IOM and the Ministry of Public Education of Costa Rica signed a National Work Plan to foster education free of discrimination against migrants

7 February, 2018

Roeland de Wilde, IOM Chief of Mission in Costa Rica (left) with Minister of Education, Sonia Marta Mora. Photo: UN Migration Agency / José Pablo Ovares 2018

 

San Jose, Costa Rica. The United Nations Agency for Migration (IOM), through the Mesoamerica Program, and the Ministry of Public Education (MEP), signed on the 31st of January, a National Working Plan for the year 2018, with the objective of strengthening the links and cooperation between both entities to complement efforts towards the priorities of the country, as well as to promote the right to education of migrants. The Chief of Mission of IOM´s National Office in Costa Rica, Roeland de Wilde, and the Minister of Education of Costa Rica, Ms. Sonia Marta Mora Escalante, participated as representatives of their institutions during the ceremony.

Minister Sonia Marta Mora acclaimed the signing of the work plan between both institutions. ´´In this way we re-confirm the excellent relation and cooperation agenda we have held with this agency, which allows us jointly advance actions that improve the educational services in benefit of migrants. The new educational vision we have developed in the Ministry, educates a new citizenry who is conscious about how the different visions of citizens from around the world enrich our country´´, said the minister.

In Costa Rica, 9% of the population are migrants, and according to statistics of the Ministry, more than 40.000 migrant children are registered in primary educational centers.

However, in Costa Rican society, there still exist of racism and xenophobia against this population, for which it is necessary to develop strategies for professors to work with children and adolescents to combat discrimination by promoting the importance of diversity in society.

 “We must strengthen the capacities of professors to address the topic of migration so they can communicate to their students the main concepts related to migration, the factors that drive this phenomenon, the importance of having an identity document, and above all, the risks associated to irregular migration and migrant smuggling, in particular trafficking in persons, exploitation of minors. Signing this plan renews the commitment to work on this subject with professors at the national level´´, said Roeland de Wilde.  

It was at the end of 2017, that it was agreed to develop this plan in order to assemble all the activities and technical support provided by IOM to the different divisions of the Ministry, and to better align the activities according to the priorities of the MEP. The workshops and activities that will be developed under the framework of this agreement will give place to the creation of the capacities needed to ensure the sustainability of topics related to migration within the school curricula of Costa Rica.

The Mesoamerica Program seeks to contribute to the development and implementation of strategies for regular, orderly and safe migration, ensuring the adequate protection of migrants.

For further information, please contact Patricia Ugalde, Communications Officer of IOM Costa Rica, pugalde@iom.int