– 3 July 2018
Children evacuated from violent unrest in Nicaragua
Violent demonstrations surrounding the SOS Children’s Village community in Juigalpa, Nicaragua have forced the evacuation of 38 children and their carers.
The decision was taken to evacuate the children on Thursday (June 28) when nearby protests endangered the children’s safety. The children are all safe and have been relocated to a secure location in the city centre, which is unaffected by the violence. Strict security measures are in place to ensure the protection of the children and staff.
Nicaragua has been experiencing civil unrest since mid-April. The Nicaraguan Association for Human Rights reports that 212 people have been killed in the protests, which began as a movement against pension reforms but grew into wider calls for President Daniel Ortega to resign. The rights group has also accused forces loyal to the government of using lethal force against protesters and burning property.
Benito Rivas, National Director of SOS Children’s Villages Nicaragua, said: “We are taking precautions everywhere we work in Nicaragua to ensure the safety and protection of the boys, girls and adolescents in our care. We will return to the SOS Children’s Villages community in Juigalpa only when we are confident that it is safe to do so.
“The children are doing well, but given the gravity of the situation we are making psychological support available to all of the children and their carers.”
SOS Children’s Villages Nicaragua is setting up a humanitarian appeal to address the psychological, health and humanitarian needs of the children in their care as well as provide support for families in the community. The current unrest has left many already vulnerable families in the region in social and economic distress.
SOS Children’s Villages has been working in Nicaragua since the early 1970s to:
- Support at-risk families and reduce the incidence of family breakdown, child abandonment and neglect
- Provide a safe, family upbringing to unsupported children in the region
- Ensure disadvantaged children have access to a quality education at SOS primary and secondary schools
- Offer vocational training and support to young people and enable them to live independently
Notes to editors:
For media enquiries please contact Lucy Prioli at Lucy.Prioli@sosuk.org or on 01223 222 974.