Costa Rica: Second National Integration Plan 2018 - 2022 launched

Today, the Costa Rican Directorate for Integration and Human Development (DIDH) under the General Directorate of Migration and Foreigners (DGME), the European Union Delegation in Costa Rica and the Migration EU Expertise (MIEUX) Initiative joined a selection of participants from national and local governmental institutions and civil society in San José for the launch of the new National Integration Plan (NIP) 2018-2022.

The 2nd National Integration Plan 2018 – 2022 conceives integration as a two-way process involving both the host society and the immigrant and covers several dimensions of integration, such as access to health; education; labour market insertion; recognition of diversity and vulnerability.

The new plan is included within the overall National Integral Policy on Migration (2013-2023) [link in Spanish], Costa Rica’s comprehensive policy framework on migration, spelling out the conceptual framework and steps to be followed by public institutions and civil society to facilitate the integration of immigrants into Costa Rican society.

In relation to today's presentation, Mrs Gisela Yockchen, Director General of Migration and Immigration, stated that "Costa Rica reaffirms its international commitment to safe, orderly and regular migration, and promotes actions with a focus on respect for human rights, national security and shared responsibility, all of which are reflected in the National Integration Plan for institutional action".

In turn, Mr Pelayo Castro, Ambassador and Head of Mission of the Delegation of the European Union to Costa Rica, praised the collaborative nature of MIEUX’s intervention, “This is an excellent example of peer-to-peer collaboration. We are proud of the role we have played, together with MIEUX, in building bridges between government, civil society and experts from EU and Costa Rican public administrations. Costa Rica is a country with a long history of welcoming newcomers, and we are confident that a well-designed Integration Plan will enable immigrants to settle in and better contribute to this diverse, thriving, and cosmopolitan society.”

Commenting on today's launch, Mr Alfred Woeger, MIEUX Regional Officer for Latin America and the Caribbean tasked with this Action stated, “The new National Integration Plan 2018 – 2022 is the result of intense months of cooperation and collaboration with the Costa Rican government. Thanks to their acute needs assessment, excellent collaboration and trust in our peer-to-peer programme, we were able to design a six-step Action based on a multi-stakeholder, multi-level and multi-disciplinary approach to support the design of the National Integration Plan."

This new plan is the continuation of the National Integration Plan that was launched in 2013 and will be operative until the end of 2017, adapting its contents to the current migration landscape in Costa Rica.

Although the country has long been considered an attractive destination for migrants within the Central American region, due to its political stability, high standard of living and fast-growing economy, recent times have seen a large influx of arrivals, with an increase of 16% in registered foreign residents between 2011 and 2015 coupled with a surge in asylum applications of 176% between 2013 and 2015.

Faced with this migratory situation, the national government realised that targeted action was needed to promote social cohesion in Costa Rica, avoiding the exclusion of immigrants and fighting against discrimination and xenophobia.

Background information

The Directorate for Integration and Human Development (DIDH) under the General Directorate of Migration and Aliens (DGME) of Costa Rica requested assistance through the MIEUX (MIgration EU eXpertise) facility to design the follow up of the first National Integration Plan 2013-2017, seeking to address the current migration context in Costa Rica, marked by diversification of countries of origin, a sharp increase in asylum applications due to the situation in the Northern Triangle and Venezuela, along with other new challenges.

This is the second request for assistance that the Costa Rican government has requested from MIEUX. To accommodate this request, MIEUX’s team designed an Action comprising six coherent activities that fed into the development and implementation of the second National Integration Plan (2018-2022).

Find out more about all the activities that MIEUX designed as part of this Action.

Find out more about our work in Latin America and the Caribbean.