El Salvador - Crimes associated with migration

The only chapter of title XIX- Crimes against Humanity, of the Salvadoran Penal Code, provides the legal framework related to crimes associated with migration.

Illicit Smuggling of Migrants

The Law establishes the sentence of deprivation of liberty of four to eight years to the person that by him/herself or through another or other persons, in violation of the Law, attempts to introduce or introduces foreigners to national territory, shelters, transports or guides them, with the purpose to evade immigration controls of the country or other countries. The same penalty will be incurred by persons that with false or fraudulent documentation attempt to leave, or who have left, the country, Salvadorans or citizens of any other nationality; or that use authentic documentation whose titleholder is another person.

This penal category is aggravated if as a result of this crime the passive subjects suffer deprivation of freedom abroad, are victims of crimes of any kind, or die due to violent causes or of a negligent nature. If this occurs, the sentence will be increased by two-thirds.

Trafficking in Persons

El Salvador is a country of origin, transit, and destination of women and children subject to trafficking in persons for prostitution and forced labour. The majority of victims are Salvadoran women and girls from rural areas that are forced into sexual exploitation for commercial purposes in urban areas. Some adults and minors are submitted to forced labour as agriculture and domestic workers. The majority of foreign victims are women and children from neighbouring countries, such as Honduras, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, that immigrate to El Salvador in response to employment offers, but subsequently are forced into prostitution or domestic servitude. Traffickers use fraudulent documents to facilitate the movement of foreign victims. Salvadorans submitted into forced prostitution have been documented in Guatemala, Mexico, Belize, the United States, Spain, and Italy.

As is the case with migrant smuggling, trafficking in persons is categorised in the Penal Code and establishes a sentence of deprivation of liberty of four to eight years to whom by him/herself or as a member of a national or international organisation, and with the purpose to obtain economic benefit, recruits, transports, moves, shelters, or receives persons, within or outside national territory, to carry out activities of sexual exploitation, keep them in forced labour or services, practices similar to slavery, or the extraction of human organs, fraudulent adoptions, or forced marriages.