UN Migration Agency, Costa Rica to Promote Migrants’ Right to Education without discrimination

Capacity Building

San José – A plan to promote migrants’ right to education without discrimination will be implemented in Costa Rica this year. This initiative has been developed thanks to the National Work Plan recently signed by the UN Migration Agency (IOM) and the Ministry of Public Education (MEP) of Costa Rica.

Minister of Education, Sonia Marta Mora, applauded the signing of the work plan between both institutions. “In this way, we reaffirm the excellent relation and cooperation agenda we have held with this agency, which allows us to move forward jointly, in actions that improve educational services in benefit of migrants. The new educational vision we have developed at the Ministry educates a new citizenry, who is conscious about how different visions of citizens from around the world enrich our country,” said Mora.

In Costa Rica, approximately 9 per cent of the population are migrants, mostly from Nicaragua. According to MEP’s statistics, more than 40,000 migrant children are registered in basic education facilities.

In this context, IOM and MEP will develop strategies for teachers who work with children and adolescents to combat discrimination and xenophobia by promoting the importance of diversity in society. The plan also strengthens rights awareness among migrant children.

“We must strengthen the capacities of teachers to address the topic of migration so they can communicate to their students the main concepts related to migration, the factors that drive this phenomenon, the importance of having an identity document, and above all, the risks associated to irregular migration; particularly, child exploitation, human trafficking, and smuggling of migrants. Signing this plan renews the commitment to work on this subject with teachers at a national level,” said Roeland de Wilde, IOM Chief of Mission in Costa Rica.

The plan frames all the activities and technical support that IOM offers to the Ministry’s different units, as well as the alignment of different activities according to MEP’s annual goals. The workshops and activities carried out within this agreement will include in Costa Rica’s school curriculum the use of technology for migration issues.

The support provided by IOM is part of the Mesoamerica Program, financed by the US State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, and implemented in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. The Mesoamerica Program seeks to contribute to the development and implementation of strategies for regular, orderly and safe migration, ensuring the adequate protection of migrants.

For more information, please contact Patricia Ugalde at IOM Costa Rica, Tel: +506 2212-5300, Email: pugalde@iom.int

  • Roeland de Wilde, IOM Chief of Mission in Costa Rica (left) with Minister of Education, Sonia Marta Mora. Photo: IOM / José Pablo Ovares 2018