Children of Argentina
Realizing Children’s Rights in Argentina
Argentina, once a prosperous country, is seen today as a developing country. Economic globalization has driven a wedge between the rich and poor. Poor children are discriminated against and some of their rights are violated.
Realization of Children’s Rights Index : 8,5 / 10
Population: 42.6 million
Life expectancy: 76,3 years
Main problems faced by children in Argentina:
In Argentina, around 30% of the population lives below the poverty line. Low income families have difficulty raising their children who are sometimes victims of abuse.
Poverty mainly affects rural families where children often live in poor health and have little chance to receive higher education.
99% of Argentinian children have access to education, which is very positive. However, a new form of violence has appeared in schools: violence in education. Children who don’t obey their teachers can be spanked.
This bodily punishment, though not something new, can still disturb the child. The child can then develop behavioral problems and think that violence is the norm.
Education in primary and secondary schools has considerably improved. However, there are indications that there is a high rate of children who are held back or who drop out.
After the collapse of the Argentinian economy, funding for education was reduced. Children from poor families were the first to be affected. For financial reasons, many children had to drop out of school.
The violation of the fundamental right of access to education is contrary to the Convention relating to the Rights of the Child which requires public and free education.
Despite the reduction of infant mortality in the past few years, the rate remains high. The problem mainly concerns children living in rural areas and poor children in the North of Argentina.
A 2006 law enacted by the government mandates the creation of health services as well as assistance and family information campaigns on the rights of children.
This legislative progress is necessary so that all children are permitted access to care and medication.
Some native Argentinian communities see their rights violated and unrecognized. In fact, they don’t benefit from any effective protective measures or mechanisms permitting them to safely assert their rights.
For example, in the province of Tucumán, native families live in abject poverty and miserable living conditions. They are constantly harassed by authorities who try to remove them. After numerous attempts, the authorities succeeded in expelling them. Children must therefore live in extreme poverty with very little available food.
Children who defend their land with their families are often attacked or killed. These people and their children find themselves deprived of fundamental rights such as security, health, food, education, and protection.
Because of the economic crisis, this problem is particularly serious in rural areas.
Children from poor families are sometimes forced to drop out of school to work. Around 7% of children ages 5 to 14 work in order to help their families provide for their food and health needs.
These children face many types of work such as performing housework for the richest families. The economic exploitation of children also leads to sexual exploitation. In fact, some of them will be forced to prostitute themselves in order to earn money.
Adopting many laws and national plans such as the one against sexual exploitation, Argentina hopes to end this troubling situation.