Costa Rica - OPCAT Situation

Opcat status

OPCAT Ratification December 1, 2005
UNCAT Ratification November 11, 1993
NPM Designated

Decentralised unit within Ombudsperson's Office (Defensoría de los Habitantes)

NPM Type

Ombuds Institution

NPM Legal Framework

The Ombudsperson's Office was initially designated as NPM through      Presidential Decree N° 33568 (13 December 2006). Later, a specific legislation was adopted, NPM Law N° 9204 (18 February 2014)

Decree regulating the NPM Law N° 9204, Decree N° 39062-MJP (16 July 2015)

Costa Rica was the second State to sign the OPCAT on 4 February 2003,followed by ratification on 1 December 2005. Costa Rica has historically been behind the OPCAT. It presented the first proposal for an Optional Protocol to the UN in 1980 and then again in 1991, eventually presiding over the Working Group established to negotiate the text during most of its ten-year existence.

Costa Rica ratified the OPCAT in 2005 and designated its Ombudsperson's Office (Defensoria de los Habitantes) as NPM in 2007 by Presidential Decree. In February 2014, the NPM mandate was enshrined in law, through the adoption of the NPM Law N° 9204, published in the official Gazette N° 42 of 28 February 2014. In July 2015, a decree was adopted to regulate the NPM Law.

The Ombudsperson's Office established a separate NPM Unit, currently composed of one Director and two staff. The NPM started its operations in
2009.

The SPT member who is the SPT Focal Point for Costa Rica is available here.


Keywords: Ombuds Institution