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In Costa Ricamarker, prostitution (exchanging sex for money) is not illegal, but the Penal Code prohibits individuals from promoting or facilitating the prostitution (brothels, prostitution rings etc are illegal)

Prostitution is common and is practiced openly throughout the country, particularly in areas with heavy concentrations of foreign tourists.

Costa Rica is a destination for child sex tourism, numerous children are victims of commercial sexual exploitation at the hands of tourists. Erika Linares, a lawyer with the Latin American Institute for Health Prevention, a group that works with prostitutes, said: "Sexual tourists look for two things: impunity and anonymity. Costa Rica offers both" .

Child prostitution is widespread. Street children in the urban areas of San Josemarker, Limon, and Puntarenasmarker are particularly at risk . Costa Rica is a transit and destination point for children trafficked for purpose of prostitution. Most trafficking victims originate from Colombiamarker, the Dominican Republicmarker, Nicaraguamarker, Panamamarker, as well as from Russiamarker, the Philippinesmarker, Romaniamarker, Eastern Europe, and Ecuadormarker .

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