HIAS in Costa Rica
Staff Size: 15
Country Director: Kathya Araya
Office Location: San Jose
REFUGEES IN COSTA RICA
Costa Rica hosts some 11,000 refugees and asylum seekers from Venezuela, El Salvador, Colombia and Honduras. The country is also a transit point for people from other regions in search of asylum or better opportunities in the United States and Canada.
HIAS BENEFICIARIES IN COSTA RICA
Venezuelans represent more than 40% of asylum applications in Costa Rica, followed by Salvadorans, Colombians, Hondurans, Cubans, Congolese and Nicaraguans. HIAS helps more than 350 cases per month.
HIAS SERVICES IN COSTA RICA
With dramatic increases in the number of asylum seekers entering Costa Rica, particularly from Venezuela and the northern countries of Central America, it is of critical importance that a comprehensive system of legal information, referrals to non-legal services and individual legal aid is available.
HIAS provides asylum seekers with information about their legal rights and obligations. HIAS staff ensure that the most vulnerable asylum seekers have access to individual legal representation during asylum procedures. HIAS also provides refugees and asylum seekers legal advice and representation to help them access their social and economic rights. By providing asylum seekers and refugees with comprehensive legal information and assistance, the program intends to dramatically increase refugee protection.
Specifically, HIAS’ five main program activities are: Weekly legal information trainings for refugees; intake interviews and referral services; Individual legal representation in refugee status determination proceedings and in other protection actions to assist in effective access to social and economic rights; capacity building, coordination and advocacy; and as of August 2017, border monitoring.