Costa Rica Reiterates Its Commitment to Avoid Discrimination to People With Disabilities Who Use Public Services

    Promoting equal opportunities, equity and accessibility

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    The Regulatory Authority for Public Services (ARESEP), during an appearance at the Special Permanent Commission on Disability and the Elderly of the Legislative Assembly, reiterated its commitment to avoid discrimination and promote equal opportunities, equity and accessibility for people with disabilities who use public services.

    This position was emphasized before the Special Permanent Commission on Disability and the Elderly, by the Deputy General Regulator, Xinia Herrera Durán. A press release from the Authority prohibits any act of discrimination because people have the right to receive the same quality of public service

    “You should not discriminate based on social status, income, place of residence, race, gender, religious creed, political affiliation, nationality or any other condition,” the bulletin indicates.

    To guarantee this sector the enjoyment of fundamental freedoms

    With regard to public transport, the ARESEP Transport Administration has issued two technical criteria, where it analyzes the situation of people with disabilities, to guarantee this sector of the population “the enjoyment or exercise, on equal terms with other human rights and fundamental freedoms”, such as those defined in the Comprehensive Law of the Elderly Person 7935; Inter-American Convention Law on the Protection of Human Rights of Older Persons 9394 and 7600 Law of Equal Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities.

    “Public transport companies cannot charge tickets other than those established for people with disabilities, nor deny the fare exemption to older adults (regardless of their nationality)”, the statement specifies.

    These criteria are contained in the official letters: OF-0210-IT-2022 and OF-0630-IT-2021 where it orders the compliance of the actions to the companies that provide the transport service, be they buses, taxis, train or cabotage.

    In addition, Public Transport Quality standards were adopted to guarantee accessibility, such as the location of bells, the operation of ramps, access steps, training for drivers, attention to complaints; which must be included in the concession contracts.

    Exemption must be complied

    In OF-411-IT-2022, criteria are issued regarding the rights of adults over 65 years of age, of any nationality, to be exempted in the use of transportation services (with less than 25 km, the exemption is 100%, 25 km and less than 50 km is 50% and more than 50 km is exonerated 25%).

    The promotion of rights is carried out through the training of Regulatory Managers in 76 municipalities of the country, who receive training to guarantee the rights of the elderly and disabled populations.

    A Dialogue Table process was also formalized with operators, as an alternative measure for conflict resolution. ARESEP has processed complaints against bus and taxi companies and has revoked the concession upon verifying non-compliance with the laws that protect older adults.

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