Conditional Cash Transfers Boom: How do these Programs Benefit Children in Latin America?

Public Policy and Financing

One of the main dilemmas of this new millennium is the growing number of people who do not have access to basic services (health, education, safe water, and shelter), social protection and a minimum income worldwide. This constitutes a real paradox in face of the enormous global economic growth and technological revolution.

52-brotherandsisterThis paradox can only be explained because of the extreme concentration of wealth and power, resulting from the neoliberal model. Many boys, girls and young people, constituting one of the most vulnerable groups, can be found among the marginalized from the basic services, leading to a wide range of deprivations. As a solution, different international organizations, agencies y governments promote social programs that offer conditional cash transfers, generally related to child school attendance and family visits to health centers. This paper analyzes the problems that those conditionalities imply in the light of what we understand public policies to mean: instruments that allow strengthening citizenship, participation, social inclusion and equity.

KEY WORDS Poverty; Child Welfare; Public Policies; Social assistance; Human Rights. By Alberto Minujín, Alejandra Davidziuk, Enrique Delamónica

Source: Salud Colectiva, Buenos Aires, 3(2): 121-131, Mayo – Agosto, 2007

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