Nicaragua Background

One of the Western Hemisphere’s poorest countries, Nicaragua is characterized by its low per capita income, uneven socioeconomic development and massive debt. Approximately 50% of Nicaraguan households live below the poverty line, and income disparity in Nicaragua ranks among the world’s worst. Such poverty and inequality add to a political and civic climate affected by corruption, violence and drug-related crime.

Owing to the worsening security climate across the nation, and despite many efforts to strengthen the administration of justice over the past decade, Nicaragua continues to face challenges in advancing justice sector reform. Civil society actors have recently focused on the nation’s youngest and most vulnerable members of society when advocating for change. In addition, the stark reality of poverty and limited opportunities has left Nicaraguan youth vulnerable to the illicit path of drugs and crime.

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