In 2001, Argentina was engulfed in a deep economic and social crisis, which has generated levels of unemployment and poverty never witnessed before in the country. The crisis and the development of employment and income distribution over the last 15 years illustrate the profound impacts globalization and structural adjustment programmes can have on national economies and societies. To guide the process of recovery and reconstruction, the Government has adopted poverty reduction, decent work and gender equality as major objectives, which are included in the country's Millennium Development Goals (pdf).
Realizing the goals of poverty reduction, decent work and gender equality requires an integration of social and labour objectives into coherent economic and social policies as well as an integrated set of employment and labour policies.
The Country Programme builds on the successful cooperation between the ILO and its constituents in government, employers' and workers' organizations in dealing with the immediate aftermath of the 2001 crisis.
The Country Programme is a significant part of the follow-up to the report of the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization (pdf). The Programme is assisting national partners to develop national policy responses to globalization in line with recommendations of the World Commission.
Under the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Argentina and the ILO in June 2004, ILO assistance in providing a national policy response to the challenges of globalization and recovery is structured around two axes:
- Integration of employment and labour objectives and policies with macro-economic and social policies which impact the quantity and quality of employment; and
- Integration within employment and labour policies related to employment promotion, regularization of employment relations and eradication of child labour, income distribution and social security.
In these policy fields the Country Programme will contribute to capacity building, policy analysis and development, and strengthening of institutions and procedures for implementation.