Rape and Domestic Violence: Rape of men or women, including spousal rape, is a crime. The penalties range from six months’ to 20 years’ imprisonment, depending on the ages of the perpetrator and victim, their relationship, the use of violence, and other factors. Most perpetrators received penalties between six and 15 years’ imprisonment. There were anecdotal reports of police or judicial reluctance to act on rape cases. Women’s rights advocates alleged the attitudes of police, hospitals, and courts toward survivors of sexual violence sometimes victimized survivors again, often by forcing them to recount details of their trauma, interpreting the survivor’s silence during a trauma as consent, or reviewing the survivor’s past sexual history as evidence.
The law prohibits domestic violence, including spousal abuse. The law imposes a stricter penalty for deaths attributable to gender-based violence. The laws were generally enforced, and survivors generally had access to protective measures. According to local NGOs, lack of police and judicial vigilance often led to a lack of protection for victims.
The law requires all federal employees to receive training on gender and gender-based violence. The law was enforced, including for cabinet-level officials and the president. Training on gender and gender-based violence is a requirement for all persons applying for their first driver’s license.
The Office of Domestic Violence operated a 24-hour hotline for victims of gender-based violence and had emergency WhatsApp and email contact channels for victims unable to use the telephone. The office provided around-the-clock protection and resources to victims of domestic violence. Public and private institutions offered prevention programs and provided support and treatment for abused women. The Ministry of Women had 8,536 care centers nationwide for abused women and persons from the LGBTQI+ community. The law provides financial support to children who lost their mothers to gender-based violence; however, many families complained of delays in receiving payment.
Sexual Harassment: The law prohibits sexual harassment in public spaces and imposes disciplinary or corrective measures. In some jurisdictions, such as the city of Buenos Aires, sexual harassment could lead only to the abuser’s dismissal from work, whereas in others, such as Santa Fe Province, the abuser could face a maximum penalty of five days in prison. A 2020 law criminalizes harassment, especially sexual harassment, in work environments, both in the public and private sectors.
Reproductive Rights: There were generally no reports of coerced abortion or involuntary sterilization on the part of government authorities except for continued controversy over sterilization of persons with disabilities.
With the slogan “End Forced Sterilizations,” several human rights organizations continued a campaign to change a 2006 law they argued had led to the sterilization of many persons with disabilities without their consent. The law was written to provide all citizens with access to certain surgical contraceptive measures but allows legal representatives to provide consent for any individual declared legally incompetent. The organizations argued that this loophole, along with broad societal acceptance of forced sterilizations of individuals with disabilities, had led to extensive use of the practice.
Access to sexual and reproductive health services, information, and contraception was generally available, although access could be limited for Indigenous or rural populations. Emergency contraception was available as a method of family planning.
The government provided access to sexual and reproductive health services for survivors of sexual violence, including emergency contraception, as part of clinical management of rape.
There were reports that provincial health-care providers and facilities, especially in remote and conservative regions, intentionally delayed and obstructed access to abortion. In August, the National Directorate of Sexual and Reproductive Health reported that 25 percent of the calls the directorate received from Salta Province on their national hotline represented women and girls who were unable to adequately access abortions. In addition, social and cultural barriers adversely affected access.
Discrimination: The constitution provides the same legal status and rights for women and men and prohibits gender discrimination in employment. The government generally enforced the law, although discrimination remained a persistent and pervasive problem.
The Supreme Court’s Office of Women trained judges, secretaries, and clerks to handle court cases related to gender problems and to provide equal access for women to positions in the court system. The office also trained judges, prosecutors, judicial staff, and law enforcement agents to increase awareness of gender-related crimes and to develop techniques to address gender-related cases and victims.
Women are not able to work in all the same industries as men; there are restrictions on women’s employment in the mining, manufacturing, and transportation sectors. There are also restrictions on women working in jobs deemed hazardous or arduous.
Systemic Racial or Ethnic Violence and Discrimination
The law prohibits any type of discrimination based on race, social conditions, gender, religion, socioeconomic status, or ethnicity.
Groups representing persons of African and Indigenous descent reported that their communities received discriminatory treatment from police and security forces. A 2019 report by the UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent noted that in Argentina, “The experiences of people of African descent with law enforcement indicate the prevalence of structural discrimination. As reported by civil society, racial profiling of Afro-Argentines, persons of African descent, and Africans was prevalent among law enforcement agents.”
Two government entities created in 2021 worked to raise the profile of citizens of African descent and address their concerns: the Federal Advisory Council of the Afro-Argentine Community and the Commission for the Historical Recognition of the Afro-Argentine Community.
Through the National Institute against Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Racism (INADI), the government enforced the law by processing public complaints, formally denouncing violations in court, and creating public programs to address discrimination. Domestic NGOs generally agreed that INADI was ineffective in providing meaningful solutions to their concerns due to its slow response time and lack of follow up.
On May 18, the Argentine National Statistics Agency conducted the 11th national census, after a two-year delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The census included, for the first time, questions concerning gender identity and identification as Afro descendant and Indigenous.
The constitution recognizes the ethnic and cultural identities of Indigenous peoples and states that congress shall protect the right of Indigenous peoples to bilingual education, recognize Indigenous communities and the communal ownership of their ancestral lands, and allow for Indigenous participation in the management of their natural resources.
A 2020 study conducted by researchers from eight universities found that Indigenous persons were more likely to be employed informally than the general public (70 percent, compared with 44 percent). The study noted that Indigenous persons in rural areas often could not access social service programs and that their communities lacked basic infrastructure, including clean water.
The lack of trained teachers hampered government efforts to offer bilingual education opportunities to Indigenous persons.
Indigenous persons were not fully consulted in the management of their lands or natural resources, particularly lithium, in part because responsibility for Indigenous rights is delegated to provinces. The constitutions of 11 of the 23 provinces recognize Indigenous rights.
The National Emergency Law on the territorial survey of Indigenous communities, enacted in 2006 for a term of four years and renewed three times, was created to respond to the conflicts over Indigenous lands. The law orders a technical and legal survey of the Indigenous communities and, if applicable, of the lands occupied by them. The law also suspends the execution of legal verdicts and procedural or administrative acts whose purpose is the eviction of Indigenous persons from lands they occupy. In November, the law was extended until 2025 by a presidential decree. Indigenous groups, INADI, and NGOs continued to ask Congress to extend the law to ensure application strength and support.
Projects carried out by the agricultural and extractive industries displaced Indigenous individuals, limited their access to traditional means of livelihood, reduced the area of lands on which Indigenous individuals depended, and caused pollution that in some cases endangered their health and welfare. Conflicts occurred when authorities evicted Indigenous persons from ancestral lands.
On October 4, federal police forces evicted Mapuche extremist groups from the area known as Villa Mascardi near the city of Bariloche. Seven Mapuche women were detained by police amid clashes over their community’s occupation of private and public lands. Security Minister Anibal Fernández praised the operation and stated that “there was no repression.” NGOs condemned the eviction as a violation of Indigenous rights, and Minister for Women, Gender, and Diversity Elizabeth Gomez resigned in protest on October 7.
Birth Registration: The government provides universal birth registration on a nondiscriminatory basis. Citizenship is derived both by birth within the country’s territory and from one’s parents.
Child Abuse: By law, sexual abuse of a child is a punishable offense, with sentences of up to 20 years in prison. Physical harm to a child is punishable with up to 15 years in prison. Child abuse was common; the Supreme Court’s Office of Domestic Violence reported eight of 10 children and adolescents suffered violence at the hand of their parents. The majority of victims were girls. The government maintained a 24-hour hotline staffed by professional child psychologists for free consultations and advice.
In May after numerous delays since 2020, a trial for child abuse began for two nuns and seven former employees of Antonio Provolo Institute, a group of schools for hearing-impaired children. A reported 67 students claimed abuses between 1983 and 2002. As of September, the trial continued.
Child, Early, and Forced Marriage: Children older than age 16 are legally allowed to marry if they have parental permission. Children younger than 16 are required to obtain judicial authorization in addition to parental consent.
Sexual Exploitation of Children: The law prohibits the commercial sexual exploitation of children and the sale, offering, or procuring of children for prostitution. Authorities generally enforced the law; however, sexual exploitation of children, including in prostitution, was a problem. The minimum age of consensual sex is 13, but there are heightened protections for children ages 13 to 16. A statutory rape law provides for penalties ranging from six months to 20 years in prison, depending on the age of the victim and other factors.
In May a priest and a janitor at a kindergarten in the city of San Pedro, province of Buenos Aires, were found guilty of sexually abusing five children between the ages of three and five. Authorities sentenced both the priest and janitor to 15 years in prison.
In August a local court sentenced former lawyer, professor, and politician from Entre Rios, Gustavo Rivas, to 23 years in prison for eight proven cases of child sexual abuse. The prosecutor accused Rivas of having corrupted and abused “more than two thousand adolescents between the ages of 15 and 16, between 1970 and beyond 2010.”
The law prohibits the production and distribution of child pornography, with penalties ranging from six months to four years in prison. Possession of child pornography is a criminal offense.
In March federal police conducted a raid at the prison in Junin, province of Buenos Aires, where inmates used electronic devices to distribute child pornography from their prison cells.
In June authorities conducted 70 raids in the city of Buenos Aires and several provinces and arrested 30 individuals for suspected involvement in the distribution of child pornography. The raids formed part of an international operation and coincided with arrests in Brazil, Paraguay, the United States, Ecuador, and Costa Rica.
Estimates of the size of the Jewish community varied, but the most recent data available, published by the Berman Jewish Databank, estimated the Jewish population at 180,000 in 2019.
Sporadic acts of antisemitic discrimination and vandalism continued. The Delegation of Argentine Jewish Associations recorded 488 complaints of antisemitism in 2021, compared with 507 in 2020, a 3 percent decrease. The most commonly reported antisemitic incidents were slurs posted on various websites and social media, often in relation to news articles. Other incidents included graffiti and verbal slurs.
In December 2021, a group of antivaccine militants assaulted two journalists at a radio station in Buenos Aires, using antisemitic expressions to insult and threaten the journalists, who supported COVID-19 vaccines.
Trafficking in Persons
See the Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons Report at https://www.state.gov/trafficking-in-persons-report/.
Acts of Violence, Criminalization, and Other Abuses Based on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity or Expression, or Sex Characteristics
Criminalization: No laws criminalize consensual same-sex sexual conduct or lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI+) identity.
Violence against LGBTQI+ Persons: On August 24, Alejandra Ironici, a prominent transgender advocate, was found killed in her home in Santa Fe. A man with whom Ironici had an intimate relationship was charged with aggravated femicide and transfemicide.
The National Observatory of Hate Crimes registered 120 hate crimes against LGBTQI+ individuals and 17 killings in 2021. The numbers of hate crimes and killings of LGBTQI+ persons doubled from 2020 to 2021.
Discrimination: National antidiscrimination laws do not specifically include the terms sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or sex characteristics as protected grounds, only “sex.” The law offers no recognition to intersex persons of their rights to bodily autonomy and no specific protections from discrimination on the basis of sex characteristics.
There was no reported official discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, housing, or access to education. The law stipulates that at least 1 percent of the positions in public administration must be held by transgender persons.
There were some cases of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in access to health care. Officials from the Ministry of Women, as well as media and NGOs, reported cases of discrimination toward LGBTQI+ individuals, especially transgender persons. In general, cases of discrimination ranged from attacks on social media to physical violence, including murder. In the health sector, there were reports of a lack of training for health personnel, health personnel acting in an unprofessional manner, and mistreatment.
In June the Senate passed a law providing access to formal employment for transgender and transexual individuals. The law provides the same legal protections and privileges for transgender persons in the workplace as for cisgender persons, such as paid vacation and retirement provisions.
Availability of Legal Gender Recognition: The law allows individuals to change gender markers and names on identity documents through a simple administrative process, without approval needed from a physician or judge. In July 2021, the government formally recognized nonbinary identities through a presidential decree and allows individuals to list an “X” for gender on national identity documents.
Involuntary or Coercive Medical or Psychological Practices Specifically Targeting LGBTQI+ Individuals: There were no reported cases of so-called conversion therapy practices used on LGBTQI+ persons.
Intersex activists reported continued practice of infant genital surgeries and other harmful medical interventions. Reportedly there were cases of children being denied access to birth certificates unless their parents consented to irreversible medical interventions to “normalize” the children’s nonbinary bodies. The National Institute Against Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Racism and civil society organizations such as Justicia Intersex called for prohibitions of unnecessary medical interventions and access to redress.
Restrictions of Freedom of Expression, Association, or Peaceful Assembly: There are no laws or restrictions on freedom of expression, association, or peaceful assembly related to LGBTQI+ issues.
Persons with Disabilities
The constitution and laws prohibit discrimination against persons with physical, sensory, intellectual, and mental disabilities. The government generally enforced the law, but there were scattered reports of discrimination. Various government agencies offered a variety of services and programs to individuals with disabilities. The law mandates access to buildings by persons with disabilities. While elevators and escalators were common in major cities, they were rare in smaller cities and towns, causing accessibility problems there for persons with disabilities.
While the federal government has laws prohibiting discrimination against persons with disabilities, many provinces have not adopted such laws and have no mechanisms to ensure enforcement. An employment quota law reserves 4 percent of federal government jobs for persons with disabilities.
The law requires municipal governments to construct more accessible public facilities and ensure that persons with disabilities could access government services. In April the government created the National Fund for the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities (FONADIS) to finance accessibility projects throughout the country. In September the National Agency on Disabilities signed agreements to fund accessibility projects in eight municipalities throughout the county with funds from FONADIS.