This report is part of CRIN's access to justice for children project, looking at the status of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in national law, the status of children involved in legal proceedings, the legal means to challenge violations of children’s rights and the practical considerations involved in challenging violations.
Nicaragua ratified the CRC in 1990. The CRC enjoys constitutional status and is fully applicable in Nicaragua, though it only takes precedence over national law where judges grant such status. Children may bring cases to court in civil, constitutional or administrative proceedings to challenge violations of their rights. Alternatively, a complaint may be filed with the Ministry of Family, Adolescents and Children or the National Police with the assistance of the state’s attorney or the public defender. Children or their representatives may file writs of amparo or actions of unconstitutionality, or report human rights violations to the Office of the Ombudsperson for Human Rights. Some obstacles to children’s access to justice exist. Corruption in the Nicaraguan judicial system is prevalent, and there could be issues of enforcement if a decision becomes politicised. Access to judicial resources for indigenous groups and in remote areas is limited.