Country: Argentina Agenda: Fighting illegal migration and human trafficking through better cooperation with countries. Date

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Position Paper Argentina UNGA
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Tashkent International Youth Online Conference 2021

Committee: United Nations General Assembly

Country: Argentina

Agenda: Fighting illegal migration and human trafficking through better cooperation with countries.

Date: 31th January 2021


Human trafficking in Argentina is the illegal trade in persons for purposes of reproductive slavery, sexual exploitation, forced labor, organ removal, or any form of modern slavery.

It is an international crime against humanity and violates human rights. It is considered a modern form of slavery. Worldwide it is ranked third among felony crimes, behind arms and drugs trafficking. It accounts for the movement of more than $32 billion worldwide. A United Nations international protocol against human trafficking has been signed by 117 different countries, among them Argentina. This treaty obligates the countries that are party to it to prevent and combat human trafficking and to assist and protect the victims of it. It also encourages countries to cooperate among themselves to achieve these objectives.

Background Information

In Argentina this crime is punishable by law. There are many laws that cover this problem, but the crime continues to occur. An important legal development in this area was the enactment of law number 26.364, which tries to achieve what this international protocol seeks and provides penalties of 3 to 15 years in prison.

Despite being a serious felony, in Argentina there are no official statistics on this crime, only for cases prosecuted. But it is known that the country is a source, transit and destination for trafficking. As a means of preventing trafficking, in July 2011 the government issued an order that banned the publication of explicit advertisements of sexual solicitation in the newspapers. A study from 2012 showed that trafficking for sexual exploitation is changing to evade the law, by allowing exploited women to keep their identification documents or allowing them to leave the location of exploitation, to make the trafficking more difficult to prove.

U.S. State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons placed the country in "Tier 1" in 2018.

Government Responses

The beginning of 2017 abounded in legal developments in the Latin America migration field. Among them, Argentina issued National Decree No. 70/2017, to modify the migration law in force (National Law No. 25,871) in two main and complementary aspects: First, the government sought to restrict the rights of migrants while second it sought widen its ability to exclude foreign nationals by expanding the grounds for deportation, removal, and the termination of legal residency. To understand better this development, this blog post offers a brief overview of migration to Argentina, before turning to the development of the law and its current status.

Argentina has been traditionally characterized as an immigration country. At the turn of the 20th century, largely as a result of pro-migration programmes that sought to attract European citizens, migrants, mainly from European countries made up 30% of the total Argentinean population. Ever since, the proportion of foreign born population has been decreasing, according to the last census of 2010. Those who migrate to Argentina are also different from earlier cohorts. Currently, the population originating from bordering countries plus that of nearby Peru makes up almost 70% of the total foreign population in Argentina. During the 1990s, foreigners –particularly those hailing from Latin America- had to deal with serious incidents of xenophobia and police violence (portrayed in several reports issued by the Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales), as well as little protection from the judiciary, as a consequence of obstacles for regularization and precarious immigration status.

Possible Solutions

  1. Address the drivers of involuntary migration and create more legal avenues of migration.

  2. Go back to the basics, to the historically positive nature of migration

  3. Dispel the stereotypes in Argentina

  4. Governments must take the lead in this long but crucial process. They must implement public education and create information progammes. They must take action, before it is too late. It takes political courage. Unfortunately, right now it is in short supply.


  1. William Lacy Swing, Director-General, International Organization for Migration (IOM)

  2. García, L. (2017) Argentina’s Migration Law: Changes Challenging the Human Right to Migrate.

  3. ACNUR: La Agencia de la ONU para los Refugiados.

  4.  "Argentina: Jewish White Slavery". Jewish Women's Archive. Retrieved 2020-10-30.

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