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Argentina - Refugees

In November 2006, Argentina adopted its first Refugees Act (Ley de Refugiados) or Law 26165, titled General Act for Refugee Acknowledgment and Protection (Ley General de Reconocimiento y Protección al Refugiado), which repealed the legislative framework in effect at the time. 

Protection of refugees in Argentina is governed by the provisions of International Law and Human Rights, the Convention of 1951 on the statutes of refugees, and its protocol of 1967.

This new law was enacted pursuant to the principles of no return, including prohibition of rejection at the border, non-discrimination, non-prosecution for illegal entry, family unity, confidentiality, most favourable treatment or interpretation of the human being, or the pro homine principle. Recognition of refugee status is applied both to the acknowledged refugee as well as to the claimant.

Article 1 of Law 26165 mentions that its provisions and scope must be interpreted and applied according to the principles and standards of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the American Convention on Human Rights, the Geneva Convention of 1951, and the New York Protocol of 1967 on refugee status, as well as all the stipulations or conventions applicable to Human Rights and refugees ratified by Argentina and/or contents of Article 75 paragraph 33 of the national Constitution, as well as asylum instruments in effect in the country.

Determination of refugee status is a humanitarian and apolitical act. Recognition of such status does not imply, on behalf of the authorities, a judgment with respect to the refugee’s country of origin.

With the objective to analyze and evaluate the asylum claims brought forth in the territory, the National Committee for Refugees was created (Comisión Nacional para Refugiados - CONARE). This is an inter-departmental entity composed of the Ministries of the Interior; Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Culture; Justice, Security and Human Rights; Social Development; and the National Institute Against Discrimination (Instituto Nacional contra la Discriminación - INADI). One representative from civil society and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) participate, however, without the right to vote or voice opinions.