Costa Rica offers refuge to Afghan women

Costa Rica says it is committed to protecting the lives of Afghan women.

Costa Rican leaders say the country will welcome women fleeing Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.

The Presidency says Costa Rica is “considering receiving a group of 48 women from Afghanistan who have been associated with the United Nations in that country.”

Vice President Epsy Campbell said Costa Rica is committed to protecting the lives of Afghan women.

“Costa Rica has opened its borders and will serve as a humanitarian bridge for Afghan women looking for refuge. We must all take necessary steps within our scope of action to safeguard the lives and well-being of the children and women of Afghanistan,” Campbell wrote.

“Women bear the worst consequences from the crisis in Afghanistan! We must leave no woman behind. Costa Rica is committed to making it happen,” she added.

Costa Rica this week also signed a joint declaration with the European Union, the United States and other countries demanding “those in positions of power and authority across Afghanistan to guarantee” the protection of women and girls.

Costa Rica and refugees

Thousands of U.S.-bound migrants cross through Costa Rica in a typical year, and the Central American country is also already home to many refugees.

More than 87,000 Nicaraguans have sought asylum in Costa Rica since 2018, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency. The number of refugee requests from Nicaraguans spiked in July as the government of Daniel Ortega intensified crackdowns on political opponents.

While the United Nations has criticized Costa Rica for its slow processing of refugee requests, the international organization has also commended the country’s approach.

“Costa Rica’s generosity in assisting people in need of international protection is an example to countries the world over,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said earlier this year.

“Countries like Colombia and Costa Rica are going the extra mile to welcome people forced to flee. But they cannot do it alone. Efforts by the international community are essential to support them.”

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