Monetary transfers for children and adolescents in Argentina: characteristics and coverage of a "System" with three components

Fabio Bertranou and Roxana Maurizio*

In 2009 Argentina established a new programme of transfers for children and adolescents, Asignación Universal por Hijo (Universal Child Allowance – AUH), that was aimed at those families engaged in the informal economy, inactive adults without unemployment insurance, unemployed people without any social security payments and those working in domestic service. This non-contributory programme is an addition to those programmes already in existence: a contributory family allowance (AFC) and a tax deduction from income tax (known as the ‘tax on earnings’) for each child (ACF). With the new programme, coverage was extended substantively in both quantitative and qualitative terms, taking over the role that was previously played by the Heads of Household Programme and the Families Programme.

The configuration of the new ‘system’, however, still shows some gaps in coverage, and the effectiveness of transfers could be increased through measures to optimise mechanisms for coordination and integration with other social policies. The challenges for the future consist of generating a more unified system for family allowances and establishing a comprehensive policy for the social protection of children and adolescents that takes into account effective access to essential basic services such as health and education, thereby ensuring a smoother transition from school to work.


*Fabio Bertranou, International Labour Organization. E-mail:
Roxana Maurizio, General Sarmiento National University and CONICET. E-mail:



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