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Costa Rica signed and ratified the 1951 refugee convention and its protocol in 1978. PoCs have the right to work. Despite legal advances in the country, sustainable local integration remains a major challenge for the refugee population. A general lack of understanding regarding the rights of refugees constraints PoCs access to documentation which has a negative impact on PoC employment, health care and education. 80% of refugees in Costa Rica are working in the informal sector which is comprised of 83% of the businesses participating in the UNHCR’s survey. According to UNHCR assessments, only 7% of PoCs had access to technical training and many PoCs (50%) consider discrimination to be the main obstacle preventing their economic integration into the country. Currently, 21.7% of PoCs work as technicians, 15.9% work in the cleaning and food industry, 14.5% as merchants and 10.1% as artisans.
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