Venerdì, 15 Novembre 2019
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La Commissione sui Diritti dell'Infanzia esamina le condizioni dei bambini in Italia

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24 gen - The Committee on the Rights of the Child today concluded its consideration of the combined fifth and sixth periodic report of Italy on measures taken to implement the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Ernesto Massimo Ballelli, Deputy Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations Office at Geneva, stressed the utmost importance that Italy attached to this constructive dialogue with the Committee and introduced the Italian delegation.

Manlio De Stefano, Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of Italy, introducing the report, said that over the past years, Italy had adopted renewed and comprehensive policies and measures to promote and protect children’s rights.  The Law N°97/2018 had put the Ministry for Family and Disability in charge of national governance in matters of childhood and adolescence, while the 2017 law on accompanied and unaccompanied migrant children provided for their access to information, legal assistance, identification and protection, and the promotion of family reunification in Italy and other European countries.  The Extraordinary Plan of Action against sexual and gender violence, the national plan to prevent and counter child abuse and exploitation 2015-2017, and an emergency helpline for children were measures in place, with proper financial resources, while in May 2017 Italy had included the bullying component in the definition of violence against children and adolescents.  On the fight against child poverty, Mr. De Stefano highlighted the Basic Income for Inclusion, while further benefits for families and children would be introduced with the 2019 Budget Law.

In the dialogue with the delegation of Italy, Committee Experts took note of a host of action plans in relation to childhood, which raised concerns about the lack of a strategic vision on childhood and adolescents, in addition to coordination of all those plans.  They flagged the declining vaccination rates, and the drop in the number of mothers who breastfed their children, and expressed concern about children’s mental health, since there was a great increase in the number of children diagnosed with specific learning disorders – some 250,000 children had been put into this group due to difficulties in reading, speaking, learning, or simply for poor performance at school.  Child poverty, on the rise since the mid-1990s and worsened by the Euro-zone crisis, retained Experts’ attention, especially the austerity measures and their impact on children, the important disparity in child poverty rates between the north and south of Italy, and the social protection system heavily skewed towards the old, as 59.1 per cent of its funds were spent on old-age pensions and only four per cent on families. 

Reports of numerous cases of children sexually abused by clergymen in Italy were a great source of concern, especially the impunity for those acts, considering that few had been tried and that usually they received very lenient sanctions.  Experts were impressed by the 2017 law on unaccompanied foreign minors that defined them as right holders and prescribed their equal treatment to Italian or European Union minors, but its delayed operationalization was a source of concern.  The delegation was also asked to comment on reports of the Italian Navy intercepting boats carrying migrants in the high seas and forcing them to return to the port of departure; measures to ensure that companies mainstreamed children’s rights in their operations domestically and abroad; birth registration of migrant children; and the fight against corruption due to which Italy lost an estimated US$ 236 billion a year.

Jorge Cardona Llorens, Committee Co-Rapporteur for Italy, in concluding remarks, commended the progress Italy continued to make in the area of children’s rights, and noted that concerns remained about the situation of refugee, migrant and asylum seeking children, as well as disparities and inequalities linked to the place of birth.

Fabrizio Petri, President of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for Human Rights, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy, in his concluding remarks, reiterated Italy’s strong belief in the importance of applying in a formal and complete way the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Renate Winter, Committee Chairperson, concluded by commending Italy for its system which guaranteed the rights of children to visit their parents in prison, noting that this was a best practice that the Committee was recommending to other States parties.

The delegation of Italy consisted of representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Labour and Social Policies, Ministry of Education, University and Research, Ministry of Health, Istituto degli Innocenti – Florence, and the Permanent Mission of Italy to the United Nations Office at Geneva. 

All the documents relating to the Committee’s work, including reports submitted by States parties, can be found on the session’s webpage.  The webcast of the Committee’s public meetings will be available via the following link:http://webtv.un.org/meetings-events/.

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