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Mexico’s General Law to Prevent, Punish and Eradicate Crimes of Human Trafficking is the main statute on this topic, as it provides guidelines on the powers of authorities at the federal, state, and local level in charge of combatting human trafficking.[1] 

This Law also provides for the existence of the national Commission to Prevent, Punish and Eradicate Crimes of Human Trafficking, which has broad powers to define, implement, and oversee public policies to address this issue and to design relevant training programs for federal and state authorities.[2]  The Commission is formed by the heads of a number of departments and executive agencies, each of which has certain duties, including but not limited to the following:

  • Department of Governance: Coordinates the work of the Commission and serves as the point of contact with the heads of the federal and state executive, legislative and judicial branches on matters relating to the implementation of relevant public policies.
  • Department of Justice: Plans and executes programs aimed at preventing and prosecuting human trafficking cases. 
  • National Institute of Penal Sciences: Designs and executes training programs on preventing and punishing human trafficking for prosecutors and law enforcement agents.
  • Department of Labor: Conducts labor inspections at work places aimed at preventing and detecting human trafficking.
  • Department of Health: Manages physical and psychological treatment for victims of human trafficking.
  • National Institute of Migration: Provides assistance in Mexico to foreigners who are victims of human trafficking until they return to their countries of origin.
  • Department of Tourism: Designs and implements policies aimed at discouraging sexual tourism and human trafficking in the context of tourism activities.
  • Department of Foreign Relations: Creates programs of protection and assistance for victims of human trafficking, which are carried out by consular offices abroad.[3]

Training on human trafficking may be taught in person (through workshops, certificates, conventions, forums, and courses) or online (through videoconferences and other e-learning options).[4]  The Commission recently reported that in 2014, a total of 12,823 civil servants received some type of relevant training.[5]  For example, Mexico’s Department of Justice provided relevant specialized courses, including “Basic Concepts on Human Trafficking,” “Crimes Committed through Electronic Media,” and “Fostering the Denunciation of Human Trafficking.”[6]  The National Institute of Penal Sciences provided a number of relevant courses as well, including “Types of Human Trafficking,” “Social Causes of Human Trafficking,” “Trafficking of Children and Adolescents,” and “International and National Issues related to Protecting and Assisting Victims of Human Trafficking.”[7]

In addition, Mexico has received anti-human-trafficking training from the United States government, according to a June 2014 press release from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  The press release described a training session for Mexican government officials as follows:

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); the Department of Justice’s Office of Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training (OPDAT); and the Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) hosted a human trafficking training conference for federal and state prosecutors, investigators and immigration officials June 3 through 5 in Cancun.

More than 90 officials from the Attorney General of Mexico (PGR), state attorney general offices (PGJ), the Mexican Federal Police (CNS) and the National Immigration Institute (INM) participated.  The participants explored how to identify potential human traffickers and victims of human trafficking and related crimes.[8]

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Prepared by Gustavo Guerra
Senior Foreign Law Specialist
February 2016


[1] Ley General para Prevenir, Sancionar y Erradicar los Delitos en Materia de Trata de Personas y para la Protección y Asistencia a las Víctimas de estos Delitos [General Law to Prevent, Punish and Eradicate Crimes on Human Trafficking and for the Protection and Assistance to the Victims of these Crimes] arts. 2, 5, Diario Oficial de la Federación, June 14, 2012, available as amended through 2014 on the website of Mexico’s House of Representatives, at http://www.diputados.gob.mx/LeyesBiblio/pdf/LGPSEDMTP.pdf, archived at https://perma.cc/N68J-NNYL.

[2] Id. arts. 84, 92-X.

[3] Id. arts. 85, 89.

[4] Programa Nacional para Prevenir, Sancionar y Erradicar los Delitos en Materia de Trata de Personas y para la Protección y Asistencia a las Víctimas de estos Delitos 2014-2018 [National Program to Prevent, Punish and Eradicate Crimes on Human Trafficking and for the Protection and Assistance to the Victims of these Crimes 2014–2018] 23, Diario Oficial de la Federación, Apr. 30, 2014, http://www.gobernacion.gob.mx/work/models/ SEGOB/swbtrata_Accion/10/PROGRAMA_NACIONAL_2014_2018.PDF, archived at https://perma.cc/S44S-8XQN.

[5] Comisión Intersecretarial para Prevenir, Sancionar y Erradicar los Delitos en Materia de Trata de Personas y para la Protección y Asistencia a las Víctimas de estos Delitos, Informe Anual 2014, [Commission to Prevent, Punish and Eradication of Crimes of Human Trafficking and for the Protection and Assistance to the Victims of these Crimes, Annual Report 2014] 9, http://www.gob.mx/ cms/uploads/attachment/file/37490/INFORME_2014_COMISION_INTERSECRETARIAL.pdf, archived at https://perma.cc/6P7K-8M57.

[6] Id., at 50.

[7] Id., at 51.

[8] Press Release, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, HSI Participates in Human Trafficking Awareness Seminar for Mexican Officials (June 9, 2014), https://www.ice.gov/news/releases/hsi-participates-human-trafficking-awareness-seminar-mexican-officials, archived at https://perma.cc/LUF5-XG29.

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Last Updated: 03/18/2016