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costa rica country report

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On August 10, the Labor Ministry, the Chamber of Commerce, and UNHCR launched a program to assist asylum seekers and refugees to find jobs. 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. Authorities arrested the perpetrator. Costa Rica reduced the poverty rate in recent years, although eonomic growth primarily benefited the privileged. Representatives from five political parties in the National Assembly and the editorial of a daily newspaper criticized the commentary. On July 10, the Supreme Court also suspended former deputy attorney general Berenice Smith for inappropriate conduct. The ombudsman is accountable to the National Assembly, which appoints the person to a four-year term and funds office operations. Costa Rica Global Economic Prospects examines trends for the world economy and how they affect developing countries. The ombudsman is accountable to the National Assembly, which appoints the person to a four-year term and funds office operations. Observers expressed concern about exploitative working conditions in fisheries, small businesses, and agricultural activities. Discrimination: Women enjoy the same legal status and rights as men. In legislative elections, the National Liberation Party (PLN) gained the most seats, but it did not achieve majority in the National Assembly. There were no reports of disappearances by or on behalf of government authorities. Early and Forced Marriage: The minimum legal age of marriage is 18. The government effectively enforced applicable laws, and penalties were sufficient to deter violations. Corruption and Lack of Transparency in Government, Section 5. The constitution establishes that the country is a multiethnic and multicultural nation. The government generally observed these requirements. The crime carries a penalty of up to three years in prison for an adult having sex with a person under age 15, or under 18 if the age difference is more than five years. Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor, c. Prohibition of Child Labor and Minimum Age for Employment, d. Discrimination with Respect to Employment and Occupation, https://www.state.gov/religiousfreedomreport/, https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/International-Parental-Child-Abduction/for-providers/legal-reports-and-data/reported-cases.html, https://www.state.gov/trafficking-in-persons-report/. On July 16, Chief Justice Carlos Chinchilla requested his early retirement after the full Supreme Court suspended him, together with two associate justices and a substitute justice of the Criminal Appeals High Court, for inappropriate dismissal of the “Cementazo” case. OSAC encourages travelers to use this report to gain baseline knowledge of security conditions in Costa Rica. The labor code prohibits discrimination based on age, ethnicity, gender, religion, race, sexual orientation, civil status, political opinion, nationality, social status, affiliation, disability, labor union membership, or economic situation. Costa Rica 2020 Crime & Safety Report This is an annual report produced in conjunction with the Regional Security Office at the U.S. Embassy in San José. The ministry publicly recognized that many workers, including in the formal sector, received less than the minimum wage. In national elections, political parties must guarantee gender parity across their electoral slates and confirm that gender parity must extend vertically. Those without sufficient personal funds are also able to use the services of a public defender. The government leased additional office space and opened a call center to process appointments and disseminate information better. A number of domestic and international human rights groups generally operated without government restriction, investigating and publishing their findings on human rights cases. The amount of fines and fees is determined by the severity of the infraction and is based on the minimum wage. The government maintains a dedicated authority to enforce occupational safety and health (OSH) standards. 03 / Select Countries You can add more than one country or area. The San Sebastian, Gerardo Rodriguez, La Reforma, San Rafael, San Carlos, Limon, Pococi, Puntarenas, Liberia, Perez Zeledon, and Centro Adulto Joven (at La Reforma) prisons remained overcrowded, with the population in pretrial detention experiencing the most overcrowding. Since 2015 the commission had recommended the government provide protective measures to the Bribri and Teribe indigenous peoples, and the government indicated it would comply with the recommendations. The killing of two female tourists on August 4 caused authorities on August 7 to declare the reduction of violence against women as a “national priority” not only to raise awareness, but also to implement coordinated actions among public institutions in areas with a higher incidence of violence. The Ministry of Labor reported one case of firing a labor leader and three complaints of antiunion discrimination from January to July. In July a former presidential candidate made an anti-Semitic comment in a video against the Jewish owner of an online daily newspaper. During the first six months of the year, the Labor Ministry reported 25 minors working in dangerous activities–17 in agriculture and eight working more than six hours a day. There were no reports that the government or its agents committed arbitrary or unlawful killings. The Ministry of Justice’s Social Adaptation Division reported 13 deaths in closed regime centers as of August 21. The ILO noted no trade unions operated in the country’s export-processing zones and identified the zones as a hostile environment for organizing. The ministry removed the minors from their jobs and gave them a study allowance to return to school. The constitution establishes that the country is a multiethnic and multicultural nation. There were reports some employers also preferred to use “flexible,” or short-term, contracts, making it difficult for workers to organize and collectively bargain. Authorities generally observed these rights. Labor unions also asserted that employers sometimes required membership in a solidarity association as a condition for employment. Costa Rica rates 12th on the 2017 Happy Planet Index in the World Happiness Report by the UN but the country is said to be the happiest in Latin America. The government was committed to local integration of refugees both legally and socially and to facilitating their naturalization process. Country report: Costa Rica Cooperativa Sulá Batsú Association for Progressive Communications (APC) March 2016 This report was produced as part of the APC project Examining Internet Freedom in Latin America (EXLILA). The government has effective mechanisms to investigate and punish abuse. The country faces increasing levels of crime linked to drug trafficking, one of the main challenges to continue on creating opportunities for all. There continued to be problems of statelessness of indigenous children and children of seasonal workers in the border areas with Panama and Nicaragua derived from the difficulties linked to birth registrations. The number of persons seeking asylum increased significantly. In February a judge ordered preventive pretrial measures against two uniformed police officers to prevent their flight while an investigation continued into the death of one minor and injury of another during a wave of vandalism related to a national protest in 2018. Afterwards, at the beginning of 2016, energy accounts were compiled. The government investigated, prosecuted, and punished police responsible for confirmed cases of abuse. The number of persons seeking asylum increased significantly. The national minimum wage applied to both Costa Rican and migrant workers. 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. There were isolated reports of government corruption during the year. Freedom to Participate in the Political Process, Section 4. For example, asylum seekers without employers (who constituted the majority of asylum seekers) faced restrictions when enrolling voluntarily as independent workers in the public health system. 03 / Select Countries You can add more than one country or area. Special circumstances include cases in which pretrial detention previously was ordered and there is reason to believe a suspect may reach an agreement with accomplices or may obstruct the investigation. The law requires income and asset disclosure by appointed and elected officials. The constitution prohibits such practices, but there were isolated reports that government officials employed degrading practices. The new government recognizes the challenges and passed a fiscal reform bill—something in the works for … The institute implemented a prevention strategy against child abuse during the year. The law prohibits children under the age of 18 from engaging in hazardous or unhealthy activities and specifies a list of hazardous occupations. The law establishes that preventive detention should be proportional to the sentence for the alleged crime, and authorities generally complied with that mandate. The DNI stated it could visit any employer, formal or informal, and inspections were always unannounced. LGBTI individuals experienced discrimination within their own families due to their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and sex characteristics. Violence against women remained a serious problem, and as of August the government reported that nine women had been killed by a partner or spouse. Defendants may confront prosecution or plaintiff witnesses and present witnesses and evidence on their own behalf. According to the Ministry of Labor, inspections occurred both in response to complaints and at the initiative of inspectors. The law also permits two other types of worker organizations unique to the country: “solidarity associations,” legal entities recognized by the constitution that have both management and employee membership and serve primarily to administer funds for severance payments; and “permanent committees,” enterprise-level bodies made up of three workers elected to negotiate “direct agreements” with employers. Pretrial Detention: Lengthy pretrial detention was a problem. Government authorities worked together with UNHCR on a program of birth registration and provision of identification documents to stateless persons known as Chiriticos. On July 2, President Alvarado enacted a restorative justice law but simultaneously asked the National Assembly to reform some of its provisions to prevent victims of sex crimes and domestic violence from negotiating with perpetrators and aggressors, after the attorney general and the minister of women’s issues expressed their concern. Costa Rica’s constitution was adopted in 1949, and has since been amended to declare the nation as multicultural and multiethnic. The court’s decision also ratified the ceiling of 12 years for severance pay when an employee is terminated. According to INEC, in 2016 the poverty line was 107,769 colones ($189) in urban areas and 82,950 colones ($145) in rural areas. The law requires issuance of judicial warrants before making arrests, except where probable cause is evident to the arresting officer. Prison conditions were harsh due to gross overcrowding, inadequate sanitary conditions, difficulties obtaining medical care, and violence among prisoners. 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 government generally enforced child labor laws effectively in the formal sector but not in the informal sector. There were reports that agricultural workers, particularly migrant laborers in the pineapple industry, worked in unsafe conditions, including exposure to hazardous chemicals without proper training. 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. In San Sebastian, where most of these prisoners in pretrial detention were held, 770 prisoners lived in unsanitary conditions in a facility with a planned capacity of 556. The law restricts the right to strike for workers in services designated as essential by the government, including in sectors such as oil refineries and ports that are not recognized as essential services under international standards. Birth registration was not always automatic, and migrant children were especially at risk of statelessness since they did not have access to legal documents to establish their identity if their parents did not seek birth registration for them. In 2016 municipal elections, PLN and PUSC gained control of 62 of 81 municipalities. Executive Summary Costa Rica is a constitutional republic governed by a president and a unicameral legislative assembly directly elected in multiparty elections every four years. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association, d. Freedom of Movement, Internally Displaced Persons, Protection of Refugees, and Stateless Persons, Section 3. Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor, c. Prohibition of Child Labor and Minimum Age for Employment, d. Discrimination with Respect to Employment and Occupation, https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/International-Parental-Child-Abduction/for-providers/legal-reports-and-data.html. In these cases parents did not register Ngobe-Bugle children as Costa Rican citizens at birth because they did not think it necessary, although the children lacked registration in Panama as well. An independent and impartial judiciary presides over lawsuits in civil matters, including human rights violations. The Labor Ministry’s National Council of Occupational Health and Safety is a tripartite OSH regulatory authority with government, employer, and employee representation. Children with disabilities were generally integrated in educational facilities serving children without disabilities. The International Telecommunication Union reported that 72 percent of the population used the internet in 2017. Amid violent land disputes between indigenous inhabitants and nonindigenous persons, in March two unknown assailants killed indigenous leader Sergio Rojas, who had fought for restoring indigenous lands. Labor unions also asserted that employers sometimes required membership in a solidarity association as a condition for employment. The law imposes penalties ranging from a letter of reprimand to dismissal, with more serious incidents subject to criminal prosecution. The law also requires that permanent committee members be elected freely by secret ballot without intervention of the employer. Costa Rica. The government continued to implement programming to eliminate illegal child labor and the worst forms of child labor by providing individual assistance through visits, interviews, and inspections to schools and workplaces. The law protects reserve land as the collective, nontransferable property in 24 indigenous territories; however, 38 percent of that land was in nonindigenous hands. Upon receiving refugee status, which typically took two years, refugees could obtain an identity document similar to those used by nationals at a cost of 39,000 colones ($68), renewable every two years. While the law establishes sanctions (fines and fees) for infractions, only the judiciary has the authority to apply such sanctions. 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. 2020 Costa Rica Country Report 2019 Costa Rica Country Report The government did not effectively enforce the law, however. 20/145 COSTA RICA REQUEST FOR PURCHASE UNDER THE RAPID ... 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