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Nicaragua: Refugee Legislation Approved

(July 2, 2008) Twenty-eight years after acceding to the United Nations Convention on Refugees, on June 5, 2008, Nicaragua approved the Law on Protection of Refugees. The legislature passed the Law by a nearly unanimous vote. The Law mandates the creation of a National Commission for Refugees (CONAR), which will be in charge of studying each application and granting the status of “refugee” to those persons it considers meet the legal requirements. The representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean, Kevin Allen, stated that the new Nicaraguan statute is one of the most modern in the region. He pointed out the importance for the country to finally have a legal framework regulating the status of refugees. (Ary Pantoja, Aprueban Ley de Protección a Refugiados, EL NUEVO DIARIO, June 3, 2008, available at