Trafficking in Persons Interim Assessment - Argentina
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Publication Date||24 February 2010|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, Trafficking in Persons Interim Assessment - Argentina, 24 February 2010, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4b8e7a808.html [accessed 3 September 2014]|
[From the introductory text accompanying this report on the U.S. Department of State website: "In most cases, the Interim Assessment is intended to serve as a tool by which to gauge the anti-trafficking progress of countries that may be in danger of slipping a tier in the upcoming June 2010 TIP Report and to give them guidance on how to avoid a Tier 3 ranking. It is a tightly focused progress report, assessing the concrete actions a government has taken to address the key deficiencies highlighted in the June 2009 TIP Report. The Interim Assessment covers actions undertaken between the beginning of May – the cutoff for data covered in the June TIP Report – and November. Readers are requested to refer to the annual TIP Report for an analysis of large-scale efforts and a description of the trafficking problem in each particular country or territory."]
The Government of Argentina has made clear progress in combating trafficking in persons since the release of the 2009 Report. Coordination for the Office for Rescue and Caring of Victims of Trafficking was transferred to the Secretary of Justice within the Ministry of Justice, Security, and Human Rights in August 2009; since then, psychologists, social workers, and policy experts have been included in law enforcement actions involving the identification of victims by authorities. Shelter for rescued victims is coordinated through the office, and psychologists remain with victims throughout the process – including for initial interviews and legal testimony. After providing consensual video testimony, victims are assisted through programs designed specifically for victims of trafficking and child commercial sexual exploitation. The Ministry of Justice, Security, and Human Rights provides on-going training to officials and law enforcement officers through its "Victims against Violence Program."
The government has continued to conduct raids of premises where trafficking is suspected to occur, rescue victims, and arrest suspected traffickers. Prosecutors have initiated 318 trafficking cases, and so far secured indictments for 34 individuals on human trafficking charges. On November 27 in Santa Fe province, a woman was sentenced to 10 years in jail in Argentina's first conviction for human trafficking. As a result of testimony during the trial, prosecutors have decided to investigate two more individuals in relation to the case. Another trafficking case was scheduled to begin in Eldorado City, Misiones province, on November 25 but was postponed. The prosecutor general approved a standardized protocol for investigation of sex trafficking cases and guidelines for identifying, interviewing, and assisting victims of trafficking crimes. He also worked with the Justice Minister and the Interior Minister to help provinces and municipalities bring their legislation into compliance with federal trafficking in persons laws. Additionally, the prosecutor general ordered prosecutors to identify officials who may have participated in or covered up human trafficking crimes, and prosecute them as warranted.
The National Migration Office (NMO) increased more than 10-fold its inspections of migrants' living and working conditions in Buenos Aires alone. The NMO also signed agreements with the General Prosecutor's Office and some provincial judicial branches to make their database available to prosecutors and judges.
On November 26, the City of Buenos Aires passed a law making March 26-April 3 the "Week for the Fight against Trafficking." The dates were selected to coincide with the anniversaries of a fire in a clandestine factory that resulted in the death of five victims of forced labor and the disappearance of Marita Veron, believed to be a victim of sex trafficking. The goal of the week was to raise public awareness of human trafficking.