Costa Rica: Shadow Report to the UN Committee Against Torture on the Rights of LGBT

This shadow report was developed by IGLHRC and Costa Rican activists and submitted in English and Spanish for consideration to the UN Committee Against Torture as part of their review of Costa Rica's compliance with the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment at the 40th session of the Committee in April-May 2008 (http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cat/cats40.htm).

This shadow report is intended to serve as a source of information for UN Committee experts, and to supplement both the report from Costa Rica’s government and shadow reports from other NGOs.

Update:

In its concluding observations to the government of Costa Rica, the United Nations Committee Against Torture highlighted abuses based on sexual orientation and transgender identity, particularly involving detainees. The following text is an excerpt from the Concluding Observations of the Committee Against Torture on Costa Rica, translated by IGLHRC from Spanish. To read the original document, please click here: http://www2.ohchr.org/tbru/cat/Costa_Rica.pdf

Malos Tratos y abusos de autoridad

El Comité toma nota de los esfuerzos para enfrentar los abusos de autoridad por parte de los guardias de frontera y el personal de los centros y establecimientos penales, incluso a través de recomendaciones específicas para que los funcionarios no incurran en actuaciones u omisiones violatorias de derechos. Sin embargo subsisten preocupaciones respecto a casos de abuso en contra de migrantes así como de nacionales sobre todo en razón de su orientación sexual y/o identidad transexual. En particular la normativa sobre las buenas costumbres puede, según el Comité, otorgar un poder discrecional a la policía y a los jueces que, junto con prejuícios y actitudes discriminatorías, puede resultar en abusos hacía esta población (arts. 2, 11, 16).

El Comité expresa su preocupación por las denuncias de abuso sexual y violencia física en contra de detenidos homosexuales y transexuales.

Mistreatment and abuses of authority

The committee takes note of the efforts to confront abuses of authority committed by border guards and prison staff, including through specific recommendations designed to prevent violations or omissions of rights by government employees. Nonetheless, concerns continue to persist regarding cases of abuse against migrants as well as citizens, above all else because of their sexual orientation and/or transexual identity. In particular, the norms of moral convention can, according to the Committee, grant a discretional power to the police and judges that, together with discriminatory prejudices and acts, can result in abuses towards this population. (arts. 2, 11, 16)

The Committee expresses their concern for complaints of sexual abuse and physical violence against detained homosexuals and transexuals.