Community Updates

Launching the RightsCon Costa Rica participant support initiatives

(Lea este blog en español)

► Introducing a holistic model of community support

► Launching our visa support process

► Request a free or discounted ticket

► Review our timeline for important deadlines

With our first-ever hybrid RightsCon (June 5-8, 2023) approaching, we took the opportunity to adapt and streamline our various support initiatives for our expanding global community. We are excited to introduce our newly revamped Community Support Fund, an application-based initiative designed to enable and amplify the participation of underrepresented communities, whether they join us online or in-person. For those in our community who may need a visa to attend the summit in Costa Rica, we’ll share information about our visa support process, as well as guidance on how to submit a request for this support. Additionally, we will continue to offer free and discounted tickets, recognizing that the cost of tickets, while an important resource for producing the event, can be a barrier to participation.

Introducing a holistic model of community support

RightsCon is made stronger through a diversity of voices, and so over the years we have provided various methods of support to bring new and underrepresented communities into the fold. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, we offered travel support in the form of flights and accommodations, and since we shifted online in 2020, we have provided funds for connectivity, translation, and other services to enable engagement.

To streamline our support, we have combined both of these options into a single holistic Community Support Fund where participants can indicate whether their requests are for in-person or online participation. The Fund is intended for members of civil society who would not be able to attend the summit without our support, but we recognize that the demand for this support will far exceed our means as an NGO with limited funding. In order for our support to reach as many participants as possible, we ask those who have access to other sources of funding, to secure funding independently or only select partial support when applying for the fund.

If your application is selected to receive travel or connectivity support, you will receive a complimentary event ticket to access the venue in Costa Rica or the RightsCon Platform.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

We will carefully review applications and have crafted criteria to inform our decision-making process ensuring those who need funds most are considered first. As our funding is limited, the following two criteria will guide our process:

  • Program participation: while everyone is encouraged to apply, we will prioritize applications from session organizers, Program Committee members, facilitators, and speakers in the RightsCon program who belong to groups that have been traditionally left out of convening spaces.
  • Civil society representation:  funding is intended for members of civil society, however we will also take into account factors such as financial need, region, and gender. Additionally, we will ask for information about your work and how RightsCon may support moving it forward.

Applications for the Community Support Fund are now open until March 31, 2023 at 11:59pm PST. Decisions will be communicated to applicants by mid-April.

Launching our visa support process

To assist with logistical barriers and administrative costs, we have established partnerships with the Costa Rica Migration Office and other relevant stakeholders to reduce requirements and facilitate the processing of applications for visas on arrival. We know the process for obtaining a visa can be challenging and burdensome, which is why we are offering this as an optional support avenue to our participants, without any costs. If visa applications are approved through this process, participants will receive visas upon their arrival at the airport in Costa Rica.

Not sure if you need a visa? Follow the steps below to help you determine if you need a visa, check if you’re eligible for any visa exceptions and finally, submit a request for a visa on arrival, if you need one.

Be sure to submit the form and documentation as soon as possible to ensure your request is considered and reviewed in a timely manner. The deadline to submit a request is April 7, 2023 at 23:59 Pacific Standard Time. We will communicate to participants the final decision regarding their visa applications as well as the relevant documentation by April 28, and we will provide invitation letters to participants that have submitted the form. To learn more about the visa support process, including legal disclaimers and data privacy notice, review our form.

Request a free or discounted ticket

Our number one priority is having the right people in the room at RightsCon, which is facilitated by our inclusive ticket policy. In efforts to reduce or waive ticket costs for members in our community who are facing financial constraints, we offer free and discounted options for however you choose to join us. If you plan to participate online, a free ticket is always available for selection by those who need it, regardless of sector or location. If you plan to participate in-person, you can submit a request on our website.

Review our timeline for important deadlines

Be sure to note the various deadlines in our timeline below to ensure you don’t miss out!

  • January 31, 2023: Community Support Fund and visa support launch
  • March 31, 2023: Community Support Fund applications close
  • April 7, 2023: Visa request form closes
  • April 11, 2023: Community Support Fund recipients are notified 
  • April 28, 2023: Visa application decisions are communicated to participants
  • May 22, 2023: Platform opens
  • May 29, 2023: In-person registration closes
  • June 2, 2023: Online registration closes
  • June 5-8, 2023: RightsCon

As always, our team is available to support your participation and while the Frequently Asked Questions on our website are a good starting point, we welcome you to get in touch with any questions or feedback you may have by emailing [email protected]. We look forward to welcoming you at RightsCon Costa Rica (June 5-8, 2023)!

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