Within the framework of the International Day against Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking of People that is commemorated on September 23 around the world, the International Center for the Promotion of Human Rights (CIPDH-UNESCO) endorsed a US report that locates Argentina in the highest world category in terms of public policies aimed at preventing, combating and eradicating the crime of human trafficking.

Days ago, the world report produced each year by the United States Government’s Office for Monitoring and Combating Trafficking of People placed Argentina in the category known as “Tier 1”, where it was stated that the country is one of the few nations that “fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking”. The international survey also valued the effort of the Argentine government to “continue demonstrating serious and sustained efforts to prevent and combat this type of action”, and highlighted a series of measures implemented by the Argentine State, among which are the “issuance of a new national action plan”; the holding of “specialized training courses for prosecutors”; and the development “of new guidelines so that the inspectors identify the victims”.

According to the North American State Department’s “Report on Trafficking of People 2021”, “Argentina is among the countries that are in the best position to face this type of action”, sharing that classification with Chile and Colombia, the only Latin American countries with this distinction. Fernanda Gil Lozano, Executive Director of the CIPDH-UNESCO, validated the data of the international report and pointed out that “in December 2020, the Argentine government designed a new plan for 2020-2022, which includes 100 specific activities to combat trafficking” and added that “on that policy, three new federal awareness campaigns were designed, two focused on labor trafficking and one on sexual trafficking.”

The report of the US government also revealed that there are several issues on which efforts must be expanded. The survey details that although “Law 27,362 provided a legal framework and more public defenders to ensure the rights and guarantees of crime victims, victims and prosecutors did not use this law in any trafficking case during the reporting period”. Therefore, the experts pointed out the need for more integrated and comprehensive assistance to victims. At that point, the highest authority of the human rights entity agreed with the report and considered that “although the public policies of the Argentine State show a great commitment to fight against organized crime in the matter, it is also true that modifications to the current norm should be put in place to verify compliance and to strengthen the restitution of rights to the victims”.

Along these lines, the CIPDH also makes permanent efforts to promote and intensify cooperative relations in areas of common interest in the matter, both in Argentina as well as in the rest of Latin America and the world and, in this context, signed in recent weeks different agreements with civil society representatives and with agencies dependent on the national government. On the one hand, the UNESCO-dependent Center signed an agreement with Susana Trimarco, head of the “María de los Ángeles” Foundation, to design new work channels that facilitate direct interaction between civil society and the international organization.

On the other hand, a cooperation agreement was signed with the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Nation and the Executive Committee for the Fight against Trafficking and Exploitation of Persons and for the Protection and Assistance of Victims. In both cases, the CIPDH reported that “the purpose of the agreements is to establish cooperation links and reciprocal inter-institutional assistance between the parties, to promote joint actions in order to achieve a strategic, comprehensive and effective approach that contributes to achieving a more efficient prevention, awareness, investigation and prosecution of the crime of human trafficking and exploitation, as well as its related crimes”.

In turn, Gil Lozano stated that “in accordance with public policies to combat human trafficking, the CIPDH seeks to contribute genuine actions jointly with other institutions, for the promotion and protection of human rights, study and personal and collective training and related problems, promoting the prevalence of the values ​​of life, freedom and human dignity”. In addition, the Director also pointed out that “this type of agreements are in accordance with the Center’s primary objectives of constituting the organization as an international benchmark in the promotion of Human Rights, taking in addition, as a basic characteristic of the present administration, the interest in expanding its profile in terms of the fight against the exploitation of people in all its forms”.

Finally, Fernanda Gil Lozano explained that although the CIPDH functions as a decentralized entity within the scope of the Executive Branch of the Nation, under the auspices and programmatic alignment of UNESCO, a double impact is sought: “on the one hand, to support more and more the actions promoted by the Argentine State, and, on the other hand, to establish a contagion effect with the rest of the member countries for the generation of synergies that promote the fight against the exploitation of people”.