UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

Costa Rica (CRC 04-03-2020)

The Committee considered the combined fifth and sixth periodic reports of Costa Rica (CRC/C/CRI/5-6) at its 2434th and 2435th meetings (see CRC/C/SR.2434 and 2435), held on 21 and 22 January 2020, and adopted the present concluding observations at its 2460th meeting, held on 7 February 2020.

Concluding observations

A. General measures of implementation (arts. 4, 42 and 44 (6))

Cooperation with civil society

  1. The Committee notes the engagement of civil society organizations promoting children’s rights in public policy mechanisms, such as the National Integral Child Protection System. Recalling its previous concluding observations (CRC/C/CRI/CO/4, para. 24), the Committee recommends that the State party facilitate the involvement of children and adolescent organizations, including organizations of children with disabilities, and indigenous and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex children, in the formulation, implementation and monitoring of public policies and programmes concerning their rights. This should include the allocation of necessary resources to such organizations and the building of their capacities to engage in social dialogue at the community and national levels, including the Legislative Assembly.

B. General principles (arts. 2, 3, 6 and 12)


  1. The Committee, while noting the 2015 constitutional reform recognizing the State party as a multi-ethnic and pluralistic society, and the adoption of the national policy for a society free from racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia for the period 2014–2025, is concerned about:

(a) Persisting gender stereotypes against girls, which heighten the risks of sexual violence and exploitation, early pregnancies and the imposition of barriers in access to education and sexual and reproductive health;

(b) Multiple and intersectional discrimination against indigenous and Afrodescendent children and children with disabilities;

(c) Information about hate speech mainly affecting children in situations of migration, as well as refugee and asylum-seeking children, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex children.

  1. With reference to targets 5.1 and 10.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Committee recommends that the State party:

(a) Strengthen its efforts to eliminate gender stereotypes and remove patriarchal ideologies in education, and in the family, including through awareness-raising campaigns, and strengthen its measures, including temporary special measures, and budgetary, human and administrative resources to ensure equal access of girls to education and health;                                        

(b) Expedite the adoption of legislation to sanction and address all forms of violence related to racism, xenophobia and discrimination, including sanctions for perpetrators of hate speech, and adopt a comprehensive national strategy and action plan to eliminate discrimination, racism, sexism and all forms of discrimination against children, addressing multiple and intersectional discrimination against them;                                        

(c) Strengthen campaigns to counter hate speech, harassment, bullying and negative portrayal affecting migrant, asylum-seeking and refugee children, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex children.

D. Violence against children (arts. 19, 24 (3), 28 (2), 34, 37 (a) and 39)

Violence against children, particularly abuse and neglect

  1. The Committee is deeply concerned about:

(a) The prevalence of different forms of violence against children, such as psychological, physical and sexual violence, including through the Internet, and the limited coverage of early intervention centres to address the rights of children facing all forms of violence;

(b) Harassment and bullying experienced by children in schools and the community on the basis of their sex orientation or gender identity;

(c) The absence of a comprehensive data-collection system on violence against children and uneven criteria in existing monitoring systems;

(d) The limited information about the type of reparations, including compensation for children victims of all forms of violence, including psychological violence.

  1. With reference to its general comment No. 13 (2011) on the right of the child to freedom from all forms of violence, and taking note of target 16.2 of the Sustainable Development Goals on ending all forms of violence against children, the Committee urges the State party to:

(a) Strengthen coordination among State party authorities to implement policies for the prevention of violence against children, and adopt indicators to monitor progress achieved in the prevention of violence and in combating factors underpinning violence against children at home, in school and in society;

(b) Revitalize and strengthen the Parenting Academy initiative concerning positive parenting and the prevention of violence, and ensure that early intervention centres are locally accessible across all regions and municipalities, and that they have the capacity to implement and provide children with comprehensive support;

(c) Launch nationwide communication strategies to promote respect for children’s rights, including their right to be free of violence;

(d) Strengthen its efforts to combat cyberbullying and harassment against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex children and ensure child-friendly accessible complaint mechanisms in schools, or through electronic platforms safeguarding the privacy of child victims;

(e) Ensure unified data collection concerning violence against children, disaggregated by age, sex, disability, geographical location, sexual orientation and gender identity, ethnic and national origin, and socioeconomic background, and use such data as the basis of public policies;

(f) Ensure that children facing violence are provided with appropriate remedies and redress, responsive to their age, gender and cultural background, including psychosocial counselling, and prevent the institutionalization of children victims of violence, ensuring that shelters are of a temporary character and conducive to a prompt recovery and reintegration of children.

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