U.S. Statement at the UPR of Argentina
14th Session October 22, 2012
The United States warmly welcomes Mr. Juan Martín Fresneda and the Argentine delegation to the UPR Working Group.
We commend Argentina for implementing many of the recommendations they accepted from their last review and for adopting several laws including the Violence Against Women Act, the Equal Marriage Act, and the Gender Identity Act since the last review.
Regarding Freedom of Expression, we welcome the decriminalization of statements regarding topics of public interest under libel and slander laws, which serves as a model for other countries in the region. However, we are concerned by the polarized environment around media and Freedom of Expression in Argentina. Executive branch interference has made access to information more difficult and undermined the credibility of official statistics in such areas as census and economic data.
We applaud the bill to establish a national mechanism for the prevention of torture that has passed the Chamber of Deputies but is still pending in the Senate. However, we are troubled by reports of ongoing torture, as well as poor conditions, ill-treatment, violence and overcrowding, in prisons and detention centers. Women, juveniles, and LGBT persons are particularly affected.
We commend Argentina’s ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and creation of a new National Legal Assistance Program for Persons with Disabilities, but note the persistent lack of inclusion of persons with disabilities in all relevant legislation, and lack of effective enforcement mechanisms.
Bearing in mind these concerns, the United States makes the following recommendations:
- Respect and implement Supreme Court decisions on unresolved articles of the Media law.
- Lobby for the passage of and implement legislation creating a national mechanism to prevent torture.
- Develop and promote programs to provide access to jobs, education, transportation, and public spaces, as well as, protection from violence for persons with disabilities.