Costa Rica, a project to fight Human trafficking

Human trafficking is a serious problem that affects millions of people around the world, including children. Today, it is considered a modern form of slavery and one of the most serious violations of human rights. Costa Rica is not immune to this terrible phenomenon, which is why the IBCR worked for four years alongside institutions to help eradicate trafficking in the country during a project that ended in 2019.

In the past few years, Costa Rica developed its laws and institutions regarding its defenses against Human trafficking. They created, among other things, the National Coalition against Human Trafficking and Illegal Smuggling of Migrants (CONATT). It is within this context that the Bureau started to design and execute this project, with the support of Global Affairs Canada.

This project aimed to reinforce the capacities of the actors involved in the fight against trafficking in person and to improve the institutional response, including the application of the law. We organised several trainings and workshops to develop and implement new and adapted procedures for the institutions and to support local communities in learning how to prevent this phenomenon.

Following the IBCR core approach, we chose to work closely with local partners and institutions (CONATT, the Public Prosecution Service, the Judicial school, and the National Police Academy) to improve the coordination and application of laws, policies, and procedures. The creation of a local office in Costa Rica for the duration of the project allowed a proximity and a good environment for dialogue, made the execution of the activities and follow-up with institutions and partners easier, thus ensuring better outcomes. Having an office and local experts in the country of operation allows us to adapt the project and its actions to the cultural reality and specifics of the system and professionals we are aiming to strengthen.

Here is a look back at the key figures of this major project:

  • More than 20 courses, trainings and workshops delivered
  • 2 major events organised, including an international congress on the prevention and detection of the crime of Human Trafficking
  • 4 training kits developed and adopted by police justice and institutional partners
  • More than 1000 people directly affected by the project’s actions and better equipped to fight Human Trafficking
  • Approximately 8000 people benefited indirectly from the project’s actions

The Project significantly contributed to the improvement of Costa Rica’s national capacities to fight Human trafficking and to care for the victims.

The stakeholders and several documents repeatedly indicated a relevant impact produced by the Project, as it:

Raised sensitivity and awareness on the crime of human trafficking on the part of high level authorities and middle managers of State institutions that by law must fight HT and care for its victims. In addition, raised the awareness of police officers, operating staff, prosecutors and judges and they received training on HT.

Project's stakeholder

All professionals involved now have in their hands the right tools and competences to fight effectively. In addition, the project has recommended the implementation of an ongoing training programme on fighting Human Trafficking, to ensure the sustainability of the IBCR’s actions and advocacy.

With the expertise gathered during this project, we keep fighting human trafficking in central America to this day through our project in Honduras (see more here).