restaurants, hotels, domestic service, construction, and security outside of Nicaragua, where they are subjected to sex or labor trafficking; victims often are recruited from rural areas or border regions, and children whose parents leave to work abroad often are exploited in sex and labor trafficking; Nicaraguan women and children are subjected to sex and labor trafficking in the two Caribbean autonomous regions, where the lack of strong law enforcement, rampant poverty, high crime rates, and the impacts of past natural disasters increase the vulnerability of the local population; traffickers force children to participate in illegal drug production and trafficking, while others are forced to work in artisanal mines and quarries; children and persons with disabilities are subjected to forced begging; Cuban nationals working in Nicaragua may have been forced to work there by the Cuban Government; Nicaragua is a destination for child sex tourists from Canada, the US, and Western Europe (2023)

Illicit drugs

transit route for illicit drugs originating from South America destined for the United States

NOTE: The information regarding Nicaragua on this page is re-published from the 2024 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Nicaragua 2024 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Nicaragua 2024 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 04 May 24, Copyright © 2024 ITA all rights reserved.