Warnath Group is proud to have partnered with the U.S. and Costa Rica governments on the establishment of a child-friendly space in the province of Puntarenas. This child-friendly space officially opened today at the National Child Welfare Agency (PANI) Office in Ciudad Neily in the canton of Corredores. The space provides a safe, calm, and comfortable environment where children and adolescents in need of protection and support can interact with practitioners.

This space was established through the Warnath Group Innovations in Addressing Child Trafficking (IACT) Program, a program to reduce and redress sex trafficking of children and adolescents in Costa Rica. The program is being implemented by The Warnath Group in the provinces of Guanacaste and Puntarenas from 2020- 2025, through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of State Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (J/TIP).

The nature-based design of the space is trauma-informed and geographically-specific. The mural, painted by local artist Edwin Espinoza, was designed in consultation with children and adolescents in Ciudad Neily.

Child-friendly spaces play an important role in the protection of child and adolescent trafficking victims. They are critical to support trauma-informed initial interactions with and screening of presumed child and adolescent trafficking victims. Conducting victim identification and providing support in a child-friendly space, with trained and sensitized practitioners and according to established standards, is key in creating a sense of safety that can lead to disclosure of harm and ensure the protection of vulnerable children and adolescents.

Warnath Group would like to thank PANI, the Local Subsystem of Protection in Corredores, the U.S. State Department, and the U.S. Embassy in San José for the partnership that made this first child-friendly space established under the IACT Program a reality. The IACT Program looks forward to continued collaboration, including on the development of additional child-friendly spaces in Guanacaste and Puntarenas provinces.

For more information on child-friendly spaces and Warnath Group’s approach, please visit: www.childfriendlyspaces.com 

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