New rights commission plans to tackle racism

A United Nations representative in Costa Rica swore in a new human rights commission for the country Wednesday at the foreign ministry, also known as Casa Amarilla.

The panel’s first duty is to bring attention and seek to end racism in Costa Rica with a national plan to fight it, Plan Nacional de Lucha contra el Racismo y la Discriminación Racial, said officials. The country isn’t internationally known for the problem with racism, but in the past there have been racism cases involving Nicaraguans, natives, and black people.

The new commission is called the Inter-institutional Commission for the Monitoring and Implementation of the International Human Rights Obligations, or Comisión Interinstitucional para el Seguimiento e Implementación de las Obligaciones Internacionales de Derecho Humanos.

Carmen Rosa Villa, regional representative for the Office of the U. N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, said she was honored to be a part of the inaugural celebration because Dec. 10 marked the 63rd anniversary of the official Human Rights Day. And that Costa Rica is leader in the department of human rights.

Ms. Villa said the commission will permit dialogue with civil institutions and permit dialogue with the government departments. She referred to the commission as a key tool for human rights in the country. There were more than 20 members who were sworn into the commission. Ms. Villa said that it’s not just any person helping but rather a person with the support of an institution.

“This is a task that compromises everyone,” said Villa. “Human rights is an action.”

Some of the sworn in members include Maureen Clarke, executive president of the Instituto Nacional de las Mujeres, and Carmen María Muñoz Quesada, legislator for the political party Acción Ciudadana. Ms. Muñoz is also part of the human rights commission in the legislature

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