Over 250,000 children under 16 put to work in Italy

150 million child labourers in the world, says UNICEF

Over 250,000 children under 16 put to work in Italy

Rome, June 11 - Roughly 260,000 children, or 5.2% of kids under the age of 16, are made to work in Italy, according to a study revealed on Tuesday. About 30,000 14- and 15-year-olds are as 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. For the first study of its kind since 2002, 2,000 interviews were conducted with second year high school students across 15 provinces and 75 schools in Italy. Researchers found that just 0.3% of minors worked in Italy under age 11, but by the age of 14 or 15, 18.4% of minors worked. Researchers believe there is 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 a European Union average of 15%. The sexes are almost equally divided, with 46% of female 14-to-15-year-olds working. Roughly 40% of the minors that work only do so on an ad hoc, random basis. However, 24% of those who work exceed five hours of work per day, and a quarter carry their responsibilities for up to a year. The largest segment - or 41% - are employed in family cottage businesses. A third do domestic work, sometimes for hours and even in conflict with school schedules. Some 14% work outside their family sphere. Just 4% do babysitting. Less than half of the minors interviewed said they were compensated for their work - just 45%. Child labour was more common in southern Italy than in northern or central Italy. UNICEF estimates there are 150 million children between the ages of five and 14 deployed as child labour. An estimated 115 million children between the ages of five and 17 are employed in heavy or dangerous labour, such as carrying loads, coming in contact with chemicals or working long hours. In Sub-Saharan Africa, more than a third of children work.

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