The project was implemented in collaboration with the NGO Paniamor.
This was the continuation in Costa Rica of the regional project "Strengthening the Protection
of Children from Commercial Sexual Exploitation", funded by the European Commission and Irish AID (2003 - 2005).
With the aim of strengthening the capacities of Public Prosecutors in responding to the problem of trafficking in persons, the project provided for the realization of an information system (SISCESCO) on legal cases and victims of trafficking to be implemented within the judicial system, and specifically in the eight Public Prosecutors' Offices in charge of investigating cases of sexual exploitation of children and trafficking in children for sexual purposes.
SISCESCO is an important tool for data collection that can help the Prosecutors' Offices to build stronger cases against sexual exploiters and improve their investigating skills and strategies. It will also support the Office of the Attorney General in drawing up policies against these crimes [more].
In order to strenghten the capacity of immigration personnel and border police in Costa Rica on how to address cases of trafficking in children for sexual purposes in the light of the existing legislation and procedures governing the matter, the Action Programme delivered 10 two-day training sessions for immigration officers and border police working on all borders of the Country, covering 100% of the personnel involved. Moreover, four of this trainings were delivered on a binacional basis, involving personnel from Nicaragua and Panama and representing the first training sessions of this kind orgainzed in Costa Rica.
The training sessions were delivered utilizing the Manual on Norms and Procedures related to trafficking in children for sexual purposes in Central America, developed during the previous project financed by Irish Aid and the European Commission. This Manual was approved by the Central American Coalition of Directors of Immigration (OCAM) and indicated as "The" Manual for training of Immigration personnel and border police in trafficking in minors issues. During the Action Programme against Trafficking in Minors for Sexual Purposes, a methodology booklet was produced by UNICRI and its partners for training facilitators, intended to be used in conjunction with the existing Training Manual.
The website was produced to provide information and raise awareness on child sexual exploitation linked with travel and tourism and on trafficking in children for sexual purposes.
The website contains, among the others:
The public information campaign, targeted to adolescents, raised awareness about the issue of minors being trafficked and sexually exploited, and promoted the involvement of communities in the fight against these crimes.
Billboards were designed and placed at strategic points on the border between Costa Rica and Panama to inform and deter the trafficking in children for sexual purposes.
A spot was aired on prime-time television on all major TV channels for two months and a radio spot, that complemented the TV spot, was aired for three months on nine different radio stations, to reach even remote areas of the Country.
A bookmark was created to raise awareness in the population at risk. The bookmark was handed out to adolescents when the passport office issued their travel documentation.
A set of three different stickers was also posted up in the windows of all immigration offices.
Fourteen movable billboards, containinig the same campaign message, circulated on buses for four months in the areas identified by the project as the most vulnerable trafficking routes.