Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review*
Introduction 1–4 3
I. Summary of the proceedings of the review process 5–127 3
A. Presentation by the State under review 5–19 3
B. Interactive dialogue and responses by the State under review 20–126 5
II. Conclusions and/or recommendations 127–129 14
Composition of the delegation 26
1. The Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, established in accordance with Human Rights Council resolution 5/1 of 18 June 2007, held its nineteenth session from 28 April 7 to 9 May 2014. The review of Costa Rica was held at the 11th meeting, on 5 May 2014. The delegation of Costa Rica was headed by Gioconda Ubeda Rivera, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship. At its 17th meeting, held on 8 May 2014, the Working Group adopted the report on Costa Rica.
2. On 15 January 2014, the Human Rights Council selected the following group of rapporteurs (troika) to facilitate the review of Costa Rica: Argentina, Botswana and Viet Nam.
3. In accordance with paragraph 15 of the annex to resolution 5/1 and paragraph 5 of the annex to resolution 16/21, the following documents were issued for the review of Costa Rica:
(a) A national report submitted/written presentation made in accordance with paragraph 15 (a) (A/HRC/WG.6/19/CRI/1);
(b) A compilation prepared by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in accordance with paragraph 15 (b) (A/HRC/WG.6/19/CRI/2);
(c) A summary prepared by OHCHR in accordance with paragraph 15 (c) (A/HRC/WG.6/19/CRI/3).
4. A list of questions prepared in advance by Belgium, Germany, Mexico, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Slovenia and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland was transmitted to Costa Rica through the troika. The questions are available on the extranet of the universal periodic review (UPR). A summary of additional questions posed during the interactive dialogue by Angola, Canada, France, Ghana, Hungary, Iceland and Italy can be found in section I. B below.
I. Summary of the proceedings of the review process
A. Presentation by the State under review
5. Costa Rica indicated that it was a great responsibility to report on its compliance with and implementation of its international human rights obligations. In its second national report, Costa Rica had provided information on the follow-up to the recommendations received in 2009. In 2010, it had presented an additional document with its position on the recommendations, and in 2012 it had presented a midterm report on progress made and on specific compliance with some of the recommendations.
6. In preparing the second national report, 21 institutions from the executive branch, which together formed the Inter-Institutional Committee on Follow-Up to and Compliance with International Human Rights Obligations (CIIDDHH), had been involved. The judicial branch, the Office of the Ombudsman, the Supreme Electoral Court and the Legislative Assembly had also participated as observers. CIIDDHH had now been institutionalized as a mechanism for consultation and dialogue, through an executive decree, and with a permanent consultative body for civil society.
7. Costa Rica was pleased to report that, since the previous review, it had ratified the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (CPED), the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention No. 189 (2011) concerning decent work for domestic workers and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure. It had also signed the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (OP-ICESCR), which the delegation hoped would soon be approved by the Legislative Assembly.
8. Costa Rica was a middle-income country that, since 1949, had consistently invested in education. In 2011, Costa Rica had achieved a literacy rate of 97.6 per cent. The country had also a programme of cash transfer which was conditional on students remaining in the formal education system. Costa Rica hoped to increase the income of poor families, thus paving the way for access to education and ensuring universal secondary education. That would also be a step towards reducing poverty, combating the school dropout rate, addressing examination failure and tackling child labour.
9. Costa Rica had an internationally recognized quality universal health system, which was reflected in the average life expectancy of 79.3 years and in the low rate of child mortality. In 2011, 97.5 per cent of the population had their own water supply and nine out of ten persons had drinking water. The right to water had been recognized by the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice and in March 2014, a new law on water resources had been approved on first reading.
10. Despite the aforementioned progress, Costa Rica faced challenges stemming from the structural situation which was reflected in the levels of social inequality and inequity, as well as the increasing level of organized crime in the region.
11. The delegation reported on a number of important mechanisms that had been established or strengthened, and legislation, policies and programmes that had been adopted for the care and protection of the most vulnerable population groups, thereby promoting social inclusion.
12. The rights of children and adolescents had been seriously affected by increase in sexual exploitation, sexual abuse and adolescent pregnancy, in particular when they were linked to abusive relations with adults. The lead body in that area, the Patronato Nacional de la Infancia (National Child Agency), conducted policies, programmes and projects for the comprehensive protection of minors and their families, in coordination with other institutions and non-governmental organizations. Nevertheless, it was important to continue strengthening those programmes.
13. Costa Rica was also working to mainstream a gender perspective in all areas and had carried out a number of initiatives in State bodies to build a society based on the principle of gender equality.
14. With regard to specific population groups, the State had had to take targeted measures for indigenous peoples, persons of African descent, migrants and refugees. As part of the 2001 World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance held in Durban, and following the 2009 Durban Review Conference, Costa Rica had been pleased to announce that it had adopted a National Policy for a society free from racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia and a related Action Plan for 2014–2019. There was currently also a proposal for a reform of the Constitution which would declare Costa Rica to be a multi-ethnic and pluricultural nation.
15. Costa Rica had a strong judicial system which granted rights to persons regardless of their nationality, and which was strengthened through numerous rulings of the Constitutional Chamber, guaranteeing the effectiveness of the standards related to the migrant population. Furthermore, over the previous four years, Costa Rica had been developing a new Migration Act and a comprehensive migration policy with a human rights perspective in order to achieve the integration of the migrant population in society. As a result, the conditions of migrants in Costa Rica had significantly improved between 2000 and 2011.
16. Regarding the refugee population, Costa Rica had a long humanitarian tradition and long-standing experience in the integration of refugees. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) collaborated closely with Costa Rica.
17. Costa Rica had also been discussing ways to guarantee the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) population. Activities were being carried out and initiatives were being developed in which civil society had played a fundamental role.
18. Another area in which the role of civil society had been important was the promotion and protection of the rights of persons with disabilities. Following the first UPR cycle, Costa Rica had promulgated a series of executive decrees which sought to improve the living conditions of persons with disabilities.
19. The delegation briefly referred to the national institutions which guaranteed compliance with international human rights standards in Costa Rica. Reference was made to the existence, since 1989, of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court and of the Office of the Ombudsman, which had been created in 1992, and had been accredited with A status by the International Coordinating Committee of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights. The delegation also reported that, in compliance with the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OP-CAT), in 2014, Costa Rica had adopted a law to create the National Mechanism for the Prevention of Torture, which would contribute to reducing overcrowding in prisons and improving living conditions for detainees. The new preventive mechanism was administratively assigned to the Office of the Ombudsman, but was financially and operationally independent, which guaranteed that it would function without any interference. Reference was also made to the National Coalition against Illicit Smuggling of Migrants and Trafficking in Persons, which was made up of 21 public institutions.
B. Interactive dialogue and responses by the State under review
20. During the interactive dialogue, 89 delegations made statements. Recommendations made during the dialogue can be found in section II below. All written statements of the delegations, to be checked against delivery on the United Nations Webcast archives,1 are posted on the extranet of the Human Rights Council when available.2
21. The United States of America commended Costa Rica for its efforts to address prison conditions and combat child labour, but remained concerned about the exploitation of children, the prevalence of violence against women and trafficking in persons.
22. Uruguay recalled that Costa Rica was a stable and consolidated democracy. It acknowledged progress in addressing migration issues and noted the reduction in the use of administrative detention.
23. Turkmenistan identified the establishment of CIIDDHH as an example of good practice; CIIDDHH had provided areas of exchange for civil society.
24. Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) welcomed the country’s efforts to address poverty, distribution of wealth and social exclusion. It acknowledged efforts to improve the situation of indigenous peoples, persons of African descent, migrants and refugees.
25. Viet Nam commended Costa Rica for its human rights achievements and its active cooperation with the Human Rights Council. It was concerned about human trafficking, unemployment and child labour.
26. Zambia commended Costa Rica for its cooperation with OHCHR, the establishment and maintenance of institutional bodies, the existence of comprehensive legislation on migration policy and the promotion of the rule of law.
27. Albania welcomed the implementation of the plan of action for the protection of children and adolescents in situations of violence. It commended the measures undertaken to mainstream a gender perspective.
28. Algeria noted the adoption of laws against human trafficking, on abolishing corporal punishment and on strengthening the National Council for Older Persons.
29. Angola noted the implementation of the recommendations from the first UPR cycle in the areas of health and education and asked about affirmative action taken for persons of African descent.
30. Argentina acknowledged the ratification of CPED and initiatives to protect the elderly. It welcomed the implementation of the national policy on disability.
31. Australia welcomed steps taken to address domestic violence and ensure independent monitoring of prison conditions. It remained concerned about child abuse, forced labour and the situation of women who were subjected to domestic servitude.
32. Azerbaijan commended the ratification of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions and the establishment of CIIDDHH.
33. The Bahamas commended Costa Rica for the establishment of CIIDDHH, measures to secure vulnerable groups’ access to justice and efforts to reduce violence against women.
34. Bahrain commended the role of the Office of the Ombudsman. It welcomed the entry into force of the law on trafficking and the adoption of a preventive system to address violence against women.
35. Bangladesh commended Costa Rica for its role as Chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum. It welcomed the measures taken to preserve the family as the traditional social institution. It expressed concern about protection of the rights of children and migrants.
36. Belgium considered Costa Rica a model in Central America with regard to respect for human rights and democratic principles. It welcomed the ratification of CPED and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure.
37. Benin noted the adoption of a national policy for children and the establishment of CIIDDHH. It urged the Government to adopt measures to promote respect for diversity.
38. Bhutan commended Costa Rica for launching national and international human rights initiatives, especially amending the Violence against Women Act and introducing the National Disability Policy 2011–2021.
39. Bolivia (Plurinational State of) highlighted institutional progress in the area of human rights. It commended the establishment of CIIDDHH.
40. Botswana welcomed the efforts of Costa Rica to address domestic violence, drug trafficking, human trafficking, sexual exploitation and child labour, and its commitment to equality and non-discrimination.
41. Brazil commended the Government for the establishment of CIIDDHH. It welcomed the adoption of the national policy for children.
42. Bulgaria welcomed the establishment of CIIDDHH and human rights programmes and policies.
43. Burundi welcomed the measures taken to curb racism. It welcomed the commitment of Costa Rica at the institutional and legislative levels to ensuring better protection of human rights for all its citizens and foreigners living on Costa Rican soil.
44. Switzerland considered that the human rights situation in Costa Rica was reasonable. However, it expressed concern about sexual exploitation of women and children and detention conditions.
45. Chad welcomed the Government’s submission of a midterm report in 2012 and the establishment of CIIDDHH. It noted the policy for a racism-free society.
46. Chile highlighted the Government’s commitment to the international promotion of human rights. It welcomed the creation of the national system for the treatment and prevention of violence against women and domestic violence.
47. China appreciated the implementation by Costa Rica of the National Policy on Gender Equality and Equity. It welcomed ongoing measures to improve the quality of education, ensure access to drinking water and protect vulnerable groups.
48. Colombia acknowledged efforts to implement the recommendations of the first UPR cycle and the Government’s collaboration with human rights mechanisms. It welcomed the legislative and institutional strengthening evidenced in the plan for a racism-free society.
49. The Congo welcomed the Government’s efforts to promote and protect the rights of women and children. The Congo noted the measures taken for a society free from racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia.
50. Côte d’Ivoire noted measures to strengthen the administration of justice and improve prison conditions. It welcomed the importance attributed to civil society and encouraged efforts to further develop social services.
51. Cuba recognized progress in the areas of equality and non-discrimination. Challenges remained, such as inequality and inequity, which enabled the presence of criminal organizations in society, increasing the drug market and trafficking in and exploitation of persons.
52. The Democratic Republic of the Congo welcomed the establishment of CIIDDHH and the permanent body for consultations with civil society. It asked for further information regarding the integration of migrants and persons of African descent.
53. Ecuador recognized efforts to comply with recommendations from the first review. However, it expressed concern about the situation of migrant workers.
54. Egypt commended the delegation for the informative and comprehensive report. Egypt believed that Costa Rica had been a responsible member of the Human Rights Council.
55. El Salvador commended Costa Rica for the progress made since the last review, which had allowed the country to undertake an internal assessment of the situation nationwide.
56. Estonia welcomed progress made in the fields of gender equality and the rights of women and children, as well as on the decriminalization of defamation. It encouraged Costa Rica to allocate adequate resources for the effective implementation of laws, policies and programmes. It called for steps to improve conditions for indigenous communities.
57. Ethiopia welcomed measures taken to address violence against women, including the establishment of a high-level commission to monitor compliance with the Violence against Women Act. It commended the promulgation of the Trafficking in Persons Act.
58. France welcomed the ratification of CPED, as well as the commitment of Costa Rica to the abolition of the death penalty at the international level. France asked about measures to address overcrowding in prisons and facilitate the reintegration of detainees, as well as the rate of violent crime.
59. Germany welcomed the adoption of a rights-based National Policy for Children and Adolescents. It remained concerned about protection of children and protective mechanisms at the local level, as well as prison overcrowding.
60. Regarding ratification of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (ICRMW), Costa Rica indicated that it had previously believed that the existing laws, complemented by a resolution of the Constitutional Chamber, provided for the full protection of migrant workers and their families. However, the issue would be taken up again with greater impetus; Costa Rica therefore appreciated the recommendations that had been made in that regard.
61. Responding to comments made by Ecuador, Costa Rica indicated that it would not be able to accept recommendations or statements that were not based on reality. It was possible that there had been isolated cases of discrimination against migrant workers, which happened in every country, but it would not accept that there were no xenophobic policies in place and no systemic xenophobic actions taken.
62. In line with the voluntary commitments undertaken by Costa Rica during the last review, and under the framework of the 2001 World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, held in Durban, Costa Rica had adopted the National Policy for a society free from racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia, which aimed for an inclusive and more respectful society that embraced sociocultural and ethnic diversity. The Policy was the result of a joint process involving the State and civil society, based on the principle of “nothing about us without us” and targeting persons of African descent, indigenous or native peoples, migrants and refugees. The process had taken place under the framework of CIIDDHH and supported by OHCHR.
63. Costa Rica recognized that it faced challenges regarding indigenous peoples. The existence of a favourable judicial framework was insufficient to ensure full protection of the rights of communities if it was not accompanied by State policies and actions which sought the effective application of and compliance with the standards to which the State itself had committed. Costa Rica shared information about a recent positive experience with indigenous communities in the south.
64. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples and the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination had made various comments and recommendations to Costa Rica relating to the situation of indigenous peoples, particularly since 2011. Those recommendations echoed the concerns and claims of the indigenous peoples and coincided significantly with the efforts that the State was undertaking to address their situation.
65. Ghana welcomed the measures taken to improve care and respect for the elderly and improve access to water and sanitation by all. It asked about the impact of such measures.
66. Guatemala commended Costa Rica for progress made, particularly in addressing domestic violence. It shared the opinion of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and the Committee on the Rights of the Child on the importance of ratifying ICRMW.
67. Honduras commended Costa Rica for the national report. It appreciated the progress made since the previous review, in particular with regard to addressing the issue of migration.
68. Hungary took note of the ratification of CPED, the National Commission on the Improved Administration of Justice and the Access to Justice Commission. It asked about the impact of established bodies on the implementation of the Brasilia Regulations Regarding Access to Justice for Vulnerable People.
69. Iceland encouraged Costa Rica to strengthen efforts to combat trafficking in persons. It was concerned about the inadequate protection of the right to sexual and reproductive health. It raised questions on the implementation of programmes ensuring child protection and on measures to eliminate discrimination against LGBT persons.
70. India welcomed measures to promote inclusive social practices and respect for diversity, including the National Policy for a society free from racism, racial discrimination, and xenophobia. It expressed concern about the rights of indigenous peoples and acknowledged challenges that resulted from rising poverty and economic disparities.
71. Indonesia commended Costa Rica for prioritizing efforts to combat trafficking in persons. It appreciated various measures and policies for the promotion and protection of migrants, including the enactment of legislation.
72. Iraq commended Costa Rica for its accession to a number of international human rights instruments, including CPED, and the adoption of several laws, such as the Trafficking in Persons Act and the law prohibiting corporal punishment of children and adolescents.
73. Ireland commended the establishment of CIIDDHH and the Permanent Body for Consultation with Civil Society. It welcomed efforts to combat human trafficking, racism and racial discrimination. It noted, however, that concerns had been expressed about ongoing discrimination against the indigenous population.
74. Iran (Islamic Republic of) noted that there was no mechanism for the participation of indigenous peoples in decision-making regarding their well-being and development. It also noted that discrimination and violence against women and children continued.
75. Italy appreciated the establishment of CIIDDHH and measures to combat violence against women. It asked whether Costa Rica planned to include education on indigenous cultures in the national school curriculum.
76. Japan appreciated the ratification of CPED, the enhancement of the national justice system, the establishment of CIIDDHH and efforts to protect vulnerable groups, including children.
77. Libya commended efforts made to promote and protect human rights through the ratification of a number of international human rights instruments. It appreciated the adoption of a policy on the elderly and the establishment of institutions to combat trafficking.
78. Liechtenstein welcomed progress in addressing violence against women. It noted with concern reports regarding mistreatment of children by teachers, as well as by police officers in detention and incidents of intrafamily and sexual violence. It urged Costa Rica to ratify the Kampala amendments to the Rome Statute as soon as possible.
79. Malaysia acknowledged the efforts of Costa Rica to advance women’s rights, address violence against children and adolescents and combat trafficking in persons. It commended the establishment of the High Level Commission to monitor compliance with the Violence against Women Act.
80. Maldives applauded the establishment of CIIDDHH, the adoption of important legislation and the commitment of Costa Rica to environmental rights as a human rights obligation.
81. Mauritania noted the commitment and cooperation of Costa Rica with United Nations mechanisms through the ratification of and accession to different instruments. It commended measures to guarantee the rights of vulnerable groups, particularly women and children.
82. Mexico recognized efforts made to protect refugees and asylum seekers. It appreciated cooperation with human rights mechanisms that had visited the country. It hoped that Costa Rica would soon submit its overdue reports to treaty bodies.
83. Costa Rica had implemented a series of initiatives to build a society based on the principle of gender equality. One example was the establishment of the 2007–2017 national policy, which had the support of women’s organizations and other sectors of civil society. Costa Rica had also developed gender equality policies in several national institutions and provided training on gender sensitivity. Steps were being taken to combat gender stereotypes through the media. In accordance with the recommendation in paragraph 91.2 of the previous report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic (A/HRC/13/15), the National Women’s Institute (INAMU) had disseminated a first report on the situation of women’s rights in 2011.
84. In response to concerns raised by some delegations on the issue of violence against women, the delegation said that Costa Rica had established a High Level Commission to monitor compliance with the Violence against Women Act and a comprehensive care system for victims. In addition, abuse and assault against women had been criminalized in 2011, an internal register of perpetrators had been created, the initial period of protection measures had been increased to one year, access to justice for victims had been strengthened and the criminal authorities had been authorized to apply measures in the absence of specialized domestic violence courts. In 2013, an emergency plan had also been drawn up to reduce gender-related murders of women.
85. In response to concerns raised by some delegations, Costa Rica indicated that the protection and promotion of the human rights of children were a fundamental pillar of State action. The National Policy for Children and Adolescents 2009–2021 set the strategic focus of the State to promote, protect and ensure the human rights of all children.
86. Costa Rica had also established a national strategic framework entitled “Road map to make Costa Rica a country free of the worst forms of child labor”, which promoted coordination among initiatives that had a direct or indirect impact on the prevention and eradication of child labour.
87. The rights of LGBTI persons was a challenging area for Costa Rica. There had been increased interest in the debate on the recognition of the rights arising from same-sex unions. Concerning the recommendation made by Spain relating to the right of transsexual persons to identify themselves in keeping with their gender identity (A/HRC/13/15, para. 91.4), Costa Rica noted that in 2010, the Supreme Electoral Court had issued a decree providing that everyone had the right to enjoy respect for their image and sexual identity when a photograph was taken for their identity card. Costa Rica acknowledged that changing cultural attitudes was a challenge. A protocol on harassment, bullying and cyberbullying in secondary schools had also been prepared.
88. Costa Rica indicated that a subsystem of indigenous education had been established by the Ministry of Public Education. With the support of the World Bank, Costa Rica had invested in infrastructure in indigenous territories and had prepared an educational programme.
89. Administrative actions had been taken to address prison overcrowding. Some detainees had been allowed to complete their sentences using non-custodial measures and efforts had been made to improve conditions in some prisons. The State recognized that there were still significant improvements to be made.
90. In order to address trafficking in persons, the Act on Trafficking and Related Activities had been promulgated, establishing the National Coalition against Illicit Smuggling of Migrants and Trafficking in Persons. The Act provided for increased punishments for the abduction of minors, and criminalized sexual tourism and labour exploitation. The penalty for labour exploitation was more severe if the victim was under the age of 18. The Act also established procedures for the care of minors and the right of victims to bring civil actions for reparation. The National Coalition was made up of 21 institutions. The Act provided for the establishment of a specific fund which was financed by taxes to be paid by all tourists and nationals when leaving the country. Information campaigns were being carried out in the area of prevention.
91. Responding to several questions on the international jurisdiction of crimes categorized in Costa Rican legislation, the delegation said that such crimes included the possession and production of pornographic material depicting minors, and human trafficking and smuggling. The Penal Code, in article 6, established the possibility of applying Costa Rican law to punishable acts committed abroad in various cases, including when the consequences of a punishable act were felt fully or partially in Costa Rica, or when the perpetrator of a punishable act committed abroad was a Costa Rican national.
92. Montenegro welcomed progress regarding efforts to address violence against women and the implementation of a High Level Commission to monitor compliance with the Violence against Women Act. It welcomed steps to combat human trafficking.
93. Morocco commended Costa Rica for its openness. It took note of challenges faced in relation to structural inequalities, criminality, violence, poverty and the unequal distribution of wealth.
94. The Netherlands welcomed progress made in the field of protecting women against domestic violence by adopting a national response and prevention system. It was concerned about the suffering of the LGBT community as a result of discrimination.
95. Nicaragua commended Costa Rica for progress made in upholding human rights, in particular by addressing discrimination and xenophobia, as well as with regard to the adoption of the comprehensive migration policy.
96. The Niger noted that Costa Rica had ratified several international instruments and adopted various pieces of legislation to improve the human rights situation. It welcomed the institutional framework to improve the judiciary.
97. Norway welcomed the 2010 Immigration Act and the establishment of CIIDDHH. It echoed the recommendation of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women to consider reviewing abortion legislation in order to guarantee access to abortion when pregnancy was the result of rape.
98. Pakistan commended Costa Rica for its efforts to establish CIIDDHH, prevent violence against women and children, ensure gender equity, access to education and health care and combat racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia.
99. Paraguay welcomed progress made by Costa Rica in addressing human rights issues, particularly with regard to violence against women, trafficking and child labour. It commended the creation of CIIDDHH.
100. Peru appreciated the efforts made by Costa Rica, in particular, the ratification of CPED, the creation of CIIDDHH, the establishment of the national plan to address racial discrimination and xenophobia and efforts to address trafficking in persons. It offered to share its experience on regulating the right of indigenous peoples to be consulted.
101. The Philippines welcomed efforts to implement the UPR recommendations through national mechanisms and the adoption of legislation concerning violence against women and trafficking. It acknowledged the progress made with regard to migration issues.
102. Portugal welcomed the establishment of CIIDDHH and measures to protect persons who suffered from persecution in their countries of origin owing to their sexual orientation. It also welcomed measures to prevent children from dropping out of school and to address low school attendance.
103. Romania acknowledged the update on developments, commending the reinforcement of the legal framework for the protection of human rights since 2009 and the ratification of a number of international instruments.
104. The Russian Federation welcomed the report of Costa Rica and recognized that efforts had been made to implement the recommendations from the first UPR cycle. However, it acknowledged that problems continued to exist and made recommendations in that regard.
105. Rwanda commended progress made by Costa Rica in addressing migration issues and violence against women. It applauded the initiatives being undertaken to combat gender stereotypes.
106. Senegal appreciated efforts being made to realize economic and social rights, combat violence against vulnerable sectors of the population and protect child and adolescent victims of violence.
107. Serbia commended Costa Rica for implementing the recommendations from the first review, particularly in the areas of combating violence, trafficking in persons and protection of minors. It took note of affirmative action that had been taken with regard to equality and non-discrimination. It suggested that Costa Rica should reduce prison overcrowding.
108. Sierra Leone noted that Costa Rica provided a good example of the results that could be obtained when military spending was diverted to development. It was concerned by the high incidence of trafficking in children and urged Costa Rica to raise the age of sexual consent to 18 and to develop new strategies to reduce the prison population.
109. Singapore noted that achievements in combating violence against women had helped to reduce the number of gender-related murders of women. It also acknowledged the emphasis Costa Rica placed on improving access to health care, especially for women.
110. Slovakia welcomed efforts to improve human rights protection, including for children. It commended Costa Rica for its ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure and took note of activities to combat child labour.
111. Slovenia welcomed the active cooperation of Costa Rica with international human rights bodies. It commended Costa Rica for its human rights record and the establishment of CIIDDHH.
112. Spain commended Costa Rica for progress made in protecting women’s rights, including the establishment of the High Level Commission to follow-up on the implementation of the Violence against Women Act.
113. Sri Lanka took note of efforts to address violence against women. It noted the difficulties Costa Rica faced in relation to criminal organizations, the drugs trade and trafficking in persons and recognized efforts made by the Government.
114. The State of Palestine congratulated Costa Rica for progress made in the promotion and protection of human rights since the first UPR cycle. It welcomed the commitment of Costa Rica to improving people’s quality of life and developing a culture of respect and non-discrimination in the country.
115. The Sudan commended Costa Rica for its accession to different human rights treaties, its adoption of related legislation and its efforts to protect the rights of vulnerable groups. It also commended its efforts to combat human trafficking.
116. Canada asked the delegation for more information on initiatives to continue fighting racism, particularly against persons of African descent, indigenous communities, migrants and refugees.
117. Thailand welcomed the establishment of CIIDDHH and the permanent body for consultation with civil society.
118. Togo applauded the important actions undertaken by Costa Rica since the first UPR cycle to ensure the effective enjoyment of human rights in the country.
119. Trinidad and Tobago acknowledged the challenges and efforts to enhance the Costa Rican framework for the promotion and protection of human rights, including the development of programmes and policies targeting specific groups.
120. Tunisia appreciated efforts undertaken since the last review of Costa Rica, including the ratification of international and regional human rights instruments and the adoption of national policies.
121. Uzbekistan welcomed the establishment of CIIDDHH. It expressed concern at the vulnerable situation of women, discrimination against indigenous communities and children of African descent and the high number of juveniles in prison. It noted allegations of ill-treatment of children by police and prison officers.
122. Ukraine commended Costa Rica for its efforts to promote and protect human rights, ensure the rule of law and comply with international human rights standards. It encouraged Costa Rica to pursue those activities, in particular those related to child labour.
123. The United Kingdom welcomed the ongoing emphasis in Costa Rica on protecting children from abuse and urged Costa Rica to ensure that all offenders were prosecuted. It also encouraged Costa Rica to strengthen efforts to protect women from domestic violence and reduce discrimination against LGBT persons.
124. The delegation appreciated the comments and recommendations made with regard to children and young persons who were victims of organized crime. It noted that the Costa Rican authorities were working to guarantee their protection.
125. The delegation was grateful for the spirit of dialogue and cooperation in which the country’s challenges had been identified. The current exercise was especially enriching, above all because, prior to the meeting, an internal review of the human rights situation in the country had been carried out, which had enabled Costa Rica to identify the areas in which efforts needed to be made.
126. Costa Rica was committed to the work of the Human Rights Council. It had always defended civil society’s participation at the national level and within the Council. The commitment of Costa Rica to the Council was reflected in the fact that it was standing for re-election to the Council, for which it hoped to be able to count on the support of States.