Martedì, 23 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Italy not exempt from child-labour shame

English
© ANSA

(By Emily Backus)
Rome, June 11 - Roughly 260,000 children under the
age of 16 - or 5.2% - are made to work in Italy, according to a
study revealed on Tuesday.
About 30,000 of Italy's 14-to-15-year-olds are at risk of
exploitation, toiling in activities that may be dangerous to
their health, safety, or moral integrity, reported the study,
which was conducted by the Bruno Trentin Association and Save
the Children.
Some 2,000 interviews were conducted with second-year
high-school students across 15 provinces and 75 schools in Italy
for the first study of its kind conducted since 2002.
Researchers found that just 0.3% of minors under age 11
worked in Italy, but by age 14 or 15, 18.4% of the children
interviewed worked.
Researchers found a strong correlation between early work
in Italy and the country's high dropout rate from school.
In Italy, 18.2% of students fail to complete high school
compared to an European Union average of 15%.
The sexes are almost equally divided among working
14-to-15-year-olds with 46% of them female. Roughly 40% of the
minors that worked did so on a random basis.
However, 24% of those who worked exceed five hours per day,
and a quarter carried jobs for up to a year.
The largest segment - 41% - were employed in family cottage
businesses.
A third did domestic work, sometimes for many hours or in
conflict with school schedules. Some 14% worked for strangers,
and just 4% did babysitting.
Outside of the home, working children in Italy were most
likely to be waiters or coffee bar servers, kitchen helpers,
pastry or baking assistants, door-to-door or sidewalk sellers,
or farm hands.
Only 45% of working minors interviewed said they were
compensated.
Child labour was more common in southern Italy than in
northern or central Italy.
An in-depth examination of 163 working children in Naples
and Palermo revealed dead-end activities with little value,
teaching the children nothing that might help them win a better
vocation later.
The study confirmed a strong link between child labour and
disaffection from school, family and social networks, creating a
poverty trap and making the lure of easy money a temptation to
engage in criminal activity.
"The data that emerges from research says that we must move
on two fronts: one is education, because a large part of the
phenomenon (regarding child labour) derives from the school
dropout effect, and the other is labour reform," commented
Susanna Camusso, secretary-general of the powerful Italian CGIL
union.
"It is evident that serious regulation would prevent the
spread of the phenomenon," Camusso added.
Camusso declared that the obligation to remain in school
until age 18 and the right to study were the "supporting pillar
of reform" needed to make education "the foundation of a
collective and individual resource".
The study's promoters called for the creation of a national
plan to monitor and tackle illegal child labour.
UNICEF estimates there are 150 million children between the
ages of five and 14 used for labour.
An estimated 115 million children between the ages of five
and 17 are employed in heavy or dangerous work, such as carrying
loads, coming in contact with chemicals or working long hours.
Some 60% work in farming, 7% in industry, and 26% work in
services.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, more than a third of children work.
"Child labour is both the cause and consequence of poverty
and social unrest," said Giacomo Guerrera, president of UNICEF
Italy.
"In developing countries, many children are forced to work
because they are orphans or separated from their families or
because they need to supplement family income. The global
financial crisis has further pushed children to launch
themselves prematurely into work, especially toward the most
dangerous forms of work".

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