Argentina, the second-largest country in South America after Brazil, is home to 46 million people. Stretching 4,000 km from the tropical north to the sub-Antarctic south, its history is one of migration, and its diverse landscapes rich in resources.
But its political life has been troubled by military coups and governmental instability, while the economy has gone through dramatic booms and recessions. The effects of the 2002 economic collapse can still be felt by many children and their families, as already before the COVID -19 pandemic, 53% of children and young people were living in poverty.
SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children and young people without parental care, or at risk of losing it, in Argentina since 1979.
Child labour remains an issue in Argentina, with 7% of children exposed to it across the country.
The risk of child and adolescent labour is higher for boys and interferes with their education.
The majority of working children either miss classes on a regular basis or do not attend school at all. Deprived of the opportunity to learn new skills, they are likely to remain manual labourers once they become adults.
Around 16% of girls under the age of 18 are married or living in a partnership. Child marriage is a fundamental violation of human rights that compromises a girl’s development.
In addition, 14 % of women aged 20-24 have given birth before they turned 18. Young mothers are often socially isolated and have to interrupt their schooling. These young mothers need extra support so that they can continue their education and adjust to motherhood.
In 2020, 6,400 Argentinian children died before reaching their fifth birthday, a number that reflects the local communities’ lack of access to basic health interventions such as vaccination, medical treatment of infectious diseases and suitable nutrition.
Most under-five deaths are caused by diseases that are readily preventable or treatable with proven, cost-effective interventions. Infectious diseases and neonatal complications are responsible for the vast majority of those children’s deaths globally.