Local Governments in Costa Rica open new Information Hubs for Migrants

5 August, 2018


San Jose, Costa Rica. The IOM, in coordination with local governments, started two new information hubs for migrant persons, located in the regions of Upala and Desamparados. These hubs will be run by municipal staff, who were trained and certified by the IOM, which works to strengthen the capacities of local governments for managing migration.

The information hubs or information centers are a tool developed by the IOM at the global level for responding to the needs of migrants. This concept has been applied in diverse ways depending on the country and the population being served.

The hubs just opened in Costa Rica will be in strategic areas of the country. Upala is a canton on the border with Nicaragua, which makes it an important region for migrants in transit. According to the last National Census, migrants make up almost 13% of the resident population in the canton of Upala. Desamparados is one of the most highly populated cantons of Costa Rica's Metropolitan Area and has received a considerable volume of immigrants from the interior of the country and from other countries in recent years. 

“The phenomenon of migration affects us at a global level, in the canton of Upala we have migrant families from other countries and from other parts of the country. Many times, migrant persons are seen as a threat or a danger, so it is important to work through local governments for the human rights of the migrant population," stated Juan Bosco Acevedo, mayor of Upala.

The municipalities provided the physical space and the staff, while the IOM will offer training to the staff of the hubs on migration-related topics. Such as labor migration, child migrants, refuge, migration regularization, human trafficking, illegal trafficking of migrants, identifying and referring vulnerable profiles, and managing information. These hubs are added to the more than 20 Information Hubs for Migrants the Mesoamerica Program has in the region.

For more information please contact Isis Orozco, at IOM Costa Rica: iorozco@iom.int.