An Effective National Preventive Mechanism for Costa Rica

Monday, December 13, 2010

The APT will be in Costa Rica on 13 and 14 December to carry out two activities, an awareness-raising workshop on preventive monitoring to places of detention and a strategic planning workshop. These events are designed to faciliate the definition and implementation of the NPM's operational plan of action for 2011.

Date: 13 - 14 December 2010
Place: Costa Rica
Purpose: Costa Rica ratified the OPCAT on 1st December 2005. On 19 February 2007, the Ombudsperson’s Office (Defensoría de los Habitantes) was designated as NPM by decree. The NPM started its operations on 19 January 2009, namely two years after having been officially designated. A specific NPM unit was established within the Ombudsperson’s Office.

From 27 to 29 April 2009, the APT facilitated a strategic planning workshop for the staff of the NPM unit, other areas and regional offices of the Ombudsperson’s Office. An operational plan of action for the NPM was devised by the participants, which was later included in the general plan of action of the Ombudsperson’s Office.

In December 2010, the APT will travel to Costa Rica in order to:
  • Take stock of the implementation of the NPM operational plan of action;
  • Facilitate the definition of the 2011 operational plan of action;
  • Define concrete actions for the effective implementation of the 2011 operational action plan

Furthermore, the APT will raise Ombudsperson’s Office’s staff and public officials’ awareness of the principles and methodology of preventive monitoring to places of detention.

The activities will be conducted jointly with the National Preventive Mechanism of Costa Rica.
Partners: Defensoría de los Habitantes
Activities: The APT will carry out two type of activities:

  • Awareness-raising workshop on preventive monitoring to places of detention (Monday 13 December – morning). The workshop will gather staff from the Ombudsperson’s Office, including from the regional offices, as well as Public Prosecutor’s staff.

The participants will analyse the principles and methodology of preventive monitoring and exchange their own practices.

  • Strategic planning workshop (Monday 13 December – afternoon, and Tuesday 14 December). The workshop will gather representatives from the Ombudsperson’s Office, including staff from the NPM unit, other departments and regional offices.

The participants will examine the mandate of the NPM as foreseen by the OPCAT, the NPM operational plan of action and the challenges related to its implementation, as well as the NPM working methods.
Expected Outcome: Once it has been revised, the operational action plan shall be included in the general action plan of the Ombudsperson’s Office for 2011. The operational plan of action is elaborated by the Ombudsperson’s Office, which is responsible for its implementation. The revision of the action plan will guide the NPM’s work for the upcoming years.

The Ombudsperson’s Office of Costa Rica is one of the few NPMs which has developed an operational and strategic plan of action to guide its activities. The strategy of the NPM’s work will be used as a model of good practice which could inspire other NPMs.