1. The Committee
considered the second periodic report of the Republic of Argentina
(E/1990/6/Add.16) at its 33rd, 34th, 35th and 36th meetings held on
17, 18 and 19 November and, at its 52nd meeting, held on 1 December
1999, adopted the following concluding observations.
2. The Committee
welcomes the second periodic report submitted by Argentina and the
written replies to the Committee's list of issues (E/C.12/Q/ARG/1),
as well as the constructive dialogue conducted between the Committee
members and the State party's delegation. Notwithstanding, the Committee
regrets the delay with which the State party submitted its written
replies to the list of issues, which prevented its timely translation
and therefore its full use by all members.
3. The Committee
has considered with interest Argentina's written report, which contains
important legal information, but notes nonetheless the absence of
specific information needed to evaluate the implementation of economic,
social and cultural rights in Argentina.
B. Positive aspects
4. The Committee
notes with satisfaction article 75 of the 1994 Constitution, which
provides for the restitution to the indigenous peoples of some of
their traditional lands. It further welcomes the restitution of large
tracts of traditional lands.
5. It also
notes with satisfaction the adoption of the Emergency Plan (Plan
de Emergencia) that aims to help those living below the poverty
6. The Committee
welcomes the information that the State party has signed immigration
agreements with Bolivia and Peru in order to regularize the situation
of citizens of those countries in Argentina.
7. The Committee
takes note of the partial implementation of the Government's plan
to facilitate home ownership by tenants illegally occupying government
property by giving them the opportunity to purchase the land they
are occupying at preferential interest rates.
8. The Committee
notes with satisfaction the success of the Government's health programme
in finding a cure for Chagas disease, which has been recognized by
the World Health Organization.
9. The Committee
welcomes the information that human rights education is now available
throughout all levels of education.
C. Factors and difficulties impeding the implementation of the
10. The Committee
acknowledges the financial difficulties encountered by the Argentine
economy in the last four years. While the Government has succeeded
in stabilizing the value of the currency, the implementation of the
structural adjustment programme has hampered the enjoyment of economic,
social and cultural rights, in particular by the disadvantaged groups
D. Principal subjects of concern
11. The Committee
is concerned about the six Mapuche indigenous communities who, despite
having obtained legal recognition of their rights over some of their
traditional lands in the Pulmari area, have not yet received the property
deeds to these. It is also concerned about the status of the Indigenous
and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 (Convention No. 169) of the International
Labour Organization, the ratification of which was authorized by the
National Congress in 1989 but which has yet to take place.
12. The Committee
is concerned about the very high unemployment rate in Argentina (almost
15 per cent) and in particular about the large number of the new poor
(nuevos pobres), who had traditionally belonged to the middle
13. It is
particularly concerned about the large number of workers who fall
within the informal economic sectors. Approximately 37 per cent of
urban workers in the country are not registered which, according to
the Government's own estimates, implies that some 3 million workers
have no social security coverage.
14. The Committee
is also concerned that unemployment benefits reach only some 6 per
cent of the unemployed population and that some categories of workers
are excluded, such as rural domestic and construction workers and
15. The Committee
notes with concern the way in which "temporary" workers,
as they are known in Argentina, are treated, since the measures adopted
to promote job creation have not secured for them the economic, social
and cultural rights of workers, particularly in times of growing unemployment.
16. The Committee
notes with concern the adoption by the State party of legislative
reforms that tend to increase the precariousness of work relationships.
This is evidenced by permitting the adoption of collective agreements
that reduce the legal work standards (Law 24.467, chap. III), an increase
in the trial period stipulated in work contracts and the generalization
of contracts of limited duration.
17. The Committee
notes with concern that various de facto discriminatory practices
against women exist, particularly in the areas of employment and equal
18. The Committee
also notes with concern the extent of the Government's privatization
of the pension programme, in particular article 16 of Law 24,463 which
allows the Government to reduce, and eventually even not to pay pensions
by invoking economic constraints.
19. The Committee
has had difficulty in evaluating the Government's programmes for training
workers and the impact of these programmes owing to the absence of
20. The Committee
is concerned about the housing deficit in Argentina and that the initiatives
taken by the Government have not been adequate in this regard. The
Committee is also concerned at the lack of statistics in Argentina
relating to housing.
21. The Committee
reiterates its concern about the high incidence of irregular occupations
of buildings, particularly in Buenos Aires, and the circumstances
in which evictions are carried out.
22. The Committee
is concerned at the privatization of labour inspections and control
systems and notes that public campaigns are not an adequate substitute
for efficient inspections carried out by public authorities. The Committee
is also concerned that conditions in workplaces, particularly in the
building sector, frequently fail to meet established standards.
23. The Committee
is concerned that the right to health is not being fully implemented
in the State party. In particular, it is concerned about the conditions
in public hospitals in general and with psychiatric hospitals in particular.
24. The Committee
is concerned about the health of pregnant women, in particular the
relatively high maternal mortality rate, and the high adolescent pregnancy
25. The Committee
also notes with concern the increasing incidence of violence against
women, in particular domestic violence.
26. The Committee
notes that the State party has had in place for 10 years, a programme,
which has been trying to address the question of street children,
particularly in Buenos Aires. However, it remains concerned that the
root problems have not been successfully addressed, given that the
number of children on the streets has continued to increase.
E. Suggestions and recommendations
27. The Committee
suggests that the State party introduce institutional arrangements,
within the government administration, to ensure that its obligations
under the Covenant are taken into account at an early stage in the
formulation of national policies on issues such as housing, health
28. The Committee
also recommends that the State party, when negotiating with international
financial institutions, take into account its Covenant obligations
to respect, protect and fulfil all of the rights enshrined in the
29. The Committee
recommends that the State party ratify ILO Convention No. 169, in
accordance with the authorization given by the National Congress in
1989, and to find a solution that will satisfy the rights of the Mapuche
communities in the Pulmari region.
30. The Government
is also urged to adopt more effective measures to reduce unemployment.
Furthermore, it should ensure that the economic, social and cultural
rights of temporary workers are effectively respected.
31. The Committee
recommends that the State party examine its legislation with regard
to provisions of collective agreements that have detrimental effects
such as those lengthening the trial period stipulated in work contracts,
or limiting the duration of contracts, and to verify their conformity
with articles 6 and 7 of the Covenant.
32. The Committee
calls upon the Government of Argentina to take steps to guarantee
equality in law and in practice between men and women in the enjoyment
of economic, social and cultural rights.
33. The Committee
urges the State party to ensure that its social security system guarantees
workers an adequate minimum pension, which should not be unilaterally
reduced or deferred, especially in times of economic constraints.
Consequently, it recommends that the State party repeal article 16
of Law 24,463 of 31 March 1995 in order to guarantee the full payment
of all pensions.
34. The Committee
recommends that the Government's programmes for training workers be
assessed and that statistics be provided to the Committee so that
it can evaluate the Government's policies in this respect.
35. The Committee
recommends that the State party continue and enhance its initiatives
to overcome the housing shortage in Argentina, and that it provide
the Committee in its next periodic report with detailed statistics
on the housing situation in the country.
36. The Committee
also recommends that the State party continue its policy of legalizing
deeds to those that have possession of houses. The Committee also
recommends that the existing procedures for the eviction of illegal
occupants be reviewed as a matter of priority. The Committee once
again draws the attention of the Government to the full text of its
General Comments No. 4 (1991) and No. 7 (1997) on the right to adequate
housing and urges the Government to ensure that policy, legislation
and practice take due account of both general comments.
37. The Committee
urges the Government to improve the effectiveness of its measures
in the area of safety and hygiene in the workplace, particularly in
the construction sector, to increase its efforts to improve all aspects
of environmental and industrial hygiene and safety, as well as to
ensure that the control and inspection of industrial hygiene and safety
are carried out by public authorities.
38. The Committee
urges the State party to review its policies on health, and in particular
that it pay attention to the issues of mental health, maternal mortality,
adolescent pregnancies and HIV/AIDS, and that it provide the Committee
with comprehensive statistics in its next periodic report.
39. The Committee
urges the State party to intensify its efforts to combat the problem
of violence against women, in particular domestic violence.
40. The Committee
recommends that the State party adopt measures to combat the problem
of street children and to attack the root causes of this situation.
41. The Committee
recommends that the concerns expressed in the present concluding observations,
as well as the issues raised during the discussion of the second periodic
report which remain unanswered, inter alia regarding the guarantee
of pensions and social security, should be addressed in the State
party's third periodic report.
42. The Committee
requests the State party to disseminate the present concluding observations
widely at all levels of society and in its third periodic report,
to be submitted on 30 June 2001, to inform the Committee on all steps
taken to implement them.