Costa Rican National Children’s Trust Supports Initiative to Prevent Re-victimization of Minors in the Educational System

Ombudsman's Office ensures that the lack of adequate regulations has resulted in a regrettable history of impunity

For the National Children’s Trust (PANI), it is extremely important to approve National Law no.22122, which seeks to prevent re-victimization and guarantee the rights of minors in the educational system.

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This was stated by the Executive President of the Institution, Gladys Jiménez, who stressed that the bill – promoted by the Ombudsman’s Office and the national deputy Patricia Villegas – seeks to guarantee the main superior principle of the child, thereby giving a change in paradigm for the irregular situation of children.

“Currently, the procedures followed in the country do not guarantee the rights of minors, so the initiative facilitates the complaint processes. It seeks to standardize the legal provisions of the international legislation and with it, settle this outstanding debt,” said the executive president of PANI.

Lack of adequate regulations leads to impunity

Kathya Rodríguez, director of Children and Adolescents of the Ombudsman’s Office, indicated that the lack of adequate regulations has resulted in a regrettable history of impunity.

The director assured that in more than 20 years of receiving a large number of cases, “it has been evident the lack of adequate regulations has sadly accounted for a history of impunity in which children and adolescents have been the protagonists”.

For her part, Deputy Villegas indicated that since 1997 there has not been a reform in the country that guarantees the right of children. “It is urgent to determine the best interests of the child once and for all, not only in terms of quality and equity but also in the comprehensive matter of the students themselves,” recalled the deputy.

The project contemplates reforms based on the Rights of Children and Adolescents

According to Villegas, the teaching disciplinary procedure must become a means to guarantee that only the most suitable teaching personnel in ethical, moral, and professional terms remain in charge of the education of thousands of boys, girls, and adolescents.

For this reason, the initiative promoted by the deputy includes modifications and reforms aimed at:

  1. Recognize and vindicate the legal and social status of children and adolescents as subjects of law.
  2. Verify and guarantee that the best interest of the child is a primary consideration in any resolution issued within the framework of a disciplinary procedure of the teaching or administrative staff of the Ministry of Public Education that directly affects one or more minors.
  3. Incorporate principles such as in dubio pro victim and non-re-victimization.
  4. Reduce the average times of the procedures of the educational and administrative disciplinary regime of the Ministry of Education (MEP).
  5. Guarantee that the necessary precautionary measures are adopted and conducive to protecting the victim in all cases in which a teaching or administrative server is reported for alleged physical, emotional, sexual abuse or corrupting treatment to the detriment of one or more minors.
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VIAGuillermo Agudelo
SOURCETCRN Staff
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