Costa Rica: Latest youth violence prevention strategies out now!
July 12, 2012
Today, Interpeace presents its latest policy proposal on youth violence prevention in downtown San Jose, Costa Rica. Interpeace has taken the lead in developing a series of strategies to help public institutions prevent youth violence in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica experienced an upsurge in violence
Costa Rica has traditionally been seen as one of the most stable and peaceful countries in the region, ranking strongly in various development indices. However, in the last decade, it has experienced an upsurge in violence. As drug trafficking and criminality increase, violence and citizen insecurity have also risen.
Youth at risk
The problem of insecurity in Costa Rica disproportionately affects young people. According to the World Health Organization, violence is one of the principal causes of death of young people between the ages of 15-44 years. It is responsible for 14% of deaths among young men and 7% of deaths among young women.
Practical tools for a national plan
Equipping Costa Rican policy-makers with the practical tools needed to realize its ‘National Plan for the Prevention of Violence and the Promotion of Social Peace’, the policy proposals are being released at the right moment. The recommendations called “Strategic Lines of Action for Youth Violence Prevention – Costa Rica, 2012-2014” (PDF) are designed to promote a comprehensive approach to youth violence prevention. With a primary focus on prevention, the proposals seek to reduce risk factors, encourage community participation and foster dialogue. They will also promote alternatives to violence such as education, sports and recreation, cultural activities and job training.
Inclusive dialogue with all sectors of society
“Strategic Lines of Action” (PDF) are the result of a broad-based and inclusive dialogue process involving over 170 participants from government institutions, civil society organizations, local governments and youth organizations.
Praise from Costa Rican officials
“Awareness of the vulnerable situation of youth, both as victims and perpetrators, has necessitated the formulation of a proposal that encompasses all the factors associated with youth violence […]. Interpeace has been a great help in the execution of this project, offering technical assistance and constant accompaniment throughout the process,” explains Max Loría, Vice-Minister of Peace, Ministry of Justice and Peace.
His colleague Karina Boaños, Deputy Minister of Youth, goes on to say: “This proposal is a tool that facilitates the work of practicioners and different government actors who work to support prevention strategies that are focused on young people.”
A joint effort
The strategies were developed as part of a region-wide initiative that is coordinated by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and jointly implemented by Interpeace, the Central American Integration System (SICA) and the Summits of the Americas Secretariat (SISCA).