The constitution and law provide for the right to a fair and public trial, and an independent judiciary generally enforced this right. Individuals and organizations may appeal adverse domestic decisions to regional human rights bodies. The law sets workday hours, overtime remuneration, days of rest, and annual vacation rights. UNHCR and the National Civil Registry continued a project along the northern border for individuals of Nicaraguan origin to facilitate procedures for late birth registration. There were no reports of disappearances by or on behalf of government authorities. The law also establishes a right to employment for persons with disabilities and sets a hiring quota of 5 percent of vacant positions in the public sector. LGBTI organizations operated freely and lobbied for legal reforms. Coercion in Population Control: There were no reports of coerced abortion or involuntary sterilization. Officials are required to file a declaration annually and upon entering and leaving office. Independent Monitoring: The government permitted independent monitoring of prison conditions by international and local human rights observers. The number of labor inspectors, 87, was likely insufficient for the size of the workforce, which included more than two million workers. According to labor organizations, the government did not enforce these standards effectively in either the formal or the informal sectors. The killing of two female tourists on August 4 caused authorities on August 7 to declare the reduction of violence against women as a ânational priorityâ not only to raise awareness, but also to implement coordinated actions among public institutions in areas with a higher incidence of violence. Upon receiving refugee status, which typically took another nine months, refugees could obtain an identity document similar to those used by nationals at a cost of 39,000 colones ($68), renewable every two years. Refugees and asylum seekers reported job opportunities were scarce. The International Telecommunication Union reported that 72 percent of the population used the internet in 2017. In March a delegation of UN experts visited penitentiary centers. Suspects were allowed access to attorneys immediately before submitting statements before a judge. Authorities promptly informed suspects of any offenses under investigation. The constitution and laws provide citizens the ability to choose their government in free and fair periodic elections held by secret ballot and based on universal and equal suffrage. The law prohibits domestic violence and provides measures for the protection of domestic violence victims. The law requires issuance of judicial warrants before police may make an arrest, except where probable cause is evident to the arresting officer. In partnership with UNHCR, on April 23, the government awarded âLiving Integrationâ certifications to 20 public and private organizations to help refugees and asylum seekers earn a livelihood. Asylum seekers received provisional refugee status documents legalizing their status after appearing for an interview with the General Directorate of Immigration, for which the estimated wait time was eight months. IMF Country Report No. Although the law mandates access to buildings for persons with disabilities, the government did not enforce this provision, and many buildings remained inaccessible to persons with disabilities. Officials are required to file a declaration annually and upon entering and leaving office. As of August the Appeals Tribunal, which adjudicates all migration appeals, had a backlog of 476 asylum cases. Defendants have the right not to be compelled to testify or confess guilt. The Supreme Elections Tribunal took measures (voting procedures, facilities, materials, and trained personnel) to provide for fully accessible elections for all persons with disabilities. Prison conditions were harsh due to gross overcrowding, inadequate sanitary conditions, difficulties obtaining medical care, and violence among prisoners. According to the Ministry of Justice, as of July 31, persons in pretrial detention constituted approximately 23 percent of the prison population, compared with 16 percent in 2017. The law prohibits solidarity associations from representing workers in collective bargaining negotiations or in any other way that assumes the functions or inhibits the formation of trade unions. Members of the Ngobe-Bugle indigenous group from Panama often worked on Costa Rican farms and occasionally gave birth there. The Ombudsmanâs Office reported inadequate sidewalks and difficulties in access to public transportation as factors hindering the mobility of persons with disabilities. The government effectively enforced applicable laws, and penalties were sufficient to deter violations. Violence and Harassment: Police investigated an explosive device that on July 27 damaged the building of a news outlet. The Costa Rican government provides additional security resources in areas frequented by tourists. The law stipulates administrative sanctions for noncompliance and identifies which assets, liabilities, and interests public officials must declare. The law permits foreign workers to join unions but prohibits them from holding positions of authority within the unions, except for foreign workers who are married to citizens of the country and have legally resided in the country for at least five years. Four executive orders and two directives provide for equal rights, including migration rights to same-sex couples and recognition of the right of sexual identity and gender for identification documents of foreign nationals; grant access to housing allowances for same-sex couples; and end the prohibition for public notaries to register same-sex marriages. The government investigated, prosecuted, and punished police responsible for confirmed cases of abuse. The law prohibits children under the age of 18 from engaging in hazardous or unhealthy activities and specifies a list of hazardous occupations. The country has no military forces. Prison authorities reinforced security and implemented a zero-tolerance policy on corruption, effectively reducing illegal narcotics. They qualified for public health services only if they were minors, pregnant, or facing a life-threatening emergency, but some individuals reported being denied services even in emergency situations. On July 29, a judge ordered that the UAI, inaugurated two years earlier in Alajuela, was overcrowded and could not receive more detainees. Child labor occurred primarily in the informal economy, especially in the agricultural, commercial, and industrial sectors. On May 20, a delegation from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights met with President Carlos Alvarado, who had requested a formal meeting following Rojasâs death. Defendants, if convicted, have the right to appeal. Transgender individuals faced barriers to legal gender recognition until, on June 28, President Alvarado signed an executive order that instructed all public entities to modify records of transgender individuals who requested the change. In 2019, the country documented 560 murders, a rate of approximately 11 murders per 100,000 people. Government authorities worked together with UNHCR on a program of birth registration and provision of identification documents to stateless persons known as âChiriticos.â Mobile teams went to remote coffee-growing areas for case identification and registration. The constitution prohibits such actions, and there were no reports the government failed to respect these prohibitions. On April 1, voters elected Carlos Alvarado of the Citizenâs Action Party (PAC) as president during a second round of elections. Administration: Prisoners could submit credible allegations of mistreatment to the Ombudsmanâs Office, which investigated all complaints at an administrative level. Contact . An independent and impartial judiciary presides over lawsuits in civil matters, including human rights violations. Freedom of association and collective bargaining were generally respected. The Jewish Zionist Center estimated there were between 3,000 and 3,500 Jews in the country. The law requires authorities to process the claims within three months of receipt, but decisions took an average of 14 months and an additional 12 months for the appeals process. Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom from: a. The case prompted the dismissal and resignation of several justices and prosecutors. The law prohibits antiunion discrimination and provides for reinstatement of workers fired for union activity. OSAC encourages travelers to use this report to gain baseline knowledge of security conditions in Costa Rica. Compliance with FATF Recommendations The last Mutual Evaluation Report follow-up relating to the implementation of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing standards in Costa Rica was undertaken in 2018. Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: b. The length of pretrial detention generally did not equal or exceed the maximum sentence for the alleged crime. The worst forms of child labor occurred in agriculture on small third-party farms in the formal sector and on family farms in the informal sector. In April a private pineapple-producing company located in Upala closed and dismissed its employees without paying wages, severance, or social security fees, although the Labor Ministry mediated between the employees and employers. On May 1, the governing PAC formed a coalition with four other parties–the PLN, Social Christian Unity Party (PUSC), Broad Front, and Republican Social Christian Party–to gain control of the presidency of the legislature for one year. The legal system experienced significant delays in the adjudication of criminal cases and civil disputes and a growing workload. There were no reports of impunity involving the security forces during the year. Early in the year, workers from a private pineapple-producing company organized a labor strike urging their employer to comply with basic labor laws, including paying minimum wage and recognizing their right to unionize. Costa Rica reduced the poverty rate in recent years, although eonomic growth primarily benefited the privileged. Members of the Ngobe-Bugle indigenous group from Panama often worked on Costa Rican farms and occasionally gave birth there. Since Nov. 1, Costa Rica has allowed all countries in the world to enter by air, as long as they meet the country’s visa and COVID-19 entry requirements. The law prohibits antiunion discrimination and provides for reinstatement of workers fired for union activity. Trials that involve victims or witnesses who are minors are closed during the portion of the trial in which the minor is called to testify. Labor unions asserted that solidarity associations set up and controlled permanent committees at many workplaces, which in turn conducted negotiations and established direct agreements. In 2017 the government also approved three regulations related to the labor code on labor dispute resolution, union workers voting to authorize strikes, and determining union membership to bargain collectively. 03 / Select Countries You can add more than one country or area. The OSH standards are appropriate for the main industries in the country, per the National Council of Occupational Safety and Health. The law establishes criminal penalties for trafficking in persons crimes that are proportional to the severity of the crimes and were sufficient to deter violations. There were no reports of disappearances by or on behalf of government authorities. Search for Library Items Search for Lists Search for Contacts Search for a Library. The ombudsman is accountable to the National Assembly, which appoints the person to a four-year term and funds office operations. Growth slowed markedly in 2018, reflecting multiple shocks buffeting the country. Children with disabilities were generally integrated in educational facilities serving children without disabilities. Authorities generally observed these rights. Both entities may coexist and share membership with labor unions. Pretrial Detention: Lengthy pretrial detention was a problem. Due to low recognition rates (approximately 8 percent of applicants received asylum during the first six months of the year), UNHCR had to consider a number of rejected asylum seekers as persons in need of international protection. Those without sufficient personal funds are also able to use the services of a public defender. Governmental Attitude Regarding International and Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Abuses of Human Rights, Section 6. As with other labor laws, inspectors cannot fine or sanction employers who do not comply with laws on acceptable conditions of work; rather, they investigate and refer noncompliance results to labor courts. The Labor Ministry reported an increase in the number of fines collected and in the scheduling of hearings since the reformed labor code entered into force in 2018. In 2017 former attorney general Jorge Chavarria retired, following his suspension for requesting the Criminal Appeals High Court to dismiss the âCementazoâ case. The Labor Inspection Office implemented related actions to the labor code during the first six months of the year, including a new organizational structure, training for staff, and systematization of processes. The Ministry of Laborâs Inspection Directorate is responsible for labor inspection, in collaboration with the Social Security Agency and the National Insurance Institute. The Immigration Office is responsible for the immigration police. 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