Right Livelihood Advocacy Officer Fédora Bernard

UN Human Rights Council must prioritise Nicaragua’s indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples

News 07.03.2023

The international community must do more to address the violations against indigenous peoples and Afro-descendants in Nicaragua, Right Livelihood warned the 52nd session of the UN Human Rights Council.

Read the full statement here.

Our statement came in response to the March 2023 report issued by the Group of Human Rights Experts on Nicaragua, which failed to highlight the ongoing threats faced by indigenous and Afro-descendant communities.

Indigenous communities in Nicaragua’s Caribbean Coast region are facing severe threats due to the presence of illegal settlers on their protected lands. Many have already been forcibly displaced through intimidation and forced seizures, while those who remain live in constant fear of armed attacks and losing access to their sources of income.

Despite the severity of the situation, Right Livelihood said, the Nicaraguan government has failed to take appropriate action. Instead, they are promoting “cohabitation” with settlers and are illegally coercing these communities into selling or leasing their land.

Furthermore, we shared that those who defend the rights of these communities are subject to violence, and organisations that document abuses in these territories are shut down.

Right Livelihood called on the Council to expand its mandate to address violations affecting indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples specifically, as accountability for these abuses must be provided. Without it, such communities could soon disappear. 

Overall, we emphasised that the international community must take action to protect the rights and livelihoods of indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples.

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