Protests and demonstrations against unemployment, high levels of urban crime, poor housing and other social concerns are widespread. A monthly allowance for each child, payable to unemployed or low-income parents or those working in the informal sector, was established by the government in an attempt to tackle social exclusion.
Indigenous Peoples' rights
Indigenous communities continued to face eviction orders in breach of international standards and of a 2006 national emergency law temporarily suspending the execution of eviction orders or the removal of Indigenous communities from traditional lands. Lack of progress regarding the nationwide land survey led Congress to extend the applicability of the 2006 law until November 2013.
Indigenous communities were denied their right to free, prior and informed consent in projects involving exploitation of natural resources on Indigenous lands.
Around 150 Mapuches faced criminal charges in connection with protests over land rights and against judicial eviction orders in Neuquén Province.
Impunity – justice for past violations
There was progress in bringing to justice key perpetrators of past human rights violations. However, insufficient resources led to protracted delays. According to the Prosecution Co-ordination Unit, more than 600 people were facing criminal proceedings for human rights violations, including enforced disappearances, at the end of the year. Trials resulted in more than 30 convictions during the year.
Threats against witnesses
There were further reports that witnesses in trials relating to past human rights violations were threatened, particularly those living in isolated rural areas, despite protection programmes.
Poor conditions, violence, overcrowding, lack of adequate health services, torture and other ill-treatment were reported in prisons and detention centres in Santiago del Estero and Mendoza provinces. The national authorities failed to set up a mechanism for the prevention of torture as required by the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture.
Violence against women and girls
Gender-based violence remained a serious concern. Legislation to prevent and punish violence against women was enacted in April. This provides for free legal assistance for women who experience violence and sets out protocols for the collection and systematic recording of official data on gender-based violence. However, at the end of the year, the law had yet to be implemented.
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