Costa Rica Seeks to Sensitize the Population after a Sentence from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights on Disability

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    The Government of Costa Rica published, last Wednesday, a series of documents with which it intends to sensitize public officials and the population about the rights of people with disabilities, after a sentence by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (ICHR).

    With the support of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the Government published the informative materials in response to the sentence handed down on September 13th, 2022 by the IDDHH Court, which found the State responsible for discriminating against Luis Fernando Guevara Díaz, a person with a disability who was not given a position on property as a miscellaneous in the Ministry of Finance, despite being the best qualified.

    The documents published last Wednesday “are graphic and audiovisual products that explain in a simple, didactic and accessible way the sentence of the ICHR to facilitate comprehensive knowledge and awareness among civil servants in the public sector and the public in general”, reported the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    The effective enforcement and respect of human rights in the hemisphere

    An infographic-style brochure that summarizes the case, an animated video, and a cartoon summarize the main facts of the case and what was resolved by the high court. “These products promote the updated analysis of the Inter-American Court and, in addition, with them the country reaffirms the essential value of the jurisprudence of the high court for the effective enforcement and respect of human rights in the hemisphere, the rule of law and the importance of the effective dissemination of their decisions”, declared the lawyer Natalia Córdoba, head of the Legal Department of the Foreign Ministry.

    A path of equal opportunities and expansion of freedoms

    For his part, the head of the UNFPA Costa Rica Office, Juan Luis Bermúdez, said that for the United Nations, human development is a path of equal opportunities and expansion of freedoms, and that this “implies recognizing the contributions of people with disabilities in all social spaces”. The ICHR Court affirmed in its 2022 ruling that the State of Costa Rica violated Guevara’s rights to equality, work, judicial guarantees, and judicial protection.

    The case dates back to 2001, when Guevara was appointed on an interim basis to the post of miscellaneous worker in the Ministry of Finance. He later participated in a contest to obtain tenure, but was not selected despite having obtained the highest grade in the evaluations carried out.

    Guevara filed an appeal for reversal against the decision that dismissed him from his position, and later an appeal for amparo. In both cases, he alleged acts of discrimination at work, particularly because the head of the Maintenance Area of the Ministry of Finance requested that he not be hired due to his disability.

    However, both appeals were rejected, since it was considered that the procedure followed in the contracting process complied with all the parameters established in the law, which motivated Guevara to sue the State before the Inter-American System.

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