The United Nations system in Costa Rica expressed its concern over the recent cases that show serious situations of sexual violence against children and adolescents in the country.
Alice Shackelford, UN Resident Coordinator, Gordon Jonathan Lewis, Representative of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Paula Antezana, Assistant Representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), called on people to prevent, arrest and denounce any form of violence against minors, whether physical, sexual, psychological or of any kind.
Data from different institutions in the country show a worrying upward trend of violence against minors.
For instance, the National Children’s Hospital reveals that from 2006 to 2013, daily cases of child abuse victims and physical abuse increased from 9 to 26, respectively; While the National Children’s Patrol (PANI) indicates that almost 35% of all complaints received are related to family conflicts, 20% to negligence and 15% to physical aggression.
The UN also called on state authorities and institutions to follow up on the complaint and enforce existing legislation to reduce existing levels of impunity.
Data from the National Institute of Statistics and Census (INEC) indicate that from 2014 to 2015 almost 1,000 under-14-year-old girls gave birth. In addition, according to data from the Judiciary, by 2014, almost 500 people were convicted of any kind of sexual violence against minors.
A few days ago the case of a 13-year-old girl whose father had raped her and got her pregnant in Matina, Limón, was released.