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Last Updated: 10 December 2014

Casualties and Victim Assistance

Action points based on findings

·         Sustain programs offering psychological support and income-generating projects to survivors and others with similar needs with national resources.

·         Increase awareness of Law 763 on the rights of persons with disabilities and dedicate resources to its implementation and enforcement.

Victim assistance commitments

The Republic of Nicaragua is responsible for a significant number of landmine survivors and survivors of other explosive remnants of war (ERW) who are in need. Nicaragua has made commitments to provide victim assistance through the Mine Ban Treaty, and is also a State Party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Casualties Overview

All known casualties by end 2013

1,303 (92 killed; 1,211 injured)

Casualties in 2013

1 (2012: 1)

2013casualties by outcome

1 injured (2012: 1 injured)

2013 casualties by device type


In 2013, one civilian ERW casualty was reported in Nicaragua. A man was injured in October in the department of Leon.[1]

The single casualty identified in 2013 was consistent with recent low annual casualty figures following the completion of clearance in 2010.[2] The last reported landmine casualty occurred in 2010.[3]

As of December 2013, 1,303 mine/ERW casualties (92 killed, 1,211 injured) were recorded in Nicaragua, including 42 deminers (five killed, 37 injured).[4]

Victim Assistance

There were at least 1,205 mine/ERW survivors in Nicaragua as of December 2013.[5]

Victim assistance since 1999

Between 2002 and 2013, all registered mine survivors in Nicaragua had received support from the OAS, with international funding, to access physical rehabilitation and/or economic inclusion assistance. In contrast, throughout this period most other persons with disabilities were unable to access basic medical and rehabilitation services and fewer than half of adults with disabilities earned any income, including a pension.

In 2009, increased government funding to the Ministry of Health expanded the availability of some services for all Nicaraguans, including for survivors, most especially medical and physical rehabilitation services. Also in 2009, with support from the ICRC Special Fund for the Disabled (SFD), the Ministry of Health established a new rehabilitation center in northern Nicaragua, close to where many survivors are located. In 2012, the ICRC SFD launched an economic inclusion program for persons with disabilities.

Victim assistance coordination

The Nicaraguan Demining Commission’s (Comisión Nacional de Desminado, CND) Sub-Commission for Medical Assistance and Rehabilitation of Mine Survivors is the victim assistance coordination mechanism and the Ministry of Health is the focal point. Both have been inactive in recent years.[6] Nicaragua provided no update on progress or challenges in victim assistance at the Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in Geneva in December 2013 or at the Third Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty in Maputo in June 2014. Nicaragua’s most recent Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report (for calendar year 2012) included no information on casualties or victim assistance.[7] In its most recent Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 report (also for calendar year 2012), Nicaragua indicated that Form H on victim assistance was not applicable.[8]

Service accessibility and effectiveness

In 2013, through the program “Todo con Voz” (“A Voice for All”), the Ministry of Health continued to carry out home visits for persons with disabilities to provide basic medical attention, provide mobility devices, and refer patients to regional hospitals as needed. Since 2010, brigades of Cuban and Nicaraguan doctors have made thousands of outreach visits.[9]

Between 2002 and the end of 2012, all registered mine/ERW survivors had received support from the Organization of American States (OAS) to access physical rehabilitation and/or economic reintegration assistance. Starting in 2011, OAS support to mine victims was limited to physical rehabilitation; economic reintegration assistance was no longer available.[10] The OAS received no financial support for victim assistance activities in 2013. However, with funds remaining from 2012, the OAS was able to assist 75 mine survivors in accessing physical rehabilitation.[11]

In 2013, the ICRC SFD increased the availability of physical rehabilitation by providing materials and supplies to five different rehabilitation centers or outreach services. It reimbursed the costs of assistance for 128 patients who received prosthetic limbs, 17% of whom were landmine survivors (22 people).[12] This was similar to the assistance provided in 2012, when 17 survivors were assisted (12% of the total 140 prosthesis produced).[13]

The ICRC SFD also continued to support new rehabilitation centers in the northeast region of the country and along the Caribbean coast, in line with efforts by the Ministry of Health to decentralize physical rehabilitation services.[14] It began negotiating a new framework agreement with the Ministry of Health that would include efforts to introduce national coordinating mechanisms among the country’s five rehabilitation centers, for 2014.[15]

In 2013, the ICRC SFD completed the first phase of an economic inclusion program for persons with disabilities, implemented in partnership with the Polus Center’s national program (FURWUS), assisting 50 people in 2012–2013. Based on the results of this first phase, the ICRC SFD established a similar program for 2014.[16]

On 4 March 2014, implementing regulations for Law 763 on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities were approved.[17] In April 2011, Nicaragua approved Law 763 to replace the previous law on disability; Law 763 is aligned to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Despite legal protection, discrimination was widespread in 2013 in employment, education, access to healthcare and other state services. The Mayor’s office in Managua provided training to bus drivers on accessible transportation but most transportation remained inaccessible. Schools and health centers also were mostly inaccessible for persons with disabilities.[18]

Nicaragua ratified the CRPD on 7 December 2007.


[1] Email from Johanna Garcia, Information Manager, Program for Demining in Central America (PADCA), Organization of American States (OAS), 3 March 2014.

[2] Emails from Johanna Garcia, PADCA, OAS, 29 August 2013; and from Carlos J. Orozco S., PADCA, OAS, 10 April 2012; and see previous country profiles for Nicaragua on the Monitor website.

[3] ICBL, Landmine Monitor 2011, accessed 18 September 2013.

[4] Email from Johanna Garcia, PADCA, OAS, 3 March 2014; and OAS PADCA, “Consolidado Registro Accidentes por Minas/UXOs / Accidentes en Operaciones de Desminado al 30 De Septiembre Del 2012” (“Consolidated Registry of Mine/UXO Accidents/Demining Accidents through 30 September 2012”), 30 September 2012.

[5] Email from Johanna Garcia, PADCA, OAS, 3 March 2014; and OAS PADCA, “Consolidado Registro Accidentes por Minas/UXOs / Accidentes en Operaciones de Desminado al 30 De Septiembre Del 2012” (“Consolidated Registry of Mine/UXO Accidents/Demining Accidents through 30 September 2012”), 30 September 2012. Six people who were injured by mines/ERW later died of unrelated causes.

[6] ICBL, “Country Profile: Nicaragua,” 18 October 2010.

[9]Todos con Voz, programa exitoso de atención integral a discapacitados” (“A Voice for All, successful program for the comprehensive attention of the disabled”), el19, 10 July 2013, accessed 18 August 2014.

[10] Email from Johanna Garcia, PADCA, OAS, 29 August 2013.

[11] Ibid., 3 March 2014.

[12] ICRC SFD, “2013 Annual Report,” Geneva, May 2014, p. 35.

[13] ICRC SFD, “2012 Annual Report,” Geneva, May 2013, p. 37.

[14] ICRC SFD, “2013 Annual Report,” Geneva, May 2014, p. 35.

[15] Ibid., p. 42.

[16] Ibid., p. 37.

[17] Federation of Persons with Disabilities, “PUBLICACION DE REGLAMENTO DE LA LEY 763” (“Publication of the Reglamentation of Law 763”) 4 March 2014.

[18] United States Department of State, “2013 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Nicaragua,” Washington, DC, 27 February 2014.