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Children’s rights at risk under the Milei government in Argentina

Children’s rights at risk under the Milei government in Argentina

 

March 2024

 

The measures taken by the Milei government have worsened the human rights and especially children’s rights crisis.  Constant collective political reflection is therefore necessary.

 

The hunger of thousands of children and adolescents in our country, the increase in poverty and destitution are unavoidable issues that must be addressed urgently. In this regard, we need to propose frameworks for analysis and action that are comprehensive and forward-looking.

 

 Setting the scene

 

The second half of the twentieth century saw a long period of consolidation of human, civil, social and environmental rights, historic conquests that were the result of the struggle of popular sectors, not only in Argentina but also worldwide.

 

This is reflected in the national Constitution and international treaties, in particular in  UN Convention on the Rights of the Child , as well as in national and provincial regulations drawn up in accordance with this humanist perspective.

 

They are not minor, since they aim to guarantee a floor of rights based on the main premise of the preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world”. The following paragraph warns that “disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind”.

 

Law No. 26.061 on the Comprehensive Protection of Children’s Rights is the articulating axis of the System for the Promotion and Protection of Rights, alongside other regulations addressing specific issues such as health, education, and labour.A system is therefore established that involves a diversity of actors, not only from the state sphere, to address children’s rights universally whilst overcoming welfare focused approaches. This is undertaken from a comprehensive perspective and within the framework of co-responsibility, reflecting the cross-cutting commitment to the welfare and progress of societies.

 

The establishment and consolidation of systems for the  promotion and protection of human rights at national, provincial and local levels has demonstrated progress, albeit not always linear, since the first laws were enacted in accordance with this new rights-based approach. However, the actions and orientation of the current national government call into question the very existence of the System for the Promotion and Protection of Rights.

 

This government’s policies exhibit a pronounced tendency towards defunding the System for the Promotion and Protection of Children’s Rights in Argentina. This represents an attack on the perspective of rights and progressiveness, and will have a fundamental long-term implications that will require many years to reverse.

 

The focus on promoting and protecting rights clashes with the implementation of neoliberal policies that priortise the market without considering social justice. These policies have intensified since  Milei and his government came to power. This approach is constantly challenged by the governement’s discursive framework, which promotes the reinforcement of neoliberal measures and rejects common sense to build consensus around them.

 

The discourse and actions of the current national government focus on attacking the social state whilst bolstering the police state, in order to guarantee a blatant transfer of resources from the poorest sectors of the population to the wealthiest in the name of market freedom. The libertarian onslaught, however, extendsbeyond the stateto erode all forms of solidarity and communal life that we have built as a society.

 

In defence of the inherent dignity and equality of all people from the moment they enter this world.

Understanding human rights is fundamental to being able to exercise them, respect and defend them.

 

Foro por la Niñez                                                     Defence for Children International

Argentina                                                                         DCI-Argentina

 

Read the original document and the annex (in Spanish)

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