ECLAC, ILO praise AUH impact on poverty, child labour reduction
The Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLAC) and International Labour Organization (ILO) flatly rejected that Argentina’s Universal Child Benefit (AUH) worked as an incentive for beneficiary not to look for jobs and praised its impact on poverty and child labour reduction.
In a joint document entitled “Conditional Cash-Transfer Programmes and labour market”, both organizations said that given the small amounts in AUH allocations, they “do not usually have an impact on a lower labour market insertion among the working age population, but it does among children, as intended”.
Thus, the report highlights that Argentina’s Conditional Cash-Transfer Programmes “have achieved the desired effect to disencourage child labour”. However, they pointed out that AUH “did not have a significant impact on labour participation rates, employment rates or worked hours by the working age population that benefits from the programme”.
ECLAC and ILO dismissed critics who say AUH encourage families to stop looking for work and said those arguments are often linked to an ideology that asserts that people who live in poverty live like that due to a lack of effort. The document explains that “poor families that benefit from Conditional Cash-Transfer Programmes can hardly sit idle since the monetary transfers amounts are not very high and usually have a limited capacity to cover their income shortfalls”.
“Even with the transfers, families still depend on their own effort to pull themselves out of poverty and remain out of it,” the report reads.
Both organizations underscored that these programs are helping “reduce poverty in the short term, by increasing poor families’ consumption with monetary transfers, and in the long term, by investing in human capital in children boosted by conditionality” which are attending school and regular medical checkup in the case of AUH.