Criminal liability Human trafficking
Article 145 bis criminalises human trafficking, and punishes this crime with 4 to 8 years of imprisonment. This Article defines human trafficking as the offering, recruitment, transportation, transfer, or receipt of persons for the purpose of exploitation. This provision applies to act committed within, to or from Argentina, and regardless of whether the victim consented to such exploitation.
This article was introduced into the Criminal Code by Arts. 10 -14 of the Law No. 26,364 on the Prevention and Sanctioning of Human Trafficking and Assistance to Victims.
Article 2 of the Prevention and Sanctioning of Human Trafficking Act defines ‘exploitation’ as:
a) reducing or maintaining an individual under any form of slavery or servitude;
b) subjecting another to forced labour;
c) the promotion, facilitation or commercialization of the prostitution of others;
d) the promotion, facilitation or commercialization of child pornography;
e) forced marriage;
f) organ trafficking.
Article 2 also clarifies that the consent given by the victim of human trafficking and exploitation will not exempt the perpetrator of these acts of criminal liability. The criminal offense of human trafficking under Argentine law differs from the definition in the UN Human Trafficking Protocol, in that in only requires two constituent elements:
a) The action: the offering, recruitment, transportation, transfer, or receipt of persons; and
b) The exploitative purpose, namely: slavery, servitude, forced labour, sexual exploitation, forced marriage and organ trafficking.
Significantly, coercive ‘means’ are not an essential component of the criminal offense of human trafficking under Argentine legislation, but rather operate as aggravating circumstances.
Law / Argentina / Criminal Code
The Argentine Criminal Code contains specific provisions criminalising servitude, slavery, forced labour and human trafficking. However, the Argentine Criminal Code is not applicable to corporations, and therefore this Code does not provide for criminal liability of corporations for their involvement in human trafficking, forced labour and slavery. However, while legal persons may not be prosecuted under the Criminal Code, the individual staff, agents or representatives of the corporate body responsible for the commission of a criminal offence may be held liable under the Code. Furthermore, under art. 32 of the Criminal Code, legal persons may be liable for the payment of damages caused as a result of a crime.