IOM

Comparative Matrix:

RCM Member State Legislation relating to

 Migrant Smuggling

 

Presentation:

 

The comparative matrix of legislation relating to trafficking in persons in RCM member countries is a result of an analysis of information collected through ongoing monitoring of electronic data bases and reports from our local offices in the region.  The offices, in turn, receive updates from relevant institutions in each RCM member country.

 

The topics and sub-topics included in the matrix were selected based on concerns expressed by several representatives regarding the importance of an instrument which reflects all aspects of criminal activities relating to trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling in each country’s regulations and at a regional level.  The information was summarized by experts on the topics in question, recording only the most relevant data for the individual and collective analysis of the legal expressions of criminal, immigration, and executive provisions, among others, which guide actions to combat the above mentioned crimes in our countries.

 

Links with multiple web pages are also included in order to further facilitate the analysis of each topic.  The web pages include additional information which complements the data from the matrix.  The links enable users to access the RCM Information Center and comprehensive regulatory documents.

 

We hope that the information that has been analyzed, organized, and summarized is useful to lawyers, authorities, researchers, judges, fiscals, police officers, heads of institutions, strategic authorities, and a wide array of experts or persons interested in gaining further knowledge about this crime and facilitating key decision-making processes when facing situations relating to migrant smuggling.

 

 

 

 

ACRONYMS

 

AGO                Attorney General’s Office 

CCP                Code of Criminal Procedure

DF                   Federal District

GDI                 General Directorate of Immigration

IL                    Immigration Law

LOC                Law Against Organized Crime

MS                  Migrant Smuggling

MSP                Migrant Smuggling Protocol

OC                  Organized Crime

CC                   Criminal Code

Rat.                Ratified

UAP                Under-Age Persons

UNCTOC         United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime

V.                    Victims

V&W               Victims and Witnesses

 

 

PREVENTION

 

 

Belize

Honduras

Costa Rica

Panama

Dominican Republic

PROGRAMS

 

Exist but have no name, under the National Forum on Migration.

 

Since the Immigration Law is very recent, they do not exist but are contemplated according to Articles 81 and 83 of this law.

Law 137-03, Article 11.  Relevant institutions are obligated to develop policies, plans, and programs with the purpose of assisting victims of trafficking and providing special protection to vulnerable groups, women, boys, girls, and adolescents. NOTE:  THE LAW IS ABOUT SMUGGLING but does not mention it specifically.

The Attorney General’s Office together with the Secretariat of Education and Labor warned all school children in the country about the dangers of migrant smuggling.  A special program of the Consulate in Puerto Rico to dissuade illegal migration of Dominican nationals.

CIPROM and COIN.

 

(43RD)

Governing Body

 

Immigration Department.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and General Directorate of Immigration.

Coalition Against Migrant Smuggling and Trafficking.

Ministry of the Interior and Justice and National Immigration Service.

Law 137-03, Article 15.  The Attorney General’s Office through its Department to Combat Smuggling of Women and Under-Age Persons and the Inter-Institutional Committee for the Protection of Migrant Women (CIPROM)

 

(43RD)

Means of Dissemination

 

Workshops, videos, radio, and press.

 

On Human Rights, Defensoría del Pueblo through fairs, workshops, seminars, forums to discuss movies, hikes, forums, discussions, etc.

Workshops, talks at schools.

Training

 

National Human Rights Commissioner; general training on human rights.

 

Immigration Law.  Coordination with Defensoría del Pueblo to provide training on human rights;

Defensor del Pueblo provides training on human rights, particularly for national border officers and members of the National Police Force.

The Attorney General’s Office and the General Directorate of Immigration train immigration and officers from the National Police Force.

 

 

 

PROTECTION

 

 

Belize

Honduras

Costa Rica

Panama

Dominican Republic

Legislation: Protection of Victims and Witnesses

 

Decree 63-07, Law for the Protection of Witnesses in Criminal Proceedings.

 

(51HND)

Law No. 8720-09,

Protection of Victims and Witnesses.

 

(27CR)

 

No specific law exists except for provisions on the crime of migrant smuggling under the Immigration Law and Bylaws.

No specific law exists.

 

 

 

ASSISTANCE /AID

 

 

Belize

Honduras

Costa Rica

 

Panama

Dominican Republic

PROGRAMS

 

National Policy for the Assistance to Migrants (PNAE),

General Directorate of Immigration, and Scalabrian Sisters = building a Center for the Assistance of Returned Migrants.

 

Immigration Law, Article 82.  A Unit to Assist Victims of Migrant Smuggling, especially under-age persons.  Bylaws to the Immigration Law, Articles 302-304, the Director of SNM (General Directorate of Immigration) establishes protocols; coordination with authorities in charge of providing assistance.  Defensoría del Pueblo: Assistance and procedures to grant refugee status.

 

(40PNM)

 

 

 

CIPROM:  Medical and psycho-social assistance for victims of trafficking and smuggling, accompaniment in legal processes through the shelter of CIPROM that operates in COIN. 

Actions to Assist Victims of Migrant Smuggling

 

National Forum on Migration, but refers almost exclusively to deported Hondurans returning to  Honduras: temporary shelter, food, transport, clothes, psychological counseling, health care, employment.

For non-Honduran migrants:  are sent to the National Police Force to be deported – except for Cubans, who are provided with shelter and allowed free transit.

Law No. 8720, Victims of Trafficking and Smuggling,

Article 15.

§    Language assistance

§    Not being included in special registers

§    Granting a permit for a temporary stay in the country

 

Article:  Health care, psychological, social, and legal assistance.

 

General Immigration Law

 

(27CR)

Decree-Law No. 3-08, Immigration Law. Article 82.  Establishes comprehensive care for irregular migrants, witnesses, or victims of crimes relating to migrant smuggling, in compliance with provisions of Article 81, if they cooperate with clarification of the crimes.  Article 304, Bylaws to the Immigration Law.  Individualized assistance,

Immigration Law; Articles 93 and 94 and their Bylaws; Articles 316 and 317 allow establishing shelters for illegal migrants until their deportation or regularization regarding asylum, refugee status, etc.;  ensuring hygiene, food, health, and rights, such as communicating with a lawyer, their families, or diplomatic or consular representatives, if they are available, or representatives of a related country if no representatives of their country of origin are available.  Only for persons 18 years of age and older; under-age persons are sent to other types of institutions.

 

(40PNM)

Law 137-03, Article 9. Mentions protection but only includes provisions for victims of trafficking, does not specifically mention victims of migrant smuggling.

 

(43RD)

 

Criminal/Administrative PENALTIES

 

Country

 

Belize

 

Honduras

 

Costa Rica

 

 

Panama

 

Dominican Republic

Criteria

Penal Type, Migrant Smuggling

 

MIGRANT SMUGGLING
Section 32 (Immigration Law, Chapter 156)
(1) Every captain of a vessel knowingly transporting and allowing disembarkation of any illegal immigrant going against legislation in Belize commits a crime.
(2) Any person knowingly allowing disembarkation or helping or assisting illegal immigrants to get to their destination acting against the provisions of this law, commits a crime.
(3) Any illegal immigrant who knowingly and deliberately allows being disembarked in Belize against the provisions of this law commits a crime. 
Section 34 (Immigration Law, Chapter 156)
Every person who, with the purpose of entering or staying in Belize or helping others to enter or stay in Belize, acting against this law,
(a) fabricates or forges any passport, permit, certificate, or other document, or
(b) uses, circulates, or attempts to use or circulate:
(I) any passport, permit, certificate, or other document which has not been issued by a legal authority or which the person is not entitled to use, or
(II) any fabricated or forged passport, permit, certificate, knowing that they have been fabricated or forged, commits a crime.
(2) Every person
(a) knowingly making a false statement to be submitted by an applicant for a temporary permit or to facilitate the journey to the cities of Mexico and Guatemala and towns, in accordance with agreements between the Government of Belize, Mexico, and Guatemala, or
(b) prevents, hinders, or opposes to an immigration officer or police officer performing their duty relating to this law, or (c) knowingly grants refuge or hides, without a legitimate excuse,
(I) any other person within Belizean territory, acting against this law, or
(Ii) any other person who, having entered Belize through use of a permit issued by virtue of this law, has acted against or does not comply with any condition governing subjects who are granted the permit, or
(d) does not comply with conditions of any permit, certificate, or other documents issued by virtue of this law, or
(e) being an illegal immigrant, disembarks in Belize without having previously obtained a permit issued by virtue of this law, or
(f) acts against or does not comply with some of the conditions under which any permit has been granted by virtue of this law, or
(g) instigates, orders, advises, procures, facilitates, proposes directly or indirectly or in any way, regarding AIDS facilitates, fosters, and promotes any crime included in the provisions of this law, by act, presence or not, or
(h) employs any person possessing no work permit, commits a crime.
(3) Every person committing a crime acting against the provisions of this law for which a penalty is not prescribed shall be responsible in summary proceeding for paying a fine of up to five thousand dollars or up to 2 years imprisonment, or both – fine and imprisonment; provided that the penalty for the first crime in virtue of this law shall not be less than a fine of one thousand dollars, and the penalty for a second or subsequent crime in virtue of this law shall not be less than a fine of three thousand dollars or 1 year imprisonment.  
In addition, when a person is declared guilty for the crime of employing a person who does not possess a work permit, under Subsection (2) (h) of this Section, the Court shall sentence the employer – in addition to the established penalties – to cover transport expenses to deport this immigrant from Belize. 
Section 35 (Immigration Law, Chapter 156)
Every airline, or the captain of a vessel, or the driver of a vehicle, carrying an immigrant in incompliance with the entry requirements and other provisions of this law or its bylaws commits a crime, and the Court, in addition to any other penalty established by the law, shall sentence the guilty party to cover transport expenses to deport the immigrant from Belize. 

Decree 120-94, Criminal Code, Article 195.  Whoever transports Hondurans or foreign residents on national territory or in transit to put them under the authority of another State or to enter them into its territory in an illegal manner,…….., shall be sentenced to 6-9 years imprisonment.

The penalty shall increase by one third when the persons responsible for the crime are public servants or officials.

If, as a result of this crime, passive subjects are deprived of their freedom abroad, are victims of any type of crime or die as a result of violent causes, whether accidental or not, the penalty established in the first paragraph shall increase by up to two thirds.

 

(48HND)

Law 8487-05, Immigration Law, Article 245.  2-6 years imprisonment for every person who: a)  Drives or transports persons for migrant smuggling purposes to help them enter or exit the country in locations which have not been authorized by the General Directorate, avoiding established immigration controls or using false data or documents.  b)  For migrant smuggling purposes, shelters, hides, or conceals aliens entering or staying in the country in an illegal manner.

The penalty established in this Article shall increase by one third when the perpetrator or accomplice is a public servant or when the crime involves under-age persons.

NOTE:  In March 2010 a new Immigration Law shall enter into force, establishing  the following under Article 249:    

A penalty of 2-6 years imprisonment shall apply for anybody driving or transporting persons to help them enter or exit the country in locations which have not been authorized by the General Directorate, avoiding established immigration controls or using false data or documents.  The same penalty shall apply for anybody who promotes, promises to provide or facilitates such false or altered documents in any way and who, for purposes of promoting migrant smuggling, shelters, hides, or conceals aliens entering or staying in the country in an illegal manner.  The penalty shall be 3-8 years imprisonment when: the migrant is under age; the life or health of the migrant is endangered due to the conditions under which the crime is committed, or serious physical or mental harm is caused; the perpetrator or accomplice is a public servant; the crime is committed by an organized group of two   or more persons.

 

(26CR)

Decree 14-07, Criminal Code, Article 433.  Persons leading or being part of an international organization involved in migrant smuggling shall be sentenced to 10-15 years imprisonment.

The same penalty shall apply to persons involved in migrant smuggling in any way, with their consent, fraudulently avoiding or eluding established immigration controls on continental territory of the Republic in any way.

 

(38PNM)

Law 137-03, Article 1, Paragraph f).  Migrant Smuggling: Facilitating the entry into, exit of, transit through, or illegal crossing of a person in the country or abroad without compliance with legal requirements, with the aim of obtaining direct or indirect financial gains or other benefits.

Article 2.  Persons promoting, inducing, restraining, financing, transporting by land, sea, or air, or collaborating in any way in the illegal entry or exit of persons in the country, either as a country of destination, origin, or transit, without compliance with legal requirements, with the aim of obtaining direct or indirect financial gains or other benefits for themselves or for others, are considered to be guilty of the crime of migrant smuggling.

Paragraph.  10-15 years imprisonment and a fine of no less than 150 and no more than 250 minimum wages.

 

Law 285-04, Immigration Law, Article 128.  Establishes that the corresponding penalty of  imprisonment shall apply to every person participating in the organization, transfer, disembarkation, and illegal entry of aliens into national territory, or hiding aliens; in addition, a penalty shall apply to every national or alien organizing the clandestine exit of Dominicans and aliens through any means, or participating in migrant smuggling in any way.

 

(43RD)

(46RD)

Aggravating Circumstances

 

Criminal Code, Article 195.  When the crime is committed by a public servant or official or if, as a result of the crime, passive subjects abroad are deprived of their freedom, are victims of crime or die due to violent causes, whether accidental or not.

  

(48HND)

Immigration Law, Article 245.  If the crime is committed by a public servant or if under-age persons are involved in the crime.

 

(26CR)

Criminal Code, Article 88. Aggravating circumstances in general.

 

(38PNM)

Law 137-03, Article 7. The following are considered aggravating circumstances of the crime of migrant smuggling:  Death of any person involved or subject to migrant smuggling, or when the victim suffers any temporary or permanent physical or psychological harm; when one or several perpetrators of the crime is a public servant, elected or not, of the central, decentralized, or autonomous administration, a member of the Armed Forces or the National Police Force; a criminal group that can be defined as national or transnational organized crime due to participation in migrant smuggling; when multiple offenses are present as a result of the incriminated deeds;  when the crime involves persons who are psychologically immature or mentally challenged, suffer temporary or permanent mental alienation, or are under 18 years of age; when the responsible person is a spouse or up to third-degree blood relative, first degree affinity; when the subject or subjects repeat the crime of migrant smuggling; persons fabricating, altering, producing, or forging travel or identity documents, providing or facilitating possession of such documents, or persons who, through such documents or any other documents, promote or illegally obtain visas for themselves or for others. 

 

(43RD)

Penalties

Chapter 156, Immigration Law, Section 32 (3).  Every person committing a crime against any provision of this law for which a penalty is not prescribed shall be responsible in summary proceeding to pay a fine of up to  five thousand dollars or up to 2 years imprisonment, or both – fine and imprisonment:
provided that the penalty for the first crime in virtue of this law shall not be less than a fine of one thousand dollars, and the penalty for a second or subsequent crime in virtue of this law shall not be less than a fine of three thousand dollars or 1 year imprisonment. 
In addition, when a person is declared guilty for the crime of employing a person who does not possess a work permit, under Subsection (2) (h) of this Section, the Court shall sentence the employer – in addition to the established penalties – to cover transport expenses to deport this immigrant from Belize. 
Section 35 (Immigration Law, Chapter 156).

Criminal Code, Article 195.

6- 9 years imprisonment.  Increases by one third for the deed and by two thirds for aggravating circumstances.

 

(48HND)

Immigration Law, Article 245.  2-6 years imprisonment; increased by one third for aggravating circumstances.

 

(26CR)

Criminal Code, Article 433. Establishes a penalty of 10-15 years imprisonment.

 

(38PNM)

Law 137-03, Article 2.  Establishes a penalty of 10-15 years imprisonment and a fine no less than 150 and no more than 250 minimum wages.

Article:  A penalty of 5 years imprisonment in addition to the main penalty.

 

(43RD)

Attempt

Chapter 156, Section 32, 34, 35 Immigration Law penalizes the attempt to facilitate or support entry of a person into Belize without compliance with migration legislation.  

Criminal Code, Article 15.  Attempt in general, exists when unequivocal acts of execution are carried out with the intention of committing a specific crime, and the crime is not consummated due to reasons beyond the control of the perpetrator.

 

(48HND)

Law 4573-70, Criminal Code, Article 24.  Attempt in general: exists when execution of a crime is initiated through actions directly oriented toward its consummation, and this does not occur due to reasons beyond the control of the perpetrator.  

 

(25CR)

Criminal Code, Article 48. Attempt in general, when execution of the crime is initiated through suitable acts oriented towards consummation, but this does not occur due to reasons beyond the control of the perpetrator.

 

(38PNM)

Law 137-03, Article 5.  Attempted migrant smuggling or trafficking in persons shall be penalized in the same way as the crime itself.

 

 

(43RD)

Complicity

Belize Immigration Act (BIA).

Section 30 (2),

Section 32 (5).

Loss of values and a fine of up to 5000 dollars.

Criminal Code, Articles 31 and 33.  Complicity in general.

 

(48HND)

Criminal Code, Article 47. Complicity in general.

 

(25CR)

Criminal Code, Article 433. Establishes the same penalty for anybody participating in migrant smuggling “in any way”.

 

(38PNM)

Law 137-03, Article 6. Persons participating as accomplices in the crime of migrant smuggling  shall be subject to the same penalty as the penalty applying to authors or perpetrators.

 

(43RD)

Connected or Related Crimes

Illegal Migration:  Section 32, Chapter 156 Immigration Law (3).  Any illegal immigrant who knowingly and deliberately allows being disembarked in Belize against the provisions of this law commits a crime.

Trafficking in persons (Trafficking in Persons Prohibition Act, Section 3). 

Criminal Code, Articles 206 and 207.  Coercion;  Article 222, Paragraph 1), Extortion; Articles 280, 282, 284, 287, 289, Document Forging and Destruction; Article 333, Paragraph 3). Against Constitutional Rights;

Articles 361-363, 366, Subornation.

 

(48HND)

Criminal Code, Article 193, Coercion; Article 214, Extortion;  Article 331, Abuse of Authority; Articles 340 and 341, Subornation; Article 346, Penalty for the Corruptor;  Article 348, Extortion; Article 349, Legal Exaction; Articles 359-363, Forging, Suppressing, Concealing, and Destroying Documents.

 

 

(25CR)

Criminal Code, Article 248 Penalty for money laundering of financial gains from migrant smuggling (248N Criminal Code), Article 349.  Abuse of Authority, Articles 339 and 341 Corrupting Public Servants (Subornation); Articles 346 and 347, Extortion and Exaction; Articles 358-367, Forging.

 

(38PNM)

Criminal Code, Article 139, Forging Seals; Articles 153-155,  Forging or Altering Passports; Articles 156-158, Forging the Route Order; Article 174, Extortion; Articles 177-180, Bribing and Subornation; Articles 184 and 186, Abuse of Authority; Articles 305-308, Threats (Coercion and Extortion).

 

(44RD)

Organized Crime

 

No relevant legislation exists.

Law 8753-09 Against Organized Crime.

 

 

 

(28CR)

No relevant legislation exists, except for Article 148, Criminal Code as an aggravating circumstance of kidnapping for extortion.  An office specializing on actions to combat organized crime and the “Programa – país” Program.

No relevant legislation exists.

The Crime of Conspiracy

 

Criminal Code, Article 17.  Establishes that conspiracy only exists for crimes which specifically contemplate it – does not apply to migrant smuggling.

 

(48HND)

No relevant legislation exists.

No relevant legislation exists.

Exists but in the crime against the E. but not for migrant smuggling.

Penalizing

Carrier Companies

Belize Immigration Act (BIA).

Sec. 30 (2),

Sec. 32 (5).

Loss of values and a fine of up to 5000 dollars.

Decree 208-03, Immigration Law, Article 103, Paragraphs 1 and 3:  On Carrier Companies:  Shall be penalized with the fines established in the bylaws when:  they do not submit a list of passengers and crew members or do not allow an inspection of the vessel or transport aliens without the relevant immigration documents.

 

(50HND)

Immigration Law, Article 245.  Penalizes any person transporting illegal migrants; Article 168.  Shall be penalized by the General Directorate with a fine of 3-12 times the amount of a minimum wage established in Article 2 of Law No. 7337, May 5, 1993.

 

 

(26CR)

Decree No.3-08, Immigration Law, Article 61.  Establishes that the airline may be penalized when the passenger is rejected due to incompliance with legal requirements.  Article 88.  Incompliance of international carrier companies is penalized with a fine of 800-10,000 Balboas.

 

(40PNM)

Law 137-03, Article 2.  Considers that anyone transporting by any means is the author of the crime.

Immigration Law, Article 129.  The penalty of arresting organizers, responsible parties, or drivers of the means of transportation from the Dominican Republic to another country when permanent injury is caused during transport, in accordance with the scale of penalties regarding this matter, and a maximum imprisonment penalty when death is caused.  Article 130.  A fine of 10-50 minimum wages for transporting an alien without a visa or the required documents into the country.

 

(43RD)

(46RD)

Penalizing Establishments

 

Immigration Law Article 102 Paragraphs 1, 2, and 3.  Penalizing hotels, motels, and similar: with the fine established in the bylaws.

 

(50HND)

Immigration Law, Article 178.  Individual persons or representatives of juridical persons providing accommodation to aliens without a legal permit to stay in the country may be penalized by the General Directorate, through a justified resolution, with a fine of 1-5 times the amount of a minimum wage established in Article 2 of Law No. 7337, May 5, 1993. 

Article 245, Paragraph b). Penalizes every person providing accommodation to illegal aliens as a perpetrator of the crime of migrant smuggling.

 

 

(26CR)

Immigration Law, Article 44, relating to Article  90.  Establishes that any other incompliance with its bylaws shall be penalized with a fine of up to 5000 Balboas.

 

(40PNM)

Criminal Code, Article 155.  Penalizes innkeepers,  hostel keepers, or landlords who register guests under a false name.

 

 

(44RD)

Penalizing Juridical Persons

 

 

Immigration Law.  Penalizes juridical persons transporting, sheltering, or employing illegal migrants with fines.

 

 

(26CR)

Idem.

Law 137-03, Article 4.  Corporations are penally responsible and may be sentenced for migrant smuggling perpetrated by any of the management, administrative, or control units or those that have to respond at a social, general, or collective level, or representatives on the account of and in benefit of such juridical persons, with one, several, or all penalties established in that Article.

Paragraph II.  Penalties detailed in Paragraphs a) to i) of this Article shall apply to corporations under public law, political parties, movements, or groups, and legally recognized unions or professional associations.

Immigration Law, Article 128, Paragraph I.  If the perpetrator of the crime of migrant smuggling is a juridical person, the penalty of imprisonment shall apply to the individual acting as its representative.

 

(43RD)

(46RD)

Document Forging, Use, Retention, or Destruction

Immigration Law of Belize

Article 34 (1).  Forging or Use of False Identity Documents to Enter or Exit Belize.

Penalty, Section 34 (3).

A fine of 1000-5000 dollars or 6 months - 2 years imprisonment.

Belize Criminal Code,

Title XII, Articles 175-183 about Forging, Use, Possession, and Theft of Identity Documents and Similar, penalized with up to 2 years imprisonment.

Sections 32, 34, 35, Immigration Law:

Every person who, with the purpose of entering or staying in Belize or helping others to enter or stay in Belize, acting against this law,
(a) fabricates or forges any passport, permit, certificate, or other document, or
(b) uses, circulates, or attempts to use or circulate:
(I) any passport, permit, certificate, or other document which has not been issued by a legal authority or which he/she is not entitled to use, or
(II) any fabricated or forged passport, permit, certificate, knowing that they have been fabricated or forged, commits a crime.


(54BZ)

Criminal Code, Articles 280, 282, 284, 287, 289. Forging and destroying documents in general.

 

 

(48HND)

 

Immigration Law, Art 179. Paragraph b.  Deportation in cases of use of false documents for immigration procedures.

Articles 121 and 123, Paragraph h. Consequences of the use of false documents for immigration procedures.

Criminal Code, Article 359.  Forging Public and Legitimate Documents.

Article 360.  Ideological Falsehood.

Article 365.  Use of False Documents.

 

(26CR)

(25CR)

Criminal Code, Articles 358 and 359.  Forging Documents; 363, Concealing or Destroying; and 365, Use of False Documents.  Article 155.  A person who acts as or pretends to act as an employer, manager, supervisor, contractor, employment agent, or client solicitor and obtains, destroys, conceals, withdraws, withholds, or possesses a passport or other public identity documents, whether real or forged, belonging to a person hired to provide services, shall be penalized with 3-5 years imprisonment.

Immigration Law, Article 31.  Revoking a temporary permit or residence due to fraudulent documents.

Article 50.  Preventing the entry into Panama due to altered documents.

 

(38PNM)

(40PNM)

 

Law 137-03, Article 7, Paragraph h.  Considers fraudulent documents as an aggravating circumstance of the crime of migrant smuggling.

Criminal Code, Articles 153 and 154.  Forging and use of false passport.

Immigration Law, Article 68, Paragraph b.  Entry of aliens into national territory is illegal if false or incomplete documents were used to enter.

c. If the alien entered the country with legitimate documents but which have been obtained in a fraudulent manner.

 

(43RD)

(44RD)

(46RD)

 

Penalizing Employers

Chapter 156, Immigration Law, Sections 32, 34, 35:  In addition, when a person is declared guilty of the crime of employing a person who does not possess a work permit, under Subsection (2) (h) of this Section, the Court shall sentence the employer – in addition to the established penalties – to cover transport expenses to deport this immigrant from Belize. 

 

 

(54BZ)

No regulatory provisions are available.

Immigration Law, Article 171, relating to Article 173.  Employers shall be penalized by the General Directorate with a fine of 2-12 times the amount of a minimum wage established in Article 2 of Law No. 7337-93.

 

(26CR)

Criminal Code, Article 155.  A person who acts as or pretends to act as an employer, manager, supervisor, contractor, employment agent, or client solicitor and obtains, destroys, conceals, withdraws, withholds, or possesses a passport or other public identity documents, whether real or forged, belonging to a person hired to provide services, shall be penalized with 3-5 years imprisonment. Immigration Law, Articles 54 and 55 relating to Article 90.  A fine of 1000-5000 Balboas; Article 89.  Employers withholding passports, etc. from employees or infringing labor laws regarding social security and salute shall be penalized with a fine of up to 1000 Balboas.  No provisions exist regarding the hiring of illegal migrants.  Executive Decree 320-08, Bylaws to the Immigration Law, Article 313-9.  An employer or agent of a foreign company who does not  accredit the legal stay permits and work permits of aliens shall be penalized with a fine of 800-10,000 Balboas.

 

 

(38PNM)

(40PNM)

(41PNM)

Immigration Law, Article 132.  A person employing illegal migrants shall be penalized with a fine of 5 - 30 minimum wages.

 

(46RD)

 

PROCEDURAL PROVISIONS

 

 

Belize

Honduras

Costa Rica

Panama

Dominican Republic

Prosecuting Organ

Attorney General

Rule 9-99E, Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 25.  The Attorney General’s Office is in charge of criminal action.

 

(49HND)

Law 7594-96, Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 14.  The Attorney General’s Office is in charge of criminal action.

 

(29CR)

Law 63-08 Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 110. The Attorney General’s Office is in charge of criminal action.

 

(39PNM)

Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 29. The Attorney General’s Office is in charge of criminal action.

 

 

(45RD)

Prescription

The maximum penalty.

Chapter 156, Immigration Law: Section 34 (3). Every person committing a crime acting against the provisions of this law for which a penalty is not prescribed shall be responsible in summary proceeding for paying a fine of up to five thousand dollars or up to 2 years imprisonment, or both – fine and imprisonment.

 

(54BZ)

Criminal Code, Article 97.  Prescription in general, criminal action prescribes after a period equivalent to the maximum penalty for the crime, increased by half for the penalty of imprisonment.

 

(48HND)

Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 31, Paragraph a). Prescription in general, after a period equivalent to the maximum penalty, no more than 10 years nor less than 3 years.

Law 8753.09, Article 14.  The prescription term in cases of organized crime shall be 10 years and shall not be reduced for any reason whatsoever.

 

 

(29CR)

Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 116.  Prescription in General.  Criminal action prescribes after a term equivalent to the maximum imprisonment term for the crime in question.

 

(39PNM)

Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 45. Prescription in

General.  Upon expiration of a term equivalent to the maximum penalty, no more than 10 years nor less than 3 years.

 

(45RD)

Special Investigation Techniques

 

No specific regulations exist regarding migrant smuggling.

Law 8753-09 Against Organized Crime, Articles 14 and 15.  Judicial Center for Tapping Communications, tapping communications through any means.

 

(28CR)

No specific regulations exist regarding migrant smuggling.

No specific regulations exist regarding migrant smuggling.

Victim Compensation and/or Civil Action

 

They are not considered victims, Immigration Law Article 82, irregular entry or stay, with  Article 88 deportation is implemented, and if an irregular migrant has been expelled and returns, he/she shall be penalized according to Article 347, Criminal Code:  An alien who has been legally expelled from the country and violates the expulsion order by reentering the territory shall be sentenced to 3 months-2 years imprisonment.  Bylaws to the Immigration Law, Article 136, establish a penalty of a fine for illegal migrants.

 

(50HND)

(48HND)

(52HND)

Immigration Law, Article 121.  Migrants are considered illegal if they have entered the country through an unauthorized site or avoiding immigration controls, or if evidence exists of presumed use of false documents, etc.

Article 179, Paragraphs a) and b).  Deportation of illegal migrants, Article 208.  During the deportation procedure, preventative detention may apply.  Due to the above, illegal migrants are not considered victims in a strict sense and are not compensated.

 

(26CR)

Immigration Law, Article 65, Paragraphs 1 and 2.  Establish deportation and preventing entry for aliens entering the country in an irregular manner and staying on Panamanian territory in an undocumented or irregular manner.  Article 66, Paragraph 4, before ordering deportation,

detention must be dictated.  Article 70, to reenter deportation expenses must first be reimbursed and a […] Article 71, Paragraph 4.  Aliens who have been deported and reenter in an irregular manner shall be expelled.  Article 81 mentions victims of migrant smuggling,  Executive Decree 320-08. Bylaws to the Immigration Law, Article 316, regarding shelters, states “… of arrested persons”.  The General Directorate of Immigration has a telephone service available 24 hours a day to receive confidential denouncements of undocumented or illegal persons or persons working  without a work permit. (www.migracion.go.pa/NewsnuNoticia)

Due to the above, they are considered victims but are not treated as such.

 

(40PNM)
(41PNM)

Law 137-03, Article 8.  If the victim or object of migrant smuggling collaborates or reveals the real identity of the organizers of this action or contributes information for their arrest, he/she may be excluded – by order of the Attorney General’s Office – from prosecution of the criminal action.   

Article 11, Paragraph II.  Income generated through the payment of fines established in this Article to penalize the crime of migrant smuggling shall be used to compensate victims for physical, moral, and other damages.  NOTE:  Only refers to victims of trafficking.

Immigration Law, Articles 68, 69, and 121, Paragraphs 1 and 2, Deportation of illegal migrants = Persons who enter the Dominican Republic through an unauthorized site avoiding immigration controls.

Article 122, Expulsion. Due to the above, they are not considered victims in a strict sense, and no regulations exist that establish compensation.

 

 

Immigration Provisions

 

 

Belize

Honduras

Costa Rica

 

Panama

Dominican Republic

Repatriation[1]

The Immigration Law mentions repatriation (Section 20.1)

 

(54BZ)

Immigration Law, Article 48.  Voluntary repatriation of refugees; illegal migrants (Article 88) are deported.

 

(50HND)

Immigration Law, Article 247.  An illegal or undocumented migrant cooperating with national authorities by denouncing or acting as a witness against the perpetrators of the crime of migrant smuggling is released from administrative liability and shall not be rejected nor deported, and shall be repatriated.

 

(26CR)

No applicable legislation exists.

 

Note:  Executive Decree 320-08, Bylaws to the  Immigration Law, Article 304.  Ensuring the dignified and safe return of persons victims of migrant smuggling.

Immigration Law, Protocol of Understanding between the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

Article 51. Repatriation of temporary workers.

Temporary Stay of Victims

Immigration Law, Chapter 156, Sections 13, 18:  According to a provision by the Directorate of Immigration, undocumented persons may be granted a special permit to stay.

 

 

(54BZ)

Immigration Law, Article 39.  Special residence permits for up to 5 years for asylum applicants, refugees, and stateless persons.  Article 76 of the bylaws establishes that special residence permits may be granted to victims for humanitarian reasons.

 

(50HND)
(52HND)

Immigration Law, Article 247.  According to the terms of this article, relating to Article 66, they may stay temporarily while they act as witnesses or help with investigation to identify smugglers, either by order of the General Directorate of Immigration or by Court order.

 

 

(26CR)

Immigration Law, Article 82.  Irregular aliens qualifying as victims shall receive an immigration treatment of protection until their situation has been determined or resolved by relevant authorities.

Article 95.  Conditioned stay in Panama shall be allowed by judicial order or through an order issued by the relevant authority, for aliens who need to appear in court or for an administrative process.  NOTE:  The status they shall be granted to be able to appear is not specified.

 

(40PNM)

Immigration Law, Articles 35 and 47.  Refugee or asylum status is granted. Article 48.  Stateless persons and persons without documents due to special circumstances.

 

Temporary/

Permanent Stay of Victims

Immigration Law, Chapter 156, Section 10 establishes the requirements for residence.

 

 

(54BZ)

Granted only to Cuban “rafters” (www.radiolaprimerisima.com)

 

Idem asylum applicants, refugees, and stateless persons.

Immigration Law, Article 90.  Special categories, such as refugees, asylum applicants, and stateless persons, denouncing persons, and witnesses in legal or administrative processes.

 

(26CR)

Immigration Law, Article 23.  Temporary residence is granted to refugees, asylum applicants, and stateless persons.

 

(40PNM)

IDEM, refugees or asylum applicants.

Actions for Dependants of Victims

 

No regulation exist in regard to this matter.

 

No regulation exists in regard to this matter.

No regulation exists in regard to this matter.

 

COOPERATION

 

Country

Belize

Honduras

Costa Rica

 

Panama

Dominican Republic

National

 

Technical cooperation agreement, General Directorate of Immigration and Center for Assistance to Returned Migrants.

National Coalition Against Migrant Smuggling and Trafficking coordinates joint efforts of public and private sector institutions.

Immigration Law, Articles 83, Paragraph 2), 4), and 5).  National cooperation to combat illegal actions; exchanging information with state organizations to identify persons or organizations suspected of being involved in migrant smuggling.  Coordinating efforts with international organizations to transfer victims of migrant smuggling to their country of origin or residence.

 

(40PNM)

Law 137-03, Article 12.  Institutions in charge of enforcing this law and other relevant authorities shall cooperate in exchanging information with the purpose of identifying:  false travel documents, documents belonging to others, undocumented persons, types of documents, means and methods used by migrant smugglers or groups of migrant smugglers, links of groups and means to detect them to ensure the reliability, security, and integrity of the same.

International

Belize has only ratified the following two instruments for penal cooperation on matters relating to migrant smuggling:

 

Convention Against Organized Crime, and Palermo Protocol on Trafficking in Persons;

ratified in 2003.

Agreement with Mexico for the Dignified Repatriation of Honduran Nationals. 

 

Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, Central America:  Requesting evidentiary elements.

 

International Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters and its Protocol, Nassau, 1992.

 

Convention Against Organized Crime; ratified in 2006.

Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, Central America: Requesting evidentiary elements.

 

Convention Against Organized Crime y and Palermo Protocol on Migrant Smuggling.

Immigration Law, Article 83. Idem.

 

Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, Central America: Requesting evidentiary elements.

 

International Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters and its Protocol, Nassau, 1992.

 

Convention Against Organized Crime and Palermo Protocol on Migrant Smuggling; ratified in 2001.

 

Immigration Law: The National Immigration Service is enabled for national and international cooperation to combat the crime of migrant smuggling (Article 83).

 

(40PNM)

Article 155-159 of the Code of Criminal Procedure:  Establishes regulations for the Attorney General’s Office and the Judge relating to international cooperation in criminal matters.

 

Convention Against Organized Crime and Palermo Protocol on Migrant Smuggling.

Extradition

Governed by agreements signed by Belize.

The Code of Criminal Procedure (Article 150) states that extradition and imputed and sentenced persons shall be governed by international agreements signed by Honduras and by the country's legislation.

 

(49HND)

International Convention on Extradition, Caracas, 198.

Extradition Law (1976): Describes the legal and diplomatic extradition procedures.

International Convention on Extradition, Caracas 1981.

 

Code of Criminal Procedure:  As established under Title IX (2008).

Code of Criminal Procedure: Article 160-165 describes the extradition procedures.

International Training

Provisions of the Convention Against Organized Transnational Crime and its Protocol apply.

Provisions of the Convention Against Organized Transnational Crime apply.

Provisions of the Convention Against Organized Transnational Crime and its Protocol apply.

Provisions of the Convention Against Organized Transnational Crime and its Protocol apply.

Provisions of the Convention Against Organized Transnational Crime and its Protocol apply.

 



[1] Lineamientos regionales para la protección especial en casos de repatriación de niños, niñas y adolescentes víctimas de trata de personas CRM 2007. Este documento define las pautas a seguir en caso de repatriación para personas menores de edad. Aplicable a todos los países miembros