U.S. Committee for Refugees World Refugee Survey 2004 - Argentina
|Publisher||United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants|
|Publication Date||25 May 2004|
|Cite as||United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, U.S. Committee for Refugees World Refugee Survey 2004 - Argentina , 25 May 2004, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/40b45931f.html [accessed 25 December 2014]|
At the end of 2003, approximately 2,300 refugees and asylum seekers lived in Argentina, including about 1,300 refugees and about 1000 asylum applicants, of which 243 were filed during 2003. Of the 243, the 110 Peruvians and 26 Cubans represented the largest nationality groups. Argentina recognized refugees from 20 different countries, including 18 Peruvians, 16 Sierra Leoneans, and 13 Armenians. With 365 recognized refugees and hundreds of pending asylum applications, the estimated 500-900 Peruvians are the largest community of refugees and asylum seekers in the country. Argentina also hosts about 200 Cuban and 140 Armenian refugees and asylum seekers.
More than 1,400 Argentines were seeking refuge abroad at year's end, including nearly 1,000 with cases pending or granted in the United States and nearly 500 in Canada.
In a special project begun in 2002, the government, with UNHCR assistance, halved its backlog of pending asylum cases to about 1000. However, with the project ongoing, precise statistics have been unavailable. In one group of about 300 cases decided in 2003, less than 30 percent were approved. The Peruvian community has been affected by this trend, with the aforementioned 18 granted refugee status while 145 others had their asylum applications rejected during 2003.
Argentina is a party to the UN Refugee Convention and Protocol and passed a new migration law that conforms more closely with international human rights standards. It is considering a new law specifically governing refugees, with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) assisting with the drafting process. 2003 saw several other improvements in the refugee situation in Argentina. UNHCR and local partners began a micro-credit program for refugees to help them through the difficult economic times in Argentina and UNHCR distributed a how-to manual to refugees and asylum seekers on everything from the legal process to social services.