Universal Periodic Review – MEDIA BRIEF

Monday, 5 May 2014 (Morning)

(Disclaimer: The following brief is not an official record, provides a brief factual summary of the UPR Working Group meeting with the State under review, and does not cover all points addressed)

State under review

Costa Rica
Represented by six-member, delegation headed by Mrs. Gioconda Ubeda RIVERA, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Costa Rica

Documents

To access national report, compilation of UN information, and summary of stakeholders’ information, visit
the Costa Rica page on the UPR website

Troika *

Argentina, Botswana and Viet Nam

Opening statement by State under review

Few points raised in the  opening statement of State under review:
(See full statement on the Costa Rica page on the UPR Extranet **)

  • In just three days from now there will be a change in the President in Costa Rica as a result of the recently held elections; 
  • In March 2010 Costa Rica submitted documents in response to the recommendations during its first UPR in December 2009 and set up the Inter-Institutional Commission on Follow-Up and Compliance with International Human Rights Obligations (CIIDDHH), a permanent standing body;
  • The CIIDDHH advised on the ratifications of pending international instruments and also focussed on additional human rights matters outside the scope of the UPR recommendations;
  • Civil society participated actively in consultations with the Government to produce the second national report; the report brought together a wide range of views from multiple stakeholders;
  • Since their first UPR, Costa Rica ratified the Convention on enforced disappearances, the UNESCO Convention on cultural expression, ILO Convention 189 on domestic workers, the 3rd OP to the CRC and the San Jose Charter on elderly people, and started ratification process of the OP to the ICESCR;
  • A middle income country, Costa Rica has invested a lot on the social welfare of its people; in 2011, there was a reform of the political constitution leading to an increase of the budget for the education sector from 6 to 8%; moreover, the literacy rate in Costa Rica stood at 97.6%;
  • The foreword together programme – AVANCEMOS - of cash transfer was set up to prevent students from dropping out of school and predominantly targeted poor families and aimed to combat poverty and child labour;
  • There was growing organized crime in the country causing numerous concerns; programmes were in place to target the most vulnerable in society to mitigate the negative effects of this situation; 
  • The head of delegation noted that the rights of children and adolescents have been seriously threatened by sexual abuse; the National Policy for Children and Adolescents was implemented to address these concerns; The Government also enacted the Trafficking Persons Act and the National Coalition against Smuggling of Migrants and Human Trafficking;
  • Specific steps have also been taken to address the rights of marginalized groups including people of African descent and migrants; Costa Rica adopted an executive decree to combat racism  paving the way for the State to adopt effective measures to eradicate all forms of racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia; A number of measures have also been taken to uphold the rights LGBT persons;
  • A new migration law and policy was also underway serving as a tool to guide State action to ensure that migration was integrated into all development efforts and to ensure social inclusion of migrants; Costa Rica had the second highest number of refugees in Latin America, after Ecuador, and recognized some 12,700 as refugees living in the country;
  • In February 2014 Costa Rica signed a law which aimed to improve prisons conditions and an independent body was also set up to address the issue of prison overcrowding

Participants

In total 89 States participated in the dialogue: 33 HRC members and 56 observers  (Statements available on Costa Rica page on the UPR Extranet **)

Positive achievements

Positive achievements noted by delegations included, among others:

  • The Inter-Institutional Commission on Follow-Up to and Compliance with International Human Rights Obligations (CIIDDHH);
  • Efforts taken to combat the worst forms of child labour and the National Policy for Children and Adolescents;
  • The ratification of the Convention on enforced disappearances and the 3rd OP to the CRC;
  • The Trafficking Persons Act and the National Coalition against Smuggling of Migrants and Human Trafficking;
  • Measures taken to uphold the rights of person of African descent, refuges and migrants;
  • Steps to improve prison conditions and the independent monitoring of prisons. 

Issues and Questions

Issues and questions raised by the Working Group included, among others:

  • Efforts undertaken to combat all forms of human trafficking, particularly sex trafficking;
  • Steps taken to address violence against women, domestic violence and violence against children;
  • Measures to protect the rights of migrants and to ratify the Convention on the rights of migrant workers;
  • Action taken to tackle all forms of discrimination and negative attitudes, particularly against vulnerable groups;   
  • Efforts to reduce school drop-out rates and advance the right to education;
  • Steps taken to improve prison conditions by reducing overcrowding.

Recommendations

States participating in the dialogue posed a series of recommendations to Costa Rica.  These pertained to the following issues, among others

  • To increase efforts to combat all forms of human trafficking, particularly sex trafficking of women and children, ensuring accountability for perpetrators;
  • To intensify efforts to investigate and prosecute perpetrators of child sexual abuse and provide assistance to victims;
  • To strengthen efforts to address violence against women and domestic violence and ensure accountability for such acts;
  • To expand programmes to elimination the worst forms of child labour and ensure the implementation of a comprehensive child protection system;  To harmonize domestic legislation and policies on the rights of the child with the Convention on the Rights of the Child; 
  • To continue efforts to protect the rights of migrants and to ratify the Convention on the rights of migrant workers (see below “Ratifications”);  To ensure and speed up the full implementation of ILO Convention 189 on domestic workers;
  • To set up awareness-raising campaigns to promote equality, non-discrimination and cultural diversity aimed to enhance efforts to counter all forms of discrimination and negative attitudes;
  • To step up efforts to counter discrimination against vulnerable groups including indigenous people, migrants, disabled persons, persons of African descent and LGBT persons;
  • To continue efforts to reduce school drop-out rates and advance the right to education, in particular for disadvantaged children;
  • To continue to support efforts to combat drug and alcohol abuse as a means to supress crime; 
  • To pursue steps to combat poverty and ensure access to safe drinking water and sanitation;
  • To continue efforts to improve prison conditions by reducing overcrowding and overall conditions ensuring they are consistent with international standards;
  • Ratification of human rights instruments: the Convention on the rights of migrant workers, the OP to the ICESCR and the Kampala amendments to the Rome Statute.  

Adoption of report of Working Group

The adoption of the report of the UPR Working Group on Costa Rica is scheduled to take place on Thursday, 8 May 2014

*The troikas are a group of three States selected through a drawing of lots who serve as rapporteurs and who are charged with preparing the report of the Working Group on the country review with the involvement of the State under review and assistance from the OHCHR.

** For access to the UPR Extranet, please fill out the following form to receive a username and password

Media contacts: Rolando Gómez, Public Information Officer, OHCHR, + 41(0)22 917 9711, rgomez@ohchr.org
                       Cédric Sapey, Public Information Officer, OHCHR, + 41(0)22 917 9695, csapey@ohchr.org

See also

UPR Home

UPR Cycles

UPR Sessions

Documentation
(search by country)

UPR Mid-term reports

UPR Trust Funds

Background documents

Basic Facts about the UPR

NGOs and NHRIs

Parliaments

Accreditation

Contact information

Media & Outreach

Webcast

Related links

UPR Extranet

Human rights in the world

External links

UPR-info

Feature stories

Feature stories

Follow us

UN Human Rights Council on Facebook UN Human Rights Council on Twitter UN Human Rights Council on YouTube UN Human Rights Council on Flickr