ISHR-Costa Rica Working Group: Activity Report 2010

"Stop the abuse", an initiative of the ISHR Working Group in Costa Rica
"Stop the abuse", an initiative of the ISHR Working Group in Costa Rica

During the year 2010, the members of the working group in Costa Rica, focused their efforts mainly on the two following activities: 

  • Giving counsel and helping  women victims of gender violence
  • Giving  counsel and helping foreigners who have requested asylum in Costa Rica

1. Gender Violence.  Women in Costa Rica who are victims of gender violence in their homes, places of work or on the street are allowed and encouraged to report it but many women choose not to do so and just suffer silently from the physical and sexual abuse inflicted on them.

It is very important that women become aware of their rights and report this criminal offense to the authorities so they can obtain the necessary protection.

Our volunteers give advice to women who suffer from physical attack or sexual abuse to report these crimes to the authorities so that they can give them the necessary protection.

The group is also very active working with parents in convincing them not to let their children go to work at the homes of strangers. Unfortunately, there are groups of criminals running a White Slavery market through all of Central America.  Many parents let their daughters go with people who approach them telling them that they are being hired to do domestic work in decent homes, but they are really forced to work in brothels.

2. There are more than 13,000 refugees in Costa Rica of which 10,000 are Colombians who have fled the violence in their country.  There are also many people from Venezuela and from Nicaragua living in Costa Rica.

Our volunteers help them with their requests for asylum and refer them to the corresponding government agency for help and protection while their situation in the country is legalized.