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U.S. Statement at the UPR of Costa Rica
May 5, 2014

19th Session of the Universal Periodic Review
U.S. Statement delivered by Chargé d’affaires Peter Mulrean
May 5, 2014

As delivered

Thank you Mr. President.

The United States welcomes the delegation from Costa Rica.

We laud Costa Rica’s commitment to the promotion of human rights, both domestically and internationally.

We commend Costa Rica for taking steps toward improving conditions in its prisons, though, as in many countries including our own, overcrowding, inadequate sanitation, difficulties obtaining medical care, and violence among prisoners remain serious problems.

We acknowledge Costa Rica’s progress in combating the worst forms of child labor.  We are concerned, however, that serious problems persist, including the exploitation of children in agriculture and in commercial sex industries.

We are also concerned about the prevalence of violence against women in Costa Rica, including domestic violence, rape, and sex trafficking.  Although efforts to assist survivors through legal remedies and social services have improved, specialized services for survivors, particularly of trafficking, remain inadequate in many parts of the country.

The United States recommends that Costa Rica:

1. Improve prison conditions by reducing overcrowding, improving sanitation, increasing access to medical care, and reducing the incidence of violence among prisoners;

2. Expand programs to eliminate the worst forms of child labor to reach more children in agriculture and children exploited in prostitution;

3. Strengthen efforts to address violence against women, including sex trafficking, by improving prevention efforts, providing comprehensive specialized services to survivors, and continuing to investigate and, prosecute instances of criminal violence against women.

Thank you.