It did not prosecute or convict any government employees complicit in human trafficking or trafficking-related offenses. The government and NGOs provided anti-trafficking training to 25 diplomatic personnel. The government identified three sex trafficking victims during the reporting period. Prosecutors continued to appeal three acquittals from in a case of suspected labor trafficking involving Asian fishermen on boats in Costa Rican waters. The government provided data on its anti-trafficking efforts, but it was difficult to reconcile statistics because Costa Rican law includes a definition of human trafficking that is inconsistent with international law.
The government made efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts but did not report efforts to reduce the demand for forced labor. The government provided some limited legal and psychological assistance , though NGOs noted the need for greater government efforts to reintegrate victims into their communities. Officials often prioritized investigating migrant smuggling over human trafficking cases with the belief that doing so reduces instances of smuggling and vulnerability to trafficking. Although public awareness of human trafficking crimes appeared to increase in Costa Rica, many officials continued to view it as a transnational, and not a domestic, phenomenon. The government did not collect identification or protection statistics on victims subjected to sex or labor trafficking that did not involve movement. Authorities prosecuted three suspects and convicted one trafficker under the trafficking law and convicted eight offenders for child sex trafficking or related crimes using other laws. The government established an anti-trafficking directorate to coordinate its efforts to combat human trafficking. The government did not collect comprehensive statistics on victims identified and assisted, and the data provided from different agencies could not be fully reconciled. Some of these individuals may have been identified as victims of other crimes and referred to protective services. Working in collaboration with international partners, the government reported denying entry to 53 foreign registered sex offenders attempting to travel to Costa Rica as tourists. This statute also prohibits illegal adoption , which does not fall within the international definition of human trafficking. Authorities distributed brochures and posters and held public events to warn about the dangers of trafficking. Indigenous Panamanians are also reportedly vulnerable to forced labor in agriculture in Costa Rica. One government official is currently under investigation for suspected involvement in sex trafficking. The government reported no updates on 32 such investigations from the previous year. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain. Despite an identified child sex tourism problem, the government did not prosecute or convict any child sex tourists or other individuals who purchased commercial sex acts from children, although the government did collaborate with international partners to restrict entry to registered sex offenders. The government collected and shared data on its law enforcement efforts to combat trafficking and related criminal activity. Costa Rican authorities encouraged victims to assist with the investigation and prosecution of trafficking offenders, and the government created an enhanced witness protection program last year for victims of crime, though it was not yet fully operational. The government repatriated one Costa Rican sex trafficking victim from The Bahamas, but did not report whether it provided any additional assistance; Costa Rican consular officials in Guatemala assisted one victim of labor trafficking, but the victim did not return to Costa Rica and the government did not report providing any services. A new immigration law , effective March , authorizes temporary residency status specifically for foreign trafficking victims. This suggests shortcomings in the methodology or implementation of the interviews. The penalties set forth in amended Article are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. Despite these measures, the government did not demonstrate overall increasing anti-trafficking efforts compared to the previous reporting period; therefore, Costa Rica is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for the second consecutive year. The definition of trafficking in the law is inconsistent with international law in that it requires displacement of the victim and also penalizes crimes such as illegal adoption, sale of organs, moving persons for the purpose of prostitution, and labor exploitation that does not amount to forced labor. In comparison, the government identified 23 victims—13 of sex trafficking and ten of labor trafficking—in
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