The Committee considered the second periodic report
of the Republic of Argentina on articles 6-12 of the
Covenant (E/1990/5/Add.18) at its 30th, 31st and 32nd
meetings on 22 and 24 November and, at its 54th meeting
on 8 December 1994, adopted the following concluding
The Committee expresses its thanks to the Government
of the Republic of Argentina for submitting its second
periodic report in 1993 and welcomes the additional
information provided by the Government on articles
9-12 of the Covenant.
The Committee reiterates the obligation of States
parties to submit full reports relating to the articles
under consideration and specifically to the issues
communicated to them before the consideration of each
report. The Committee emphasizes that the objective
must be to present a clear picture of the situation
with regard to economic, social and cultural rights
in the country's report; even though information submitted
previously to another treaty body does not need to
be repeated in the Committee, it is the responsibility
of the State to make appropriate references in conformity
with article 17 (3).
The Committee has considered with interest Argentina's
written report, which contains important legal information,
and has listened to the oral presentation, which placed
the written report in a macroeconomic perspective.
Nevertheless, the Committee notes the absence of specific
information necessary in order to ascertain whether
economic, social and cultural rights are being respected
in Argentina, both collectively and individually.
The Committee acknowledges the reference made by the
Government to a report which it had submitted to the
Committee on the Rights of the Child. Since at present
the Committee does not limit the consideration of
articles 10-12 to the well-being of the child, it
welcomes the indications by the Government that it
will provide it with additional information on the
remaining issues dealt with in these articles.
B. Positive aspects
The Committee welcomes the economic progress achieved
by Argentina in recent years, especially in efforts
to combat inflation, and in the areas of monetary
stability and real economic growth. The Committee
considers that these conditions are conducive to the
promotion of economic, social and cultural rights,
although their implementation does not necessarily
derive from them.
The Committee notes with satisfaction the Government's
programmes and activities relating to the rights of
the family and the child. Mother and child care has
been actively pursued and documented, and the "school
canteen programme" appears to be receiving appropriate
The Committee takes note 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
loan rates. Although more factual data are required
to ascertain how many people and families have found
a permanent solution through the "land plan",
the Committee welcomes the concept underlying the
In this context, the Committee notes the Government's
efforts to increase the percentage of the budget devoted
to public welfare, particularly in the area of workers'
pensions. It also notes the expressed intention of
the Government to initiate periodic programmes for
the training of unemployed and underemployed persons.
C. Factors and difficulties impeding the implementation
of the Covenant
The Committee acknowledges the difficulties encountered
by Argentina since democracy was restored in 1983.
The efforts to deal with the growing demand for public
services have been paralysed by a substantial fiscal
deficit, the external debt and the hyperinflation
inherited from the pre-democratic years.
Adjustment to a more rational economic order has been
difficult for Argentine society as a whole and for
Argentine workers in particular. The Government has
succeeded in stabilizing the value of the currency
but the implementation of the structural adjustment
programme may harm certain social groups. In the light
of this policy, it is unclear whether the Government
has taken measures to resolve the problem of housing
D. Principal subjects of concern
The Committee notes with concern the way in which
the "temporary" workers, as they are known
in Argentina, are treated, since the measures taken
to guarantee their economic, social and cultural rights
appear inadequate, particularly in times of growing
The Committee also notes with concern the extension
of the Government's privatization of the pension programme.
The basic payment system, to which all are entitled,
is gradually being replaced by a new capitalization
scheme whose return depends on the pensioner's contributions.
This calls in question the prospects for those who
are unable to capitalize adequate pensions, including
lower-paid workers, and unemployed and underemployed
In connection with the Government's training programme,
the Committee has been unable to evaluate the need
for it and the impact of such programmes owing to
the absence of statistics on the population affected.
The Committee acknowledges the initiatives taken by
the Government to overcome the housing shortage in
Argentina. However, there is no indication that its
policies, whether those currently under way or those
planned for the future, are adequate to meet all the
The Committee specifically notes with concern the
legal provision permitting rent increases of about
12 per cent, approximately double the previous year's
inflation rate, while wages are apparently frozen.
The Committee is very concerned about the large number
of illegal occupations of buildings, particularly
in Buenos Aires, and the conditions in which expulsions
are carried out. The Committee draws the attention
of the Government to the full text of its General
Comment No. 4 (1991) on the right to adequate housing
and urges the Government to ensure that policy, legislation
and practice take due account of that General Comment.
The Committee, while conscious of the Government's
efforts to increase awareness of hygiene and safety
in the workplace through public campaigns, observes
that such campaigns have not proved effective and
that hygiene and safety in the workplace are frequently
below established standards.
Despite the suggestion made by the representative
of the Government that the indigenous population in
Argentina is small, the Committee is nevertheless
surprised at the absence of information about specific
programmes adopted by the Government to guarantee
the economic, social and cultural rights of the ethnic
E. Suggestions and recommendations
In the light of the inadequacy of the report and the
additional information submitted by the Government
of Argentina, the Committee invites the Government
to submit a further report containing full details
relating to articles 9-11 of the Covenant. The Committee
emphasizes that the new report and all subsequent
reports should be drafted in conformity with the Committee's
revised guidelines of 1990 (E/C.12/1991/1) and that
the new report must also refer to the issues mentioned
in the questionnaire communicated to the Government
before the commencement of the dialogue.
The Committee urges the Government to analyse the
reasons for the lack of effectiveness of its initiatives
in the area of safety and hygiene in the workplace
and to make greater efforts to improve all aspects
of environmental and industrial hygiene and safety.
In relation to the stabilization programmes, the Committee,
while acknowledging the great success achieved through
privatization and decentralization at the macroeconomic
level, observes that such measures are not being adequately
monitored and thus are leading to the violation of
economic, social and cultural rights.