Argentina Regional Office
The UNHCR Regional Office for Southern Latin America based in Buenos Aires covers operations in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. UNHCR's activities in Peru were covered under the Regional Office for Latin America until the end of 2018.
Operation: Argentina Regional Office
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|2018 planning figures|
|90%||of status determination procedures will meet UNHCR’s minimum procedural standards|
|90%||of resettlement programmes in new or emerging resettlement countries have been established or improved|
|87%||of domestic laws on protection of stateless persons will be consistent with international standards|
|83%||of refugees realize social and economic integration|
|2016 end-year results|
|80%||of people of concern had formal access to work opportunitites in host country|
|68%||of people of concern opting for local integration were locally integrated|
|5||out of the 6 countries covered by the Regional Office have taken steps to become party to the Statelessness Conventions|
People of Concern
Argentina Regional Office
Working environmentA record spike of new asylum applications in 2017 had placed considerable strain on refugee status determination (RSD) procedures and asylum systems of various southern Latin American countries.
The population of concern to UNHCR has continued to grow exponentially in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay in 2018, mainly because of the large-scale arrival of Venezuelans.
While retaining the possibility to apply for asylum, Venezuelans have benefitted in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay from other legal stay arrangements which have contributed to alleviate the impact of the influx on their respective asylum systems. Regardless of their status, most Venezuelans are considered to be in need of international protection. In addition, the profile of the Venezuelans arriving to the southern cone has recently shifted: humanitarian partners have monitored an increase of families with children in a more vulnerable situation entering through land border crossings, after weeks of travel through other countries.
Overall, the number of asylum-seekers is also growing exponentially, increasing the existing backlog and challenging the existing capacity of States. Governments in the region are considering the adoption of measures to control backlogs and reduce increasing numbers of unfounded asylum claims. At the same time, some countries are tempted to apply more restrictive border control measures posing difficulties in terms of access to the territory and to the asylum systems
Despite a favourable integration environment in the region, including right to work, access to education and health services, sustainable socio-economic inclusion needs strengthening, due to limited access to social protection and employment promotion schemes, affordable housing, financial services and decent employment opportunities.
The need for a coherent, coordinated and regional response to the Venezuela situation entails a thorough level of funding to cover financial requirements, which have increased exponentially during the past years, in particular after the dramatic influx of Venezuelans mainly to Chile and Argentina. In addition, after the 2016 New York Declaration, several countries in the region committed to enhance sustainable programmes for resettlement and other legal pathways, such as Argentina and Chile that became part of the Emerging Resettlement Countries Mechanism (ERCM), while Uruguay received donor support for its resettlement programme for refugees from the North of Central America.
Key PrioritiesIn coordination with governments, other UN agencies and other key strategic partners, including host communities, civil society, NGOs and private sector, UNHCR will promote, establish and consolidate comprehensive solutions framework in the Southern Cone to ensure a sustainable and effective protection and assistance responses for refugees, asylum-seekers, and statelessness persons in a context of mixed movements where access to the territory needs to be guaranteed. The implementation of the programme of cities of solidarity and the mobilization of public awareness for humanitarian issues are also considered as key priorities of UNHCR in this sub-region.
These goals will be reached through an operational response of its protection and solution strategy, which spans over the following key objectives:
- Strengthen response to the Venezuela situation supporting effective reception mechanisms to respond to the protection and humanitarian needs of increasing people of concern while promoting local integration options. Border presence and monitoring will be reinforced in Chile and Argentina.
- UNHCR and key partners, consolidate quality and efficient asylum systems including the promotion of other pragmatic protection oriented responses for people of concern.
- UNHCR, in coordination with strategic partners promotes and contributes to the establishment of sustainable resettlement programmes and other legal pathways through community sponsorship models, government social services and multilateral mechanisms particularly for Syrian refugees as well as others, such as nationals of Central America.
- Consolidate, in coordination with strategic partners, a comprehensive response led by the government to promote local integration, socio-economic inclusion and access to sustainable livelihoods of all people of concern.
- Support the implementation of the programme “cities of solidarity” along with local governments.
- Support the Southern Cone to become the first region to eradicate statelessness.
- Mobilize support to regional and global humanitarian causes through public opinion and awareness raising initiatives to mitigate and counter potential manifestations of discrimination and xenophobia.