The social and cultural economic rights Committee has published a list of issues that should be considered when examining the third periodic report on Argentina, highlighting questions on the access to adequate housing.

Continuing in the process of analysing and reporting on the obligations of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) the DESC committee published a document listing the issues that should be tackled when examining the third periodic report on Argentina. In the development of this document, the Committee recalled the presentations carried out by civil society organisations, such as the general document coordinated by the Centre of Legal and Social Studies (Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales-CELS-) in which FUNDEPS worked with the recommendations and questions regarding the right to access adequate housing.

In the recently published document, the Committee puts questions to the Argentine government regarding the general obligations of the pact and the specific rights that were promised to be guaranteed. Regarding the right to access to adequate housing, some questions put forth by FUNDEPS in the text presented by the Argentine NGO Alliance ( Alianza de ONGs de Argentina) stand out. In the text, it was stated that “the federal state has, in the last seven year, executed a housing policy on a larger scale than in previous policies, the scope and effectivity of this policy are limited. Equally, there is little clarity regarding the criteria used to decide whether to build in one jurisdiction and not another” As such, enquiries were made into a national housing policy and its articulation on different levels. Additionally, there were questions in the document regarding “the precautions the Argentine state will adopt to avoid evictions leaving families out on the street”, something that is also suggested by the Committee when questioning whether their general comment 7 is being fulfilled. A comment that, amongst other recommendations, states that “evictions that leave people without housing and exposed to the violation of other human rights should not take place.” Below, we present some of the questions submitted by the DESC Committee to the Argentine government.

Initial Information and General Dispositions of the Pact.

Please notify the Committee if the party state is considering the possibility of ratifying the First Optional Protocol of the Pact

Please provide the last available statistical data on the socioeconomic situation of indigenous peoples, particularly on the impact of poverty, life expectancy, literacy rates and access to employment.

Please notify if the party state has implemented their public policies and/or action plans to modify and eliminate attitudes, cultural practices, ingrained stereotypes and discrimination against women in the party state and provide information on its implementation where applicable.

Specific Dispositions of the Pact

The Right to Work

Please provide current and broken down data on employment in the informal sector, with an indication of the policies, programmes and measures adopted by the party state to assure access to basic services and social protection of those employed in this sector, particularly women.

The Right to the Enjoyment of Equitable and Satisfactory Working Conditions

Measures carried out by the party state to guarantee the right to the enjoyment of equitable and satisfactory working conditions in the informal sector, including migrants who find themselves in an irregular situation and especially regarding women.

Union Rights

Please clarify if the right to strike, enshrined in the Constitution, is fully guarantee in practice and if it can be exercised by all registered unions, regardless of their position in accordance with the Law of trade union associations

Protection of Family, Mothers and Children.

Please describe the planned or adopted measures to prevent situations of forced labour, especially in the textile industry in rural areas.

The Right to Access to Adequate Housing

Please provide up to date information on the measures adopted by the party state to guarantee that evictions are carried out in accordance with international principles and directives and general comment No 7 (1997) of the Committee regarding the right to adequate housing: forced eviction.

Please clarify if there is an existing national housing policy and if it includes the principles of the right to adequate housing, including culturally appropriate alternatives for indigenous peoples.

Please provide information on the measures adopted by the party state to improve access to water and sanitation that is insufficient in quantity and quality in rural areas.

The Right to Physical and Mental Health

Please formulate comments on teenage pregnancy rates, secret abortions and sexually transmitted diseases in the party state and provide information on the measures carried out by the party state to guarantee that teenagers have access to public sexual and reproductive healthcare services and a comprehensive sexual education.

The Right to Education

Please provide information on the concrete measures adopted to tackle elevated disparity in the access to primary school education and the subsequent educational levels between the City of Buenos Aires (Federal Capital) and the rest of the country.

Documents:

Observación General 7: El derecho a una vivienda adecuada: los desalojos forzosos

–  Comité DESC: Listado de temas a abordarse en el examen del tercer informe periódico de la Argentina