General Law Of Recognition And Protection Of Refugee General Provisions - Full Text Of The Norm

Original Language Title: LEY GENERAL DE RECONOCIMIENTO Y PROTECCION AL REFUGIADO DISPOSICIONES GENERALES - Texto completo de la norma

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GENERAL LAW OF RECONOCATION AND PROTECTION TO THE REFUGEED Law 26.165 General Provisions. Extradition. Status of refugees. Competent bodies and functions in refugee matters. Procedure for determining refugee status. Final provisions Sanctioned: November 8, 2006 promulgated: November 28, 2006

The Senate and Chamber of Deputies

of the Argentine Nation gathered in Congress, etc.

forcefully sanctioned

Law:

GENERAL LAW OF RECONOCATION AND PROTECTION OF THE REFUGEED

PART I

General provisions

ARTICLE 1 The protection of refugees shall be governed by the provisions of international human rights law applicable in the Argentine Republic, the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, as well as by any other international instrument on refugees that is ratified in the future and thus provides for this law. ARTICLE 2 The protection of refugees in the Argentine Republic shall be carried out in accordance with the principles of non-refoulement, including the prohibition of rejection on the border, non-discrimination, non-lawful entry, unity of the family, confidentiality, more favourable treatment and interpretation of the human person or pro-homine principle. In accordance with the declaratory nature of the recognition of refugee status, such principles shall apply to both the recognized refugee and the applicant for such recognition. Article 3 The provisions and principles mentioned in Articles 1 and 2 shall apply since the applicant for refugee status or refugee status is under the jurisdiction of the Argentine authorities and shall be extended until a settlement is reached. The principle of the most favourable treatment shall also be applied to it, and in no case less favourable than that accorded to aliens in the same circumstances.

CHAPTER I

From the concept of refugee

ARTICLE 4 For the purposes of this Act, the term refugee shall apply to any person who:

(a) Because of well-founded fears of being persecuted on the grounds of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinions, it is outside the country of its nationality and cannot or does not wish to avail itself of the protection of such a country, or that, having no nationality and finding itself, as a result of such events, out of the country where it previously had habitual residence, it cannot or does not want to return to it.

(b) He has fled his country of nationality or habitual residence in the event that he did not have nationality because his life, security or freedom have been threatened by widespread violence, foreign aggression, internal conflicts, massive human rights violations or other circumstances that have severely disrupted public order.

CHAPTER II

The application of the principle of family unity in the extension of refugee status.

ARTICLE 5o The unity of the family, a natural and fundamental element of society, is an essential right of the refugee and members of his family. ARTICLE 6 In order to determine the extent of the right referred to in the preceding article, the effects of the recognition of the refugee status shall be applied by extension, to his spouse or to the person with which the refugee is bound by affectivity and coexistence, ascendants, descendants and collateral to the first degree that depend on him economically. The competent authorities shall resolve the requests in each case and in a substantial manner, taking into account the existing law, the needs invoked by the applicants and the cultural values of their countries of origin. The decision rejecting an application based on the application of the principle of family unity cannot be based on the lack of legal recognition of the relationships invoked. In no case shall asylum be granted, by extension, to any person who has incurred any of the grounds provided for in this Act.

CHAPTER III

Prohibition of refoulement and expulsion

ARTICLE 7 No refugee, understood as included in this term to the asylum seeker whose refugee status determination procedure is still pending a firm resolution, may be expelled, returned or extradited to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that his right to life, liberty and security of his or her person would be in danger, including the right not to be subjected to torture or to other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. ARTICLE 8 The expulsion of a refugee cannot be resolved in an exceptional manner, when serious reasons for national security or public order justify it. This measure should be adopted in accordance with the existing legal procedures, be reasonable and proportionate, ensuring an adequate balance between the rights affected by the measure and the interest of society.

In any case, the refugee shall have the right to submit all forms of exculpatory evidence and to apply the measure at administrative and judicial headquarters.

In the event of the successful expulsion, after granting the refugee a reasonable time to manage their legal admission to a third country, the respective measure may only be effective in the territory of a State which guarantees its right to life, liberty and security of its person as well as its protection against expulsion, return or extradition in the same manner as those set out in the preceding article.

CHAPTER IV

Exclusion of refugee status

Article 9 The refugee status shall not be recognized to any person in respect of which there are substantial grounds for considering:

(a) That it has committed an offence against peace, an offence of war or an offence against humanity, as defined in the international instruments developed to make arrangements for such crimes;

(b) Who has committed a serious common crime outside the country of refuge before being admitted to it as a refugee;

(c) It has committed acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

CHAPTER V

Persons who do not require international protection

ARTICLE 10. They do not require international protection and therefore will not be recognized as refugees:

(a) They are currently protected or assisted by a United Nations body or agency other than the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Where such protection or assistance has ceased for any reason, without the situation of such persons being settled definitively in accordance with the resolutions adopted on this subject by the General Assembly of the United Nations, such persons shall have ipso facto the right to the benefits of the law;

(b) Those competent authorities in the country where they have established their residence recognize the rights and obligations inherent in the possession of their nationality.

CHAPTER VI

Cessation of refugee status

ARTICLE 11. Refugee status shall cease to apply to any person who:

(a) The protection of the country of its nationality has again been voluntary;

(b) Having lost its nationality, it has voluntarily recovered it;

(c) It has acquired a new nationality and enjoys the protection of the country from its new nationality;

(d) It has voluntarily established itself in the country that had left or outside of which it had remained for fear of persecution;

(e) It cannot continue to refuse to take advantage of the protection of the country of its nationality, because the circumstances under which it was recognized as a refugee have disappeared;

(f) If it is a person who has no nationality and, for having disappeared the circumstances under which he was recognized as a refugee, he is in a position to return to the country where he had his habitual residence.

The refugee status of the person covered by the alleged (e) and (f) of this article shall not cease, which may invoke compelling reasons arising from the grave persecution by which he originally left his country of nationality or habitual residence or, in his particular case and despite the change of circumstances in general, maintain a well-founded fear of persecution on the grounds of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinions.

ARTICLE 12. The National Commission for Refugees shall be the implementing agency of the present Act, which shall decide by a duly substantiated resolution the application of the cessation clauses in the first instance, which shall be appealable to the Minister of the Interior within a period of fifteen days from the date of notification. A person who has ceased to be a refugee shall be granted a reasonable time to leave the country, or in his case, to remain in the same under the legal statute which, under the existing legal regulations, may be granted in response to the degree of integration of him and his family during his stay in the country.

CHAPTER VII

Cancellation of refugee status

ARTICLE 13. Once a request has been decided by the competent authority, the decision taken cannot be reviewed at the request of the same authority. Exceptionally, however, the law enforcement agency may review the status of a refugee recognized in the country when it has sufficient evidence in its possession to demonstrate that the petitioner concealed or falseed the material facts on which he based his application in such a way that, if known, they had entailed the denial of recognition of the refugee status.

PART II

Extradition

ARTICLE 14. The filing of an application for recognition of refugee status shall have suspensive effect on the implementation of a decision authorizing the extradition of the asylum seeker until the procedure for determining refugee status has been completed by a firm resolution. ARTICLE 15. Recognition of refugee status shall have the effect of terminating any extradition proceedings initiated against the refugee at the request of the Government of the country of its nationality or habitual residence. In all cases the extradition of a refugee shall be carried out with absolute respect to the provisions contained in chapter III of Title I of this Act.

PART III

Status of refugees

ARTICLE 16. Any refugee in the country has an obligation to respect the Constitution, the laws and regulations in force, as well as the measures taken to maintain public order. ARTICLE 17. When for the exercise of their rights and obligations the refugee should, in normal circumstances, request the consular services of his country of nationality or habitual residence for the obtaining of documents, certification or accreditation of his marital status, titles and other administrative acts, the competent authorities shall take appropriate measures to assist the refugee, respecting his right not to seek assistance from the authorities of the Government of his country of nationality or habitual residence.

PART IV

CHAPTER I

Of the competent bodies and functions in the field of refugees.

ARTICLE 18. The National Commission for Refugees, which shall be composed of five Commissioners, a representative of the Ministry of the Interior, a representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship, a representative of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, a representative of the Ministry of Social Development and a representative of the National Institute against Discrimination and Xenophobia shall carry out their functions within the Ministry of the Interior. All members of the National Commission for Refugees shall be persons of high moral authority and recognized suitability in the matter. ARTICLE 19. The five members of the National Commission for Refugees shall be appointed by the agencies mentioned in the preceding article to whom they represent and their term of office shall be four years, which may be extended, for one time for an equal period. ARTICLE 20. All persons who meet the following conditions may be appointed as members of the Commission:

(a) Being native Argentine or by choice.

(b) At least 25 years old.

Each agency will publicize the name of the proposed candidate, and for a period not less than thirty (30) days it will receive comments from individuals and civil society organizations about the proposed nominations. Once this process is completed, it will resolve designations.

ARTICLE 21. The members of the Commission shall not be subject to any mandatory mandate or shall receive instructions from any authority in respect of their criteria. They will perform their functions independently functional. ARTICLE 22. The members of the designated Commission shall cease their functions for any of the following reasons:

(a) waiver;

(b) expiration of the time limit of its mandate;

(c) Failure to overcome, fevetably accredited;

(d) To have been convicted of a criminal offence by a final judgement;

(e) For poor performance in the performance of the duties and obligations of the person, where the preliminary summary removal ordered by the Ministry of the Interior shall be provided, the instruction of which shall be carried out by the Procuration of the Treasury of the Nation, which shall be carried out in accordance with the procedure established in the Investigations Regulations approved by Decree 1798/80 or the one that replaces it.

ARTICLE 23. The Commission shall be integrated with the right to voice and without the right to vote:

(a) A representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, henceforth UNHCR, to be appointed by its Regional Representative for South Latin America based in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires.

(b) A representative of non-governmental non-profit organizations, which propends on the purposes of this law, to be appointed by the members of the Commission, taking into account their trajectory in assisting and defending the rights of refugees.

ARTICLE 24. The Commission shall elect its authorities and issue its own operating rules. ARTICLE 25. The National Commission for Refugees shall have the following functions:

(a) Protect the rights of refugees and asylum-seekers under the jurisdiction of the Argentine Republic in all circumstances, for which it is empowered to carry out all actions necessary to ensure the effective enjoyment of the rights of refugees and their families.

(b) Resolve, at first instance, on recognition and cessation of refugee status.

(c) Resolve on the granting of authorization for applications for entry to the country on the basis of family reunification and resettlement, as well as the adoption of plans for voluntary repatriation processes and resettlement of refugees in the territory of the Republic in a third country.

(d) To call on national, provincial and municipal authorities to propose the coordination of actions leading to the implementation of the objectives of this law and in particular:

1.- Protection of the rights of refugees to access the application for refugee status;

2.- Assistance to refugees and their families,

3.- Its integration into the social and economic life of the country.

(e) Develop joint action plans for the purpose set out above.

(f) To submit an annual report to the President of the Nation to disclose the memory of the actions in the year, the number of cases resolved and the pending resolution, a qualitative analysis of the actions and of the special situations that merit separate consideration.

(g) Dictate its internal rules of operation, which shall be approved by the Ministry of the Interior in accordance with the powers entrusted to it by that area of government.

(h) Develop contingency plans to strengthen the tasks of the Executive Secretariat in cases of substantial increases in applications for refugee status recognition and submit them to the Ministry for consideration to determine the regulations for their early approval. The collaboration and/or assistance of any institution may be requested which, due to its specific competence or its experience in the field, is deemed appropriate.

ARTICLE 26. The Commission will meet on a regular basis once a month; the times that the president calls it; and at the request of one third of its members by written request addressed to the president of the same. ARTICLE 27. The Commission may take decisions and resolve refugee status only when it is in a quorum, i.e. at least two thirds of its eligible members. The decisions will be made by a simple majority and in case of a tie the president will have the right to double vote.

CHAPTER II

From the Executive Secretariat

ARTICLE 28. Please refer to the Executive Secretariat of the National Commission for Refugees, whose main role will be to assist the Commission in the investigation of the records in which it is to be heard as provided by this Act and in the exercise of the other functions assigned to it. ARTICLE 29. The position shall be exercised by an official appointed by the Minister of the Interior and the appointment shall be vested in a person of recognized trajectory and suitability in the matter. ARTICLE 30. The term of office, re-election, eligibility requirements, causal designation procedure and removal procedure shall be governed by the provisions in this regard on the members of the Commission. ARTICLE 31. The Executive Secretary shall have the following functions:

(a) Initiate the file of the applicants, attaching to it the declaration of the applicant and any documentation that may be accredited;

(b) To interview the applicant by conducting the necessary steps to provide interpreter and prepare the respective reports;

(c) Develop a non-binding technical report on each request, which will consist of the analysis of the facts, the search for information on the situation in the country of origin and the adequacy of the case in the terms of the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees and this Law;

(d) To grant certificates of temporary residence for the period of 90 days to applicants, which shall be renewed for identical periods during the time required by the resolution of the case;

(e) To inform the applicant of the recognition of the refugee status concerning their rights and obligations;

(f) To seek, in the case of women or minors who have been victims of violence and other circumstances affecting them, the specialized psychological care of these persons during the proceedings;

(g) Prepare the resolutions of each case resolved by the Commission and bring them to the signature of its members;

(h) To register the Commission ' s resolutions;

(i) Notify the decisions of the Commission;

(j) Form the administrative record for the granting of legal residence for persons recognized as refugees;

(k) Communicate cases with firm refusal to recognize the status of refugees to the migration authority;

(l) Carry out all other tasks related to the formation of the file and the prompting of procedure;

(m) Compile information on the situation in the countries of origin of applicants for refugee status recognition;

(n) Draw up statistics at the request of the Commission and compile the resolute precedents that, by their specificity or doctrinal importance, may set a precedent.

PART V

The procedure for determining refugee status.

ARTICLE 32. The procedure for determining refugee status shall be carried out in accordance with the principles of confidentiality and due process of law. In particular, the applicant for refugee status is granted the right to be assisted free of charge by a qualified translator or interpreter if he does not understand or does not speak the national language; the appropriate time and means must be given to prepare the defence of his or her interests and the right to be assisted by an ombudsman in all instances of the procedure. The Commission should coordinate actions necessary for the accessibility of free and suitable legal services for asylum-seekers. ARTICLE 33. Non-governmental organizations wishing to apply for cooperation in the activities set out in this Act should be previously qualified by the Commission. The selection criteria are as follows:

(a) That the organization collide disinterestedly with the populations of its coverage area regardless of race, ethnic origin, religion, sex and vulnerability with special attention to children, adolescents and older adults;

(b) That their humanitarian aid be managed in accordance with humanitarian principles in an impartial and neutral manner;

(c) To be committed to preserving the dignity of populations affected by the humanitarian crisis.

ARTICLE 34. The procedure shall be governed by the provisions of the Administrative Procedures Act No. 19.549 and its modifications in what is not the subject of specific regulation in this Act. ARTICLE 35. In the performance of the functions assigned to them in this Act, the Executive Secretariat and the Commission shall bear in mind the interpretative criteria derived from the Conclusions of the Executive Committee of UNHCR and the recommendations of the Manual of Procedures and Criteria for Determining the Status of UNHCR.

CHAPTER I

Entry into national territory and application for refugee status

ARTICLE 36. Once the request for recognition of the refugee status has been received, either through the person concerned, verbally or in writing, by his representative or referred by any of the authorities that had intervened at the receipt of the refugee, the Executive Secretariat shall proceed to its registration and order the investigative measures it deems necessary to establish the facts invoked by the applicant and those others that it deem relevant in order to resolve the recognition of the refugee status. It is compulsory to maintain a personal interview with the applicant. ARTICLE 37. Where the applicant is deprived of his or her outright release, he or she shall have the right to make the telephone communications for refugee status. ARTICLE 38. The request must contain the full data of the applicant, the reasons for which the request is filed and provide the documentary or other evidence that could be provided in support of its request. ARTICLE 39. The authority, whether central, regional or municipal, of police, borders, judicial migration or any other authorized official who is aware of the aspiration of an alien to access the procedure for the recognition of refugee status, is responsible for ensuring respect for the principle of non-refoulement contained in article 2 and 7 of this Act and for notifying such a request immediately to the Executive Secretariat. ARTICLE 40. No criminal or administrative sanctions shall be imposed on the applicant for refugee status on the grounds of illegal entry into the country, provided that the authorities are promptly brought to justice and submit a justified cause of their illegal entry or stay. The competent authority shall not apply any other restrictions of movement that are strictly necessary and only until the applicant ' s situation in the country has been regulated. In the event that criminal case or administrative record has been initiated for illegal entry, these procedures shall be suspended until the applicant ' s refugee status is determined by a firm resolution. In the event of recognition of refugee status, the administrative or criminal proceedings against the refugee on grounds of illegal entry shall be terminated, if the offences committed are justified in the cases that determined their recognition as a refugee.

CHAPTER II

Procedure

ARTICLE 41. Once the applicant is a person in the offices of the Executive Secretariat, he will be informed of the procedure for determining the refugee status, his rights and obligations in his own language or in a language he or she may understand. The applicant who so requires or needs to do so shall be provided with the services of a qualified interpreter, to assist him in the interviews and in the written presentation of the facts on which his request is based. You will also be informed of your right to legal advice. ARTICLE 42. Within a period not exceeding VEINTE (20) working days from the registration of the application for the determination of the refugee status, the Executive Secretary shall issue to the applicant and to the members of his family included in the file, the documentation detaining this law and its regulation and shall proceed to issue the notifications corresponding to the respective authorities to legalize their temporary residence in the country until they are finally decided on the request. It shall also notify the relevant agencies in order to provide the applicant and his family with the basic humanitarian assistance they require under their economic situation, in particular with regard to accommodation and access to food, health and education. Consequently, refugees who have been recognized as such and intend to revalite their diplomas of study or to specify the authentication or certification of signatures of the authorities of their countries of origin for the purpose of exercising their profession in our country, will have the possibility of obtaining certifications issued by national authorities which, in order to issue the aforementioned certification, may be assisted by an international authority.

To that end, the commission is empowered to make the necessary arrangements to permit these public instruments, which will prove to the contrary.

ARTICLE 43. In order to facilitate the economic support of refugee applicants, the Executive Secretariat will manage to the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security, the issuance of a temporary work permit of the applicant and members of their working-age family within TREINTA (30) days from the registration of the application. ARTICLE 44. During the proceedings, the applicant shall have the following obligations:

(a) To tell the truth and to help clarify the facts invoked and the personal motives on which your request is based;

(b) Endeavour to provide satisfactory evidence and explanations on the possible inadequacy or lack thereof;

(c) Provide information about your person and experience with the details necessary to determine the relevant facts;

(d) Give an explanation of the reasons invoked in support of your request; and

(e) Answer all the questions asked.

ARTICLE 45. During the proceedings, the competent bodies to instruct and resolve the request have the following obligations:

(a) Consign the applicant ' s statements faithfully in records;

(b) Ensure that the applicant exposes the reasons for his or her case as widely as possible and provides the evidence available;

(c) To evaluate the reasons and evidence presented by the applicant and the statements issued by the applicant in order to establish the objective and subjective elements of the case;

(d) Have relevant information to analyze the case;

(e) Ensure that the applicant is aware of the requirements to be met at each stage of the procedure.

ARTICLE 46. To consider the facts proven, it will be sufficient for sufficient evidence to exist. If direct evidence could not be collected, the authorities, in their assessment, may rely additionally on indications and presumptions and on the credibility of the applicant, in which case it is appropriate to apply the benefit of the doubt in their favour, provided that the latter has fulfilled the obligations set out in article 44. ARTICLE 47. Once the file has been completed, the Executive Secretary shall proceed to its inclusion in the agenda of the next meeting of the Commission. ARTICLE 48. All information relating to the application for refugee status shall be strictly confidential. To this end, the Commission shall give the relevant instructions to the national authorities concerned, in particular regarding communications with the authorities of the country of nationality or habitual residence of the applicant. ARTICLE 49. The decision on refugee status is a humanitarian and impartial declarative act. The Commission ' s decisions, granting or denying recognition of refugee status, should contain the legal facts and grounds for such a decision. ARTICLE 50. Upon issuance of the resolution by the Commission at first instance, the Executive Secretariat shall immediately notify the applicant in writing, who may file a hierarchical remedy in writing within 10 days of the date of notification. The appeal shall be founded and filed with the Executive Secretariat of the National Commission and raised to the Minister of the Interior, after the intervention of the Secretariat for Human Rights of the Nation.

The filing of administrative or judicial remedies shall suspend the execution of the measures imposed until they are final.

ARTICLE 51. The receiving authority shall grant the applicant and the family group to accompany him a provisional document allowing him to remain legally in the national territory and perform paid tasks and access basic social, health and education services and benefits. This document will be renewable until it has a firm resolution on the application for refugee status. ARTICLE 52. Refugees recognized by the Commission shall have the right to obtain an identity document that would enable them to fully exercise their civil, economic, social and cultural rights, as any other foreigner residing in our country. ARTICLE 53. The Commission shall ensure that women or minors are treated in particular if they are unaccompanied, who have been victims of violence, specialized psychological care, and during the procedure, the recommendations of UNHCR made in the Guidelines for the Protection of Refugee Women and the guidelines on gender-based persecution shall be observed. In the case of minors, the guidelines on their protection and care will be taken into account by giving primary responsibility to policies aimed at vulnerable groups for the purpose of an effective, rapid and effective solution for such persons.

PART VI

Final provisions

ARTICLE 54. The procedure for determining refugee status shall be carried out at no cost to the applicant and in the most expeditious manner, without prejudice to the procedural guarantees and rights of the petitioner. ARTICLE 55. In the event of a substantial increase in requests for refugee status due to massive income, the group determination criterion will be adopted, according to which a person is taken for his or her belonging to a particular group of affected individuals. In this case, the advice of UNHCR and the Ministry of the Interior may be requested, and the Commission may require the competent bodies to ensure their effective protection. ARTICLE 56. The refugee who has obtained his recognition as such in another country, in which he cannot remain because his fundamental rights and freedoms are at risk, may process his relocation in our country to any Argentine diplomatic delegation which will be responsible for receiving the request and conforming the file that will immediately be sent to the Executive Secretariat for its resolution by the Commission. The National Executive will regulate the conditions of relocation. ARTICLE 57. The provisions and scope of this law shall be interpreted and applied in accordance with the principles and norms of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the American Convention on Human Rights, the 1951 Geneva Convention and the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees and all applicable provisions or conventions of human rights and refugees ratified by the Argentine Republic and/or contained in article 75, paragraph 22, of the National Constitution and instruments of asylum in force in the Argentine Republic. ARTICLE 58. Default of Decree No. 464/85. ARTICLE 59. This law shall be regulated by the Executive Branch within SESENTA (60) days of its promulgation. ARTICLE 60. Contact the Executive.

DADA IN THE SESSION OF THE ARGENTINE CONGRESS, IN GOOD AIRES, TO THE DAYS OF THE MONTH YEAR DOS MIL SEIS

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ALBERTO E. BALESTRINI. . JOSE J. B. PAMPURO. . Enrique Hidalgo . Juan H. Estrada.