Last Updated: Friday, 19 December 2014, 13:25 GMT

U.S. Committee for Refugees World Refugee Survey 2002 - Argentina

Publisher United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
Publication Date 10 June 2002
Cite as United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, U.S. Committee for Refugees World Refugee Survey 2002 - Argentina , 10 June 2002, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3d04c1478.html [accessed 21 December 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 the end of 2001, Argentina hosted about 3,100 refugees. These included some 1,600 persons with refugee status (500 of them newly recognized during 2001) and more than 1,500 persons whose asylum claims were pending at year's end. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) assisted about 1,300 of the refugees during the year. No information was available regarding the nationalities of the refugees in Argentina.

Argentina is a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention and Protocol. The government's Committee on Refugee Eligibility (CEPARE) is responsible for conducting refugee status determinations. The government grants asylum applicants "precarious residence" status, which permits the applicants 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.

The backlog of asylum claims awaiting adjudication increased in 2001, apparently the result of the government's inadequate funding of CEPARE, which some observers described as inefficient. To help Argentina reduce the backlog, UNHCR carried out some refugee status determinations in 2001 on behalf of the government.

According to UNHCR, a major economic crisis in Argentina in 2001 impeded refugees' ability to become self-sufficient. The UNHCR office in Argentina also experienced cutbacks due to the agency's own financial crisis, limiting the agency's ability to assist refugees in Argentina and neighboring countries.

Argentina and fellow members of MERCOSUR (Mercado del Cono Sur – Southern Cone Common Market – formed by Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, and Paraguay) made slow progress toward harmonizing their national refugee laws. MERCOSUR's Declaration on Refugees, which all members adapted in November 2000, calls for such harmonization. The declaration defines refugees more broadly than the UN Refugee Convention, regarding victims of human rights violations and generalized violence as refugees.

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