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Summary

Argentina is a party to the major international agreements on human trafficking and has enacted comprehensive legislation at the domestic level as well. The Ministry of Justice and Human Rights is the authority in charge of the coordination of all agencies and institutions involved in human trafficking issues. There is a special unit on the Office of the National Prosecutor on Human Trafficking and Kidnappings that assists in the prosecution of the crime throughout the country. Training for staff of the Municipal, Provincial, and National Administration as well as social, cultural, political, and labor unions throughout the country is provided by the Instituto Nacional para la Administración Pública. Special training is also provided to members of the judiciary as well as all agents involved in the investigation of the crime of human trafficking.

I. Legal Framework

In 1957, Argentina ratified the UN Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others.[1] In 2002, Argentina ratified the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children,[2] which complements  the  UN  Convention  Against   Organized   Transnational   Crime   (the Palermo Protocol).[3]

In 2008, Law 26364 on the Prevention and Punishment of Trafficking in Persons was adopted to prevent, punish, and fight human trafficking of any form as well as to assist and protect its victims.[4] Law 26364 adds human trafficking as a federal crime in the Penal Code.[5]

In addition, Resolution 731/12 of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights created the Programa Nacional de Rescate y Acompanamiento a las Personas Damnificadas por el Delito de trata (National Program for the Rescue and Accompaniment of Victims of Human Trafficking) to provide human trafficking victims with psychological, social, medical, and legal support through the participation of an interdisciplinary team of security forces, psychologists, social workers, and lawyers to prevent and investigate human trafficking as well as to provide support to trafficking victims and their families.[6] The National Program is the continuation of the former Office of Rescue and Accompaniment of People Affected by Human Trafficking created on August 2008 within the Ministry of Justice, Security and Human Rights by Resolution 2149/2008.[7]

Within the Office of the National Prosecutor, there is a Special Unit (Procuraduría de Trata de Personas y Secuestros Extorsivos, PROTEX) (Office of the Prosecutor of Human Trafficking and Kidnappings) to assist prosecutors throughout the country with the investigation of crimes of kidnapping and trafficking in persons.[8]

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II. Enforcement Authorities

Law 26364 created the Consejo Federal para la Lucha contra la Trata y Explotación de Personas y para la Protección y Asistencia de las Víctimas (Federal Council on the Fight Against Human Trafficking and Exploitation and for the Protection and Assistance of Victims) within the Jefatura de Gabinete de Ministros (Chief of Cabinet of Ministries) as the permanent authority in charge of action and coordination plans on human trafficking and to implement the law.[9] The Federal Council has the following powers:

  • Set up the strategic planning in the fight against human trafficking
  • Recommend and approve the legal framework applicable to the crime of human trafficking
  • Promote the adoption of standards and best practices to all those intervening in the fight against human trafficking and the protection of its victims
  • Oversee the Executive Committee’s activities
  • Disseminate statistics and reports prepared by the Executive Committee
  • Promote studies and research on human trafficking
  • Publicize a guide of assistance services available to human trafficking victims
  • Promote international cooperation in the fight against human trafficking
  • Prepare an Annual report that must be approved by the Argentine Congress and,  once approved  is  submitted  before  international   and   regional   organizations   involved   in human trafficking
  • Approve the biannual action plan prepared by the Executive Committee
  • Issue its internal regulation[10]

Law 26842 amending Law 26364 created the Comité Ejecutivo para la Lucha contra la trata y Explotación de Personas y para la Protección y Asistencia a las Víctimas (Executive Committee for the Fight against Human Trafficking and Exploitation and the Protection and Assistance of Victims) within the Jefatura de Gabinete de Ministros (Chief of Cabinet of Ministries).[11] It is headed by representatives of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights; the Ministry of Security; the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security; and the Ministry of Social Development.[12] The Executive Committee has the following responsibilities:

  • Draft procedural protocols and standards to prevent and fight human trafficking as well as to protect trafficking victims and their families
  • Develop action plans to enhance capabilities to detect, prosecute,  and  dismantle human trafficking networks
  • Safeguard the rights of the victims while providing them access to free, comprehensive assistance
  • Provide job-search training and assistance for victims
  • Prevent the revictimization of trafficking victims and their families
  • Keep a National Database Registry of human trafficking crimes data
  • Organize activities aimed at the dissemination of information, awareness, and training on human trafficking-related issues
  • Promote information on human trafficking at the educational-system level in coordination with the Ministry of Education
  • Devote public and private resources to the prevention of trafficking and assistance of victims, providing them with needed housing for their protection according to the law
  • Provide training and specialization to public officers of all institutions related to the protection and assistance of victims, as well as to the police, security institutions, and public officers in charge of criminal prosecution and judgment of the crime of human trafficking
  • Coordinate with public and private institutions providing training to air pilots, flight attendants, and all crew members of air and land transportation, both domestic and international, for setting up a mandatory training course aimed at detecting among the passengers possible victims of human trafficking
  • Coordinate with provinces and the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, the implementation of the Synchronized Reporting System on Human Trafficking and Exploitation[13]

The Executive Committee prepares a two-year work plan that is submitted to the Federal Council for its approval.[14]

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III. Training Programs

As part of a joint strategy and to coordinate the standards of best practices in the prevention and treatment of human trafficking crimes, the Executive Committee offers an online training course to staff of the Municipal, Provincial and National Administration as well as to social, cultural, political, and labor unions throughout the country.[15]

The Instituto Nacional para la Administración Pública (INAP, the National Institute for Public Administration) provides a five-week course on human trafficking[16] that includes four modules:
(1) Human Trafficking in General; (2) Human Trafficking for Sex Exploitations; (3) Human Trafficking  for  Labor  Exploitation;  and  (4)  Human   Trafficking:   Prevention,   Detection and Assistance.[17]

One of the main goals of the National Program is the prevention of the crime through awareness and training campaigns for all those interested and involved in combatting human trafficking.[18] From 2008 to 2013, 4,602 people have been trained in human trafficking under the National Program.[19]

According to Resolution PGN 805/2013, PROTEX is in charge of providing training for members of the judiciary and all agents involved in the investigation of the crime of human trafficking.[20] In its 2014 Annual Report, PROTEX reported the drafting of a training program designed for the staff of the Ministerio Público (Government Attorney) involved in the investigation and prosecution of human trafficking. The program would require staff to spend a brief period of time, such as two weeks, in PROTEX to participate in the different assignments of investigation and institutional intervention on human trafficking carried out by PROTEX in order to acquire expertise in the specific issues involved in the crime.[21]

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Prepared by Graciela Rodriguez-Ferrand
Senior Foreign Law Specialist
February 2016


[1] Decreto-Ley 11.925, Sept. 30, 1957, BOLETÍN OFICIAL [B.O.], Oct. 30,1957, http://infoleg.mecon.gov.ar/infoleg Internet/anexos/200000-204999/201859/norma.htm, archived at https://perma.cc/UBB4-UECN.

[2] Ley 25.632, Aug. 29, 2002, B.O., Aug. 30, 2002, http://www.infoleg.gob.ar/infolegInternet/anexos/75000- 79999/77329/norma.htm, archived at https://perma.cc/UE8F-L4XC, and Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and Children, Supplementing the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime Nov. 15, 2000, United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, http://www.unodc.org/ unodc/en/treaties/CTOC/countrylist-traffickingprotocol.html, archived at https://perma.cc/6VNM-DK2F.

[3] Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, supra note 2.

[4] Ley 26.364 Prevención y Sanción de la Trata de Personas y Asistencia a sus Víctimas art. 1, B.O., Apr. 29, 2008, http://www.infoleg.gob.ar/infolegInternet/anexos/140000-144999/140100/texact.htm,    archived    athttps://perma.cc/VS66-26XD, as amended by Ley 26842, B.O., Dec. 27, 2012, http://www.infoleg.gob.ar/ infolegInternet/anexos/205000-209999/206554/norma.htm, archived at https://perma.cc/Z8WL-Z62T.

[5] Código Penal, Ley 11.179 (Revised text 1984) arts. 140–149 ter, http://www.infoleg.gov.ar/infoleg Internet/anexos/15000-19999/16546/texact.htm#19, archived at https://perma.cc/3FJT-7MQB; Código Procesal Penal Ley 23.984, B.O., Sept. 9, 1981, http://www.infoleg.gov.ar/infolegInternet/anexos/0-4999/383/texact.htm#4, archived at https://perma.cc/XEP6-3828.

[6] ZAIDA GATTI ET AL., INFOJUS, TRATA DE PERSONAS: POLÍTICAS DE ESTADO PARA SU PREVENCIÓN Y SANCIÓN, SISTEMA ARGENTINO DE INFORMACIÓN JURIDICA 15 (June 2013), http://www.jus.gob.ar/media/1008426/ Trata_de_personas.pdf, archived at https://perma.cc/QCR6-LJ6F.

[7] Resolución 2149/08 of the Ministerio de Justicia, Seguridad y Derechos Humanos de la Nación, Crea la Officina  de Rescate y Acompañamiento[Creates the Office of Rescue and Accompaniment of People Affected by Human Trafficking] arts. 1–2, B.O., Aug. 12, 2008, http://www.infoleg.gob.ar/infolegInternet/anexos/140000- 144999/143388/norma.htm, archived at https://perma.cc/VPE8-VH2T; see also Trata de Personas Oficina de Rescate y Acompañamiento, MINISTERIO DE JUSTICIA (official website), http://www.jus.gob.ar/areas-tematicas/trata- de-personas/oficina-de-rescate-y-acompanamiento.aspx (last visited Feb. 10, 2016), archived at https://perma.cc/QE8D-QBME.

[8] Acerca de Procuraduría de Trata y Explotación de Personas (Protex), PROCURACIÓN GENERAL DE LA NACIÓN [NATIONAL PROSECUTOR], https://www.mpf.gob.ar/protex/ (last visited Feb. 10, 2016), archived at https://perma.cc/7DNZ-UH6T.

[9] Ley 26364, as amended by Law 26842 art. 20.

[10] Id.

[11] Id. art. 21.

[12] Id.

[13] Id. art. 12.

[14] Id.

[15] Recurso On Line, Capacitaciones: Paremos la Trata, COMITÉ EJECUTIVO PARA LA LUCHA CONTRA LA TRATA DE PERSONAS, JEFATURA DE GABINETE DE MINISTROS DE LA PRESIDENCIA DE LA NACIÓN, https://www.comitecontra
latrata.gob.ar/capacitaciones_p333 (last visited Feb. 10, 2016), archived at https://perma.cc/R5SB-3667.

[16] Conceptos Básicos sobre Trata de Personas IN-ES-11790, INAP, https://capacitacion.inap.gob.ar/?cursos= conceptos-basicos-sobre-trata-de-personas-in-es-11790 (last visited Feb. 10, 2016), archived at https://perma.cc/6N7H-XSE3.

[17] Id.; Sistema Nacional de Capacitación, Conceptos Básicos sobre Trata de Personas-2014, at 2–3, https://sai.inap.gob.ar/download_pdf.dhtml?contenido=diseno&formact_codigo=1&act_codigo=18202&tipoact_cod igo=1, archived at https://perma.cc/6JHD-VPH5.

[18] GATTI ET AL., supra 6, at 15.

[19] Id. at 16.

[20] Id. at 118; Resolución 805/2013 Procuración General de la Nación, http://www.mpf.gov.ar/resoluciones/ pgn/2013/pgn-0805-2013-001.pdf, archived at https://perma.cc/JWZ3-ZJVH.

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Last Updated: 03/18/2016