Child Soldiers Global Report 2008 - Costa Rica
|Publisher||Child Soldiers International|
|Publication Date||20 May 2008|
|Cite as||Child Soldiers International, Child Soldiers Global Report 2008 - Costa Rica, 20 May 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/486cb0f645.html [accessed 22 May 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This 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.|
Population: 4.3 million (1.5 million under 18)
Government Armed Forces: no armed forces
Compulsary Recruitment Age: not applicable
Voluntary Recruitment Age: not applicable
Voting Age: 18
Optional Protocol: ratified 24 January 2003
Other Treaties: GC AP I, GC AP II, CRC, ILO 138, ILO 182, ICC
The minimum age for recruitment to the police, the country's only security force, was 18.
National recruitment legislation and practice
Under the 1949 constitution, which abolished the armed forces, the police force was the country's only security force, and military forces could be organized only under a continental agreement or for national defence and had always to be subordinate to civilian control.1
Police recruits had to be 18 and to have completed their third year of general basic education (secondary education).2 Police training was vocational, accredited by the Ministry of Education and civilian in nature, and directed towards upholding civil law, democracy and human rights.3
The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child recommended in May 2007 that the prohibition on recruiting children under 15 and their direct participation in hostilities be expressly set out in law.4
Disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR):
There were about 13,000 refugees in Costa Rica, 10,000 of whom were Colombian.5 In May 2007 the Committee on the Rights of the Child noted the lack of information in Costa Rica's 2005 report to the Committee about child refugees and migrants from countries affected by armed conflict, and about "measures adopted with regard to their identification, physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration".The Committee recommended early identification of those who might have been recruited or used in hostilities, and assistance for their recovery and reintegration.6
1 Constitución Política de la República de Costa Rica, Article 12.
2 2001 Ley General de Policía.
3 Initial report of Costa Rica to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child on implementation of the Optional Protocol, UN Doc. CRC/C/OPAC/CRI/1, 22 December 2005.
4 Committee on the Rights of the Child, Consideration of initial report submitted by Costa Rica on implementation of the Optional Protocol, Concluding observations, UN Doc. CRC/C/OPAC/CRI/CO/1, 1 May 2007.
6 Concluding observations, above note 4.