Managua is the capital and largest city of Nicaragua, located on the southern shore of Lake Managua. It is part of the department and municipality of Managua, with a population of over one million.
Children who have lost parental care and have to fend for themselves often move to the capital, Managua, in search of work. However, there they often live on the streets, where they are exposed to violence and exploitation.
Since 1995, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Managua.
Around 30% of people in Nicaragua live in poverty.
Young people and children living in some of Managua's poorest neighborhoods are at higher risk of contracting infectious diseases. They have no access to education, medical care, shelter or food.
To survive, they are often forced to scavenge in garbage dumps for items they can sell for recycling or work as food vendors in markets. In conjunction with poverty, other problems such as chronic malnutrition often arise.
Sexual exploitation is the actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another.
Nicaraguan law allows young people over the age of 14 to engage in commercial sexual exploitation. This type of exploitation is widespread in Managua, port cities, and near highways. Between 1,200 and 1,500 girls and young women are subjected to sexual exploitation. This causes them severe physical and emotional damage.