The Government of Costa Rica signed this Tuesday the “Law of affirmative actions in favor of Afro-descendant People.” Among other provisions, it is established that 7% of the vacancies in public institutions must be for the Afro-descendant population.
The same amount must be reserved in quotas for each course at the National Learning Institute (INA). On the other hand, the educational programs of primary and secondary education should incorporate in their syllabi, the study of the legacy of Afro-descendants in the shaping of the nation and in the various cultural expressions.
A historical focus
To this end, the Ministry of Public Education will promote a historical focus on the past of slavery and stigmatization of the Afro-descendant population. The Law also orders that the Ministry of Culture stimulate public spaces dedicated to information, analysis and discussion on the subject of the Afro-descendant population.
Finally, the National Institute of Women (Inamu) will have to promote specific affirmative actions related to political participation; economic autonomy and access to health for Afro-descendant women and should measure its results.
The law had had a controversial passage through the Legislative Assembly, until finally receiving the endorsement. After the signing this past Tuesday, the only issue missing is the publication in La Gaceta for it to come into force.
In line with international human rights treaties
The liberationist deputy David Gourzong, promoter of the plan, indicated that it is in line with international human rights treaties to reduce gaps. “It will mark a before and after in the country, in terms of human rights, to reduce social gaps between the Afro-descendant population and other ethnic groups,” he said.
“Various reports have realized that discrimination and systemic racism seem to have iron ceilings that are difficult to break and that are why affirmative actions and universal policies with diversity perspectives are absolutely necessary,” added the Tico Vice President Epsy Campbell.