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Female victims and children are brought to the country from across South America — Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Peru — as well as from the Caribbean. Argentine women and children are also trafficked in their own country. All the victims run a serious risk of being sold into sexual slavery or into forced labor, such as in sweatshops or on farms. Women have a much higher chance of ending up in prostitution rings than men do.
Argentina, a wealthy country in South America that is also a popular tourist spot globally, is not known as a symbol of outward depravity for women and girls. Women and girls who end up being trafficked in Argentina go to the country often lured on false pretenses for jobs.
If they seek jobs in agriculture camps, for example, they can be pushed into prostitution, the US report noted. For a long time, the Argentine government has looked the other way or acted as an accomplice in the human trafficking market. A law on the Prevention and Punishment of Sexual Exploitation and Victims Assistance was passed in , but how well it is enforced is not measured by the gender-gap index, either.
Moreover, brothels are banned in the country, but criminal rings have found loopholes around the federal laws. Men and boys are also trafficked in Argentina, mostly for forced labor. To a limited extent, Argentine men, women and children are subjected to sex and labor trafficking outside the country.
Besides the federal law, other remedies are slowly being formulated in Argentina to address trafficking of women and girls and to help those who are rescued as the problem becomes more open. The US government estimates that at least , Latin American women are trafficked internationally each year. It does not offer statistics on how many women are trafficked in Argentina, given the shadowy nature of the phenomenon.