What is the legal status of prostitution in Argentina?
In Argentina, prostitution itself is legal, but the exploitation of others through prostitution (such as brothels, pimping, or trafficking) is not. While adult individuals can engage in consensual sex work, it is illegal for anyone to profit from another person’s involvement in prostitution. This means that sex workers can operate independently but cannot be part of organized networks or establishments.
What laws, penalties, and law enforcement strategies exist regarding prostitution in Argentina?
Several laws in Argentina address the issue of prostitution and its related activities. The main legal framework includes:
- Penal Code: Articles 125 bis, 127, and 145 of the Argentine Penal Code criminalize the exploitation of others through prostitution, forced labor, and human trafficking. Penalties for these crimes range from four to fifteen years in prison, depending on the severity of the offense.
- Law 26.364: This law, enacted in 2008, specifically targets human trafficking and provides additional penalties for those involved in the trafficking of persons for the purpose of sexual exploitation. It also establishes the obligation of the state to provide assistance and protection to victims of trafficking.
- Provincial laws and regulations: Each province in Argentina has its own laws and regulations regarding prostitution, which may include restrictions on where sex work can take place, mandatory registration of sex workers, and health checks.
Law enforcement strategies in Argentina primarily focus on combating human trafficking and the exploitation of sex workers, rather than targeting sex workers themselves. However, the implementation of these strategies can be inconsistent, and there have been reports of police harassment and abuse of sex workers in some areas.
How is prostitution referred to locally in Argentina?
In Argentina, prostitution is commonly referred to as trabajo sexual (sexual work) or prostitución. Sex workers are often called trabajadoras sexuales (sexual workers) or prostitutas. The term red de trata is used to describe networks involved in human trafficking and sexual exploitation.
What is the history of prostitution in Argentina?
Prostitution has been present in Argentina since its early colonial days, with the establishment of brothels and the presence of sex workers in urban centers. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Argentina experienced significant immigration from Europe, and many women who arrived in the country turned to sex work as a means of survival.
During the first half of the 20th century, the Argentine government adopted a regulatory approach to prostitution, with brothels being legal and subject to regulation. However, in 1936, a law was passed that closed all brothels and made it illegal to profit from the prostitution of others. This led to a shift towards the current legal framework, which tolerates prostitution itself but criminalizes activities related to the exploitation of sex workers.
In recent years, there has been growing awareness of the issue of human trafficking and the need to protect the rights of sex workers in Argentina. This has led to the enactment of new laws and the implementation of policies aimed at combating trafficking and providing support to victims.
For more information on prostitution legality in Argentina and related resources, you can visit the following websites:
- National Program for the Rescue and Accompaniment of Victims of Trafficking (in Spanish)
- Argentine Penal Code (in Spanish)
- Law 26.364 on the Prevention and Punishment of Trafficking in Persons and Assistance to Victims (in Spanish)
- AMMAR – Argentine Association of Women Prostitutes (in Spanish)
- RedTraSex – Latin American and Caribbean Network of Female Sex Workers