Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 May 2016, 12:25 GMT

Costa Rica: Update to CRI31627.E of 14 June 1999 on protection available to women subjected to sexual violence by police officers

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 11 July 2001
Citation / Document Symbol CRI37424.E
Reference 2
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Costa Rica: Update to CRI31627.E of 14 June 1999 on protection available to women subjected to sexual violence by police officers, 11 July 2001, CRI37424.E, available at: [accessed 31 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

In a 10 July 2001 telephone interview, a lawyer at the Ombudsman's office (Defensoría de los Habitantes) in San José, who works in the office specializing in women's issues, stated that there are still no special protection measures in place in Costa Rica for victims of sexual violence by police officers. She stated that most victims of sexual violence by police were prostitutes. The lawyer was aware of cases of female partners of police officers being victims of domestic violence, but was unaware of cases of women who were unknown to the police officer to became victims of sexual violence.

In the few cases where women have lodged complaints against police officers for alleged sexual violence, they have done so with the Ministry of Public Security (Ministerio de Seguridad Público) where administrative processes were initiated. Victims of sexual violence by police may seek legal recourse through judicial channels. The lawyer was unaware of any cases where a police officer had been brought to justice through legal channels, such as the courts.

Additional and/or corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Defensoría de los Habitantes, San José. 10 July 2001. Telephone interview with a lawyer.

Additional Sources Consulted

IRB Databases

Latinamerica Press [Lima]. 2000-2001

Latin American Regional Reports: Caribbean and Central America Report [London]. 2000-2001


World News Connection (WNC)

Internet sites including:

Amnesty International

Defensoría de los Habitantes. 2001. Informe de labores de Defensoría de los Habitantes 2000-2001.

Fempress [Santiago]. 2000-2001

Human Rights Watch

La Nación [San José]. Search Engine

Search Engines:

Fast Search


Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

Search Refworld