Improving the Capacity of Labor and Agriculture Stakeholders to Address Child Labor in Agricultural Areas of Argentina Project

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Region/Country:
Project Duration:
January 2019
-
August 2022
Funding and Year:
FY
2018
: USD
2,500,000

This project is building the capacity of labor and agriculture stakeholders to more effectively implement the National Action Plan on Child Labor and coordinate efforts to combat child labor. The project is generating knowledge and information on child labor and adolescent work in agriculture; raising awareness of and advocating for a solution to the problem; and helping labor and agriculture stakeholders build their capacity to address child labor by designing local-level models, methodologies, and tools. It utilizes existing structures at the national, provincial, and municipal levels to expand coordination to reduce the risk that children will be harmed by performing hazardous work in agriculture.

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The Problem

Hazardous child labor in Argentina is common in agriculture, particularly in rural areas. Child labor affects 9.4 percent of all children aged 5 to 15, and 21.9 percent of all adolescents aged 16-17. Agricultural work often involves long periods of stooping, repetitive movements, carrying heavy loads, and/or exposure to toxic chemicals, which can negatively affect children’s development.

National and provincial-level commissions for the prevention and eradication of child labor coordinate efforts to monitor and combat child labor. The Secretariat of Labor and Employment is the lead agency on the issue, with collaboration from other government agencies and representatives from international organizations, industry associations, and labor unions. Despite coordination efforts, the reach of labor law enforcement by the Secretariat of Labor and Employment in agricultural areas remains limited, reducing protections for children engaged in hazardous agricultural labor.

 
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Our Strategy

The project seeks to engage key actors with labor and agriculture mandates, working closely with the Secretariat of Labor and Employment and Ministry of Agro-Industry, to increase their capacity to coordinate efforts to address child labor and implement Argentina’s National Action Plan for the Prevention and Eradication of Child Labor (2018-2022). The project does this by:

  • generating knowledge and information on child labor and adolescent work in agriculture;
  • raising awareness of and advocating for a solution to the problem; 
  • helping labor and agriculture stakeholders build their capacity to address child labor, and, 
  • designing local-level models, methodologies, tools, good practices, and sharing lessons learned.

The project works to achieve these outcomes at the local level focusing on the provinces of Mendoza, Santa Fe, and Buenos Aires, with a sectoral focus on tomatoes, garlic, and cotton. Project activities in these areas serve as models to inform work on the national level and for broader dissemination.

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Results

  • One of the project’s major accomplishments is the development of a Child Labor Training Module for agricultural technicians. Multiple government agencies provide this training module, which covers laws and information around child and adolescent work, as well as prohibited labor practices in the agricultural sector. Over 1,400 technicians have been trained since May 2019.
  • As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the project implemented an awareness campaign on decent work in the Buenos Aires Fruit and Vegetable Central Market (Mercado Central de Buenos Aires). Active in the fall of 2020, this awareness campaign had a powerful impact on social media and showed a deep commitment by the Market organizers to end Child Labor.
  • As part of its research objectives, the project completed a study called "Effects of Innovation Technologies in Family Agriculture Labor Organization. Access to Water for Different Uses." The results of this study showed that rural families can have access to water for different uses at low cost if the proper technologies are implemented. The study will make a substantial contribution to international regulation concerning clean water and sanitation in rural areas, and contribute to reducing children’s and adolescent’s heavy household tasks.
Grantee: International Labor Organization (ILO)
Contact Information:
GlobalKids@ILAB.dol.gov
/
Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking (OCFT)