Follow-up to CRI41374.E of 15 May 2003 on procedures to be followed by hospital personnel when reporting incidents of sexual violence to the police or authorities; whether such procedures differ when dealing with cases of sexual violence committed against members of a sexual minority group (May 2003) [CRI41649.E]

According to the Costa Rican Executive Decree on the Compulsory Reporting of Diseases (Decreto Ejecutivo de Enfermedades de Denuncia Obligatoria), the reporting of incidents of intrafamilial violence (violencia intrafamiliar) to the authorities, including sexual assault by physical force, by the attending physician (pivate or public) or the director of the attending health establishment is compulsory (daño de denuncia obligatoria) (Costa Rica June 2002, 15).

In the Costa Rican health sector, reports of incidents of sexual assaults (intrafamilial and extrafamilial) can be filed by using one of the following forms: the Compulsory Notification Bulletin (Boleta de Notificación Obligatoria), the Registration Bulletin of Intrafamilial Violence and Extrafamilial Abuse (Boleta de Registro de Violencia Intrafamiliar y Abuso Extrafamiliar), the Bulletin of Reference (Boleta de Referencia) and the Bulletin of Counter Reference (Boleta de Contra Referencia) (ibid., 21). Monthly reports of intrafamilial and extrafamilial violence are produced by the health departments and the hospitals and analysed by the different epidemiological surveillance boards at the local, regional and central level (ibid., 21, 22, 46-47). However, those statistics were not available for the Research Directorate to consult.

According to the same source, the notification process for sexual assault cases (flujo de notificacion) abide by the following pattern [translation]: "[t]he national hospitals will notify the corresponding region according to its geographical location. The [local] areas will weekly notify the cases to the regional office of the Health Department which will notify the central level [of the Health Department]" (ibid.).

According to the executive director of the Awareness Program on Intrafamilial Violence (Programa Atención Integral a la violencia Intrafamiliar) at the Costa Rican Social Security System (Caja Costariccense de Seguro Social, CCSS), the programmes designed for victims of sexual abuse are offered on the grounds of universality (universalidad), equality (equalidad) and solidarity (solidaridad) no matter what nationality, race, colour, sexual orientation, religion or any other individual condition of the person using (persona usuaria) those services (18 May 2003).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References


Costa Rica. 18 May 2003. Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS). Departamento de medicina preventiva. Programa Atencion Integral a la Violencia Intrafamiliar. Correspondence with the Executive Director.

Costa Rica. June 2002. Ministerio de Salud y Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS). June 2002. Protocolo de Vigilancia de la violencia Intrafamiliar y el Abuso Sexual Extrafamiliar. San Jose, Costa Rica. Publication received in correspondence from the Executive Director of CCSS.