Published Tuesday, March 30, 2021
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
At the National Stadium on Monday, President Carlos Alvarado signed the new Law No.9967 entitled "Law against sexual harassment in sports."
"This is part of the positive actions in which as a country we must work to ensure full development in social, political, economic and cultural areas," President Alvarado said.
“This law reminds us that we must respect each other in every space and at all times. This also reaffirms how the State must protect the protests of violence against any person, helping to promote a more just and equal society, free of gender-based violence,” Alvarado said.
The law creates the Commission against Sexual Harassment, which will be responsible for carrying out prevention and training programs against intimidation and sexual harassment in sports.
The new law will enforce follow up on complaints of harassment presented by its members received by sport's organizations.
The law also establishes that the Sports Institute must create the mechanisms to guarantee the protection of the affected person against any type of penalty.
The alleged buyer must abstain from disturbing the complainant and the persons offered as witnesses, according to the law.
Following the law, if there is an employment relationship between the complainant and the alleged harasser, priority must be given to the complainant.
This means if there will be a temporary job suspension, the harassing person has the right to receive the salary during the period that the case is under investigation and before a judge determines the innocence or guilt of the allegedly accused.
The alleged harasser is also prohibited from attending the same sites or competitive sporting events as the complainant or their witnesses.
In the application of precautionary measures, the labor rights of both, aggressor and victim, must be respected, and they may be applied to both parties of the trial process, but the victim's safety must be preserved.
In the case of victims, the law also establishes that the Sports Institute must guarantee free legal advice and representation, as well as psychological support, throughout the administrative procedure or judicial process concerning this law.
The law also allows the victim to be attended by a psychologist of their trust in all phases of the administrative or judicial process.
The law also establishes that the Sports Institute and the Ministry of Sports must carry out a national information campaign about the law.
In case of aggression and violence against women, in Costa Rica, the Women Institute provides legal and psychological counseling services for free. Women can make their complaints, in Spanish, to the institute's line 2527 8401 or the 911 emergency line.
What have you heard of expats facing harassment in sports activities in your community? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org