Criminal liability Human trafficking
Article 145 ter provides aggravated penalties —5 to 10 years of imprisonment— when the human trafficking offence in art. 145 bis is committed:
(i) through deception, fraud, violence, threat or any other means of intimidation or coercion, or abuse of power or a position of vulnerability, or giving or receiving payments or benefits to a person in control of the victim;
(ii) against a pregnant victim or a victim over 70 years of age;
(iii) against a victim with a disability or a victim who is ill or in need assistance;
(iv) against 3 or more victims;
(v) with the involvement of 3 or more perpetrators;
(vi) by a first degree relative, curator or guardian of the victim, or by a priest of any creed;
(vi) by a public official or a law enforcement officer;
(v) Penalties are also aggravated in case of victims under 18 years old (10 to 15 years imprisonment) or in case of sexual exploitation of the victim (8 to 12 years imprisonment).
This article also provides that the sentence will be increased to 8 to 12 years of imprisonment, in those cases where the exploitation of the victim was consumated (i.e. the exploitation of the victim effectively took place).
The article also provides for an aggravated sentence ranging from 10 to 15 years of imprisonment, for cases where the victim was a minor —under 18 years of age.
The criminal offence 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 offence of human trafficking under Argentine legislation, but rather operate as aggravating circumstances. This provision further clarifies that the consent of the victim to being subjected to exploitation is irrelevant for the purposes of the law.
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.