Helping to inform and improve the lives of Afro-Nicaraguans

“I am here to improve my knowledge regarding human rights, but also I am aiming, with the tools, the knowledge and the networks I make here, to advocate for my black people along the Caribbean coast,” said Shaun Carol Campbell Bush.

Bush, an Afro-descendant from Nicaragua, was recently in Geneva taking part in the UN Human Rights Office Minority Fellowship. The five-week fellowship gives members of linguistic, ethnic and religious minorities an opportunity to learn UN Human Rights instruments and mechanisms.

People of African descent living in Nicaragua face a great many challenges, Bush said. There is a lack of participation in civil and political life. There are few statistics on their numbers and economic conditions. And, Bush pointed out, there are few opportunities for people from the community to learn how to improve this. One of her missions when she returns home, is to use what she has learned to train other community activists, she said.

 “I came here with a lot of hopes and expectations to see and understand what are all these treaties and mechanisms we have and how to properly use them,” she said.

Bush said she hopes to  cooperate with the UN and other partners in Nicaragua to carry out capacity building initiatives aimed at increasing knowledge of civil society of existing legislation for the promotion and protection of minority rights.

Bush said that while there has been some progress regarding the rights of the people of African descent in Nicaragua, the Government has been slow to make substantial changes. Yet, she said, it is up to the community to claim rights and demand the changes from the Government.

28 January 2015

See also