Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 November 2014, 11:16 GMT

U.S. Committee for Refugees World Refugee Survey 2001 - Argentina

Publisher United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
Publication Date 20 June 2001
Cite as United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, U.S. Committee for Refugees World Refugee Survey 2001 - Argentina , 20 June 2001, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3b31e15dc.html [accessed 26 November 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

At year's end, Argentina hosted about 1,000 refugees, including 324 Peruvians, 169 Cubans, 81 Kazakhs, 49 Liberians, and 48 Algerians. Argentina also hosted 1,321 Laotians and 33 Vietnamese whom the U.S. Committee for Refugees (USCR) did not consider to be refugees in need of protection because they are permanently resettled in Argentina.

Between January 1 and August 24, some 760 persons sought asylum in Argentina. Statistics on the number of asylum applications by year's end were unavailable. However, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 99 persons were granted refugee status during the year. These included 45 Peruvians, 10 Senegalese, and 10 Armenians.

Argentina is a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention and Protocol. In 1985, the government created the Comité de Eligibilidad para Refugiados (CEPARE – Committee on Refugee Eligibility), which is responsible for conducting refugee status determinations. According to the government, asylum applicants receive "precarious residence" status, which permits them to reside, work, and study in Argentina. Asylum applicants whose claims are approved receive "temporary residence" status for three years, after which they can apply for "definitive residence" status.

In early 2000, the backlog of asylum applicants awaiting adjudication of their claims increased. This appeared to be the result of the government's inadequate funding of CEPARE, which was under-staffed and, according to some reports, inefficient. To help reduce the asylum backlog, UNHCR resumed making direct refugee status determinations.

During the year, CEPARE sought to introduce ad hoc procedures to prevent the entry into Argentina of Roma asylum seekers from Romania. Following protests from UNHCR, however, CEPARE reportedly discontinued its effort.

In November, Argentina joined Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile, and Bolivia, its fellow members in MERCOSUR (Mercado del Cono Sur – Southern Cone Common Market) in adopting the MERCOSUR Declaration on Refugees. The declaration defines refugees more broadly than the UN Refugee Convention, including in the refugee definition the category, "victims of human rights violations and generalized violence." The declaration also calls for a harmonization of Latin America's asylum laws and procedures. UNHCR called the declaration "an important milestone toward establishing a generous and strong refugee protection regime in the southern cone of the South American continent."

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