In a recent visit to Costa Rica to monitor the situation of Nicaraguan migrants seeking asylum in the neighboring country, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) gathered 259 testimonies to identify the causes that forced them to flee, the risks and obstacles that they faced when leaving the country.
The IACHR also monitored their current situation in Costa Rica.
In view of the serious and massive migration of Nicaraguans fleeing to other countries — mainly to Costa Rica due to the geographical proximity and historical migrations of Nicaraguans to that country —, the IACHR calls upon the governments of region and the international community to implement a regional and international response based on shared responsibility and the respect for and guarantee of the human rights of these people, so that Costa Rica has the necessary resources to respond adequately and effectively to this emergency humanitarian situation.
In the report, the IACHR recommends to Nicaragua:
- Refrain from and immediately cease acts of persecution against persons identified as opponents and adopt effective measures for the protection of persons in situations of persecution and risk.
- Provide the necessary guarantees so that people can transit and reside freely in Nicaragua, which implies refraining from continuing to criminalize and generate causes that increase the forced displacement of Nicaraguan people.
- Protect and provide humanitarian assistance to persons who have been or will be forced to move internally, in addition to investigating and punishing violent acts that generate internal displacement.
- Guarantee that all persons can freely leave Nicaraguan territory and respect their right to seek and receive asylum in foreign territory, in accordance with the provisions of Articles 22.2 and 22.7 of the American Convention on Human Rights.
To ensure the protection of the human rights of Nicaraguan persons in Costa Rica, the IHACR recommended to the government of Costa Rica, among others, to continue to maintain open and accessible borders, guaranteeing entry Nicaraguans who require international protection.
The IACHR derives its mandate from the Organization of American States (OAS) Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights.
The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for and to defend human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.