Costa Rica Passes Law Increasing Punishment for Sexual Tourism and Human Trafficking
The “Law against trafficking and related activities” was ratified unanimously in Congress on Monday in the second and final debate, and will take effect once the president signs the country, Laura Chinchilla.
The Minister of the Presidency, Carlos Ricardo Benavides, said today in a press conference that this law “Costa Rica sets a good example and get to set advanced rules” to combat this scourge.
The law establishes a fee of one dollar in the departure tax payable at the airports in the country, which will create a fund to finance the prevention, investigation and prosecution of human trafficking and the care and social integration of the victims.
In Costa Rica and human trafficking was punishable by up to 15 years in prison, but the new law extends the scope of these punishments and increases some with reforms to the Criminal Code.
For example, the penalty for promoting, facilitating or promoting the sale of a minor will be between 8 to 16 years in prison and 4-8 years person transporting undocumented persons with false documents or to evade immigration controls.
The owner of an establishment that facilitates trafficking or smuggling of immigrants receive a sentence of 3-5 years in prison, while for sexual tourism promoters will be 4 to 8 years and for organ traffickers and buyers from 8 to 16.
The punishment for others who submit papers that violate human rights will be 4 to 8 years in prison and 6 to 12 years if the victim is a minor.
Minister Benavides For the crime of trafficking in persons “must be fought by all possible means” and said his country is willing to share its experience in this area with other interested nations.
The Costa Rica News (TCRN)
San Jose Costa Rica