COSTA RICA NEWS – The Dirección de Migración y Extranjería (Immigration Service) confirms five open investigations for cases of human trafficking in the country this year. However, however, none has been brought before the courts.

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Kathya Rodriguez, director of Costa Rica’s immigration service.

Kathya Rodriguez, director of Migración says it is difficult to prosecute these types of cases in the country.

The director made the comments during a meeting with representatives from different countries as part of the Regional Coalition Against Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants.

“Trafficking involves a transfer of a person from their place of origin to another site for any reason, subjected against their will. It is difficult to prosecute cases because it is difficult determine the deception that the person hasundergone, ” said Rodriguez.

Sexual and labour exploitation have been the major reasons for human trafficking in Costa Rica, but organ trafficking continues to be a concern for Costa Rica law enforcement, Rodríguez said.

Rodríguez said human trafficking victims often are from Nicaragua or the Dominican Republic who travel to other nations under the false promise of getting a job.

“It’s very difficult to say that we are losing the battle. Many of the activities that these people undergo are not public. We know there are transport networks both formal and informal, ” added the director.

One of the areas of particular attention are massage parlours, where trafficking victims are coorced into the sexual trade once they arrive in the country.

Besides the cases being handled by the Migración, Rodriguez said that the Organismo de Investigación Judicial (OIJ) has also a number of open cases, though she did not give a number.