Italy – Twentieth session - 2014
27 October–7 November 2014 - 9am - 12.30pm
II. Developments since the UPR cycle I, with particular reference to the legislative and institutional framework for the protection of human rights
4. Italy has provided considerable financial and human resources amounting to over € 17.3 billion for the protection of human rights, as shown below: [...]
Students with disabilities: € 4 billion annually since 2010; ICF project on disabilities: € 1.7 million; Regional Support Centres (CTS): € 1,159,222 and € 400,000 for training of teachers; 2011/14 school in hospital and home education: € 8,000,000; 2013/14 peer education in multicultural contexts:
€ 300,000; UAMs in 2014: € 40 million; allowance to families with at least three underage children 2013/14: € 41.1 million [...]
5. The Italian legislative and institutional framework for the protection of human rights is particularly strong. Since the cycle I several legislative measures have been enacted or are in the process of promulgation, introducing: [...] the allocation of social cards for families with at least three children (eligibility comprises Italian and European Union citizens, and long-term resident third-country nationals); the extension of long term residence permits also to beneficiaries of international protection (Law 97/2013, Law 35/2012); the protection of the relationship between mothers in detention and their children, by limiting the regime of custody in favour of house arrest at protected foster homes (Law 62/2011); the establishment of the National Authority for Children and Adolescents (Law 112/2011); the identification of natural children (Law 219/2012, establishing of the New Born Fund; Law 147/2013); the further extension of the "social card" and the increase of related funding to over € 250 million (Law 147/2013) for 2013/2016 Immigration and integration policies (recommendations 9-10-63-69-70-71-72-73-74-75)
20. Foreign minors present on the Italian territory (more than 800.000) are obliged to attend school. All legislative measures concerning the right to education, the right to access to educational services and to participate to the school system apply to them. They have a right to education independently from the legality of their presence, at the same conditions of Italian children, and are subject to the same obligation to attend school. During the 2012/2013 school year 786.630 foreign children were enrolled (+ 4.1% over the previous year), equal to 8.8% of the total school population). In 2012, 120.000 foreign students have taken Italian language exams in training schools for adults. On the Ministry of Education website (www.istruzione.it), in the section “I speak your language”, 36 bilingual communication forms are available in Italian and in the main foreign languages of the migrant groups, to encourage communication and understanding of the Italian school system.
Immigration reception system (recommendations 76-77-78-79-80-82)
24. The Praesidium project (implemented by UNHCR, IOM Save the Children and the Italian Red Cross, with the support of the Italian Ministry of the Interior) contributes to a protection-sensitive reception system for aliens arriving by sea, in the context of irregular migratory flows to southern Italy. Launched in 2006 Praesidium (operating since 2012 in all Reception Centres) has proved to be an effective operational model and is regarded as a best practice at the EU level. It provides: legal counselling for migrants; information on Italian legislation with regard to irregular migration, trafficking of human beings and enslavement, on regular entry procedures to Italy, on the submission of applications for international protection, on opportunities for voluntary or assisted return. It helps identifying vulnerable groups, reporting them to the competent authorities and monitors reception procedures at the landing spots and at destination Centres. The Italian Red Cross (IRC) monitors health assistance standards and carries out, together with the health units operating in the facilities, activities and procedures aimed at improving health conditions. The IRC also provides guidance and information on health education distributing material in several languages. Save the Children, involved in this project since 2008, offers legal and cultural mediation services for minors and support and care related activities in the shelters and at dedicated Centres. In cooperation with the Ministry of the Interior, the four organizations focus their activities towards the most vulnerable categories of migrants such as women and UAMs (unaccompanied minors).
25. As of 30 May 2014, 7.182 UAMs were present in Italy, mostly males above the age of 15. They are supported through individual integration paths, including education and vocational training and professional experiences for older minors. UAMs are also given the opportunity to stay in Italy, once they reach the age of 18, by granting them residence permit for study or employment purposes (see para. 60 ff.).
26. The National Programme of Action for the new Fund on Asylum, Migration and Integration 2014-2020 (promoted by the EU within the European Funds framework) is currently being finalized. It focuses on the comprehensive management of migration flows including asylum seekers, legal migration, integration and repatriation of illegal foreign migrants. € 500 million are available (€ 310 million funded by EU). [...]Since 2007 611 projects (to promote inclusion of legal migrants) have been financed through the European Fund for the Integration of third-countries nationals. Within the 2012 EIF annual Programme, the project “Autonomy and integration for young foreign women” was launched in order to support the autonomy of particularly vulnerable migrants: UAMs aged 16-17 and young women under 24 at risk of social exclusion. The project involves 380 young women. Furthermore ESF resources have been allocated to facilitate access to the labour market. The Ministry of Education started implementing the “Emergency Lampedusa” project addressed to all children under 18 on the island. A peer education action was promoted in 2013/2014 involving 1.000 teachers and 20 schools with 1.000 foreign (second generation) and Italian students aged between 11 and 18 years acting as tutors for the newly arrived foreign students. The project is funded with € 300.000 per year.
Fighting discrimination in all its forms
32. Significant resources have been devoted to the social integration of Roma Communities, as part of the PON Programme in Campania, Apulia, Calabria and Sicily. The Programme is run by the Ministry of the Interior with more than € 9 million allocated for infrastructure projects, social integration in workplaces and schools, training of human resources.
Roma, Sinti and Travellers (recommendations 24-25-28-59-61-62)
37. Over the years the adoption of successive measures for the integration and inclusion of the Roma, Sinti and Travellers Communities highlighted the complexity of their situation. Their connotation as “nomads” alone has been definitively overcome. When referring to Roma people, a variety of legal statuses has to be acknowledged: Italian citizens; citizens from other EU Countries; non-EU citizens; foreigners who were granted asylum or subsidiary protection; stateless people, including also those born in Italy from stateless parents.
40. Within the National Strategy, the Ministry of Labour and Social Policies has implemented a project for Roma, Sinti and Travellers child inclusion and integration, funded with € 582.000, with specific regard to children facing serious difficulties and to support adolescents choose their educational path.
Tackling racism in Italy (recommendations 29-3-32-33)
46. A cultural integration training activities programme for teachers and school managers is under way. About € 500.000 have been allocated. In 2013/2014 the National Observatory for the integration of foreign students and for intercultural exchanges was re-established. It comprises academic, social and cultural experts as well as representatives of associations, research institutes and ministries; it analyzes educational policies and develops proposals for the integration of non-Italian students.
Women (recommendations 34-35-36)
51. The CoE Convention on the prevention and the fight against gender and domestic violence was ratified by Italy in 2013. The Italian criminal code now foresees three new types of aggravating circumstances: when violence is against the spouse, also if separated or divorced, or non-cohabiting; for maltreatments, sexual assaults and acts of persecution against pregnant women; for violence against minors. In case of reiteration the law provides the immediate removal from the family, barring proximity to places usually frequented by the victim. Free legal aid is available. € 10 million have been allocated to finance an anti-violence action plan and for shelters. Special residence permits are granted to victims of domestic violence regardless of their immigration status. The residence permit may be issued by the police, on the advice or upon proposal of the judicial authority, in connection with: investigations for family mistreatment, personal lesions, genital mutilation, kidnapping, rape or persecution; acts perpetrated in Italy “in the framework of domestic violence”; “situations of violence or abuse against foreign nationals”, exposed to the risk of revenge for escaping violence or starting criminal proceedings. Permits are valid for one year, renewable, allow access to employment and can be converted into work permits. The law also provides for the annulment of residence permits and for the expulsion of aliens guilty of offences related to domestic violence, even if the proceedings are not complete.
55. A foreigner born and living in Italy up to the age of 18 becomes an Italian citizen if he/she chooses so within one year from coming of age (Law 28/2013). He/she can prove continuous residence by official documentation (access to healthcare services or school attendance) and must be made aware by a formal notice served by the competent officials of the opportunity of becoming Italian 6 months before reaching the age of 18. A Ministerial Order of 2007 provides for flexible interpretation of the precondition of continuous residence in Italy, extending it to minors who can prove that they left Italy for short periods due to study, family or health reasons.
56. Italy ratified the CoE Convention on the protection of children against exploitation and sexual abuse). Law 172/2012 amended the Criminal Code introducing art. 414-bis (Instigation to pedophilia and pornography practices), increasing sanctions or adding complementary sanctions for offenders. In 2012 a Working Group was established at the Ministry of the Interior to cooperate with the National Authority for Children and Adolescents for the protection of children rights. An MoU, renewed in 2014, was signed to exchange information, assess the condition of minors as authors, victims or witnesses of crimes and improve legislation. It also aims to harmonize police activities with regard to identification of minors and the management of UAMs.
57. The Ministries of Education and Justice signed in 2012 an MoU to implement a learning and professional programme for the access of adult and juvenile detainees to social and work reintegration paths. “The School in the Hospital” programme assists hospitalized children; home assistance is provided for children affected by serious pathologies. In 2011/12 € 2.820.000 were allocated for the two projects, involving 78.407 students – of which 4.564 foreign students and 3.113 with disabilities. In 2012/13 € 2.820.700 were allocated.
58. In 2011 14.991 children were hosted in residential centres, 14.397 in families. To prevent abandonment and support family reunification, since 2010 the Ministry of Labour and Social Policies has financed the P.I.P.P.I. project involving 18 Regions in 2014/15. A nationwide project, “A path for fostering”, was launched to promote knowledge and dissemination of best practices of family fostering in Italy. Guidelines for family foster care were adopted in 2012.
59. The Ministry of Education allocates € 4 billion yearly to assist 220.000 students with disabilities, attending ordinary classes since 1971, employing 110.000 ad hoc teachers, educational operators, communication professionals (for the blind, deaf and severely disabled). Monthly transportation allowances (€ 180) are granted and working parents are entitled to permits. Further measures have been recently adopted to support children affected by specific learning problems (350.000) and with special needs (more than 500.000).
60. 7.182 UAMs were present in Italy on 30 May 2014: 517 (7.2%) females, 6.655 (92.8%) males. 89.2% are above the age of fifteen (only 10.8% under 14) and the majority arrived by sea. In 2013: 3.818 (2.503 in Sicily, 632 in Calabria, 665 in Apulia). In 2011– 2012 (because of increased migration from North Africa) UAMs peaked to 4.231. From 1 January to 9 June 2014, 2.389 UAMs arrived by sea, 2.245 in Sicily. To improve data collection and interaction among institutions, an on-line information service is under development to receive and assist UAMs. It is presently tested in 7 areas: Ancona, Bari, Bologna, Crotone, Syracuse, Turin and Venice.
61. Except in particular situations justified by reasons of public order and State security, Italian law (art. 19 of Decree 286 of 25 July 1998) forbids the deportation of a foreigner under the age of 18. UAMs cannot be hosted in a CARA or a CIE. UAMs are entitled to a residence permit, until they reach the age of 18. Moreover, in accordance with the CRC’s obligations, UAMs benefit from a wide set of protections: the right to education, to healthcare, accommodation in a safe place, the right to guardianship. Thus, during the minority age, UAMs are housed in Reception Centres for minors or put in family foster care.
62. A special fund (€ 40 million for 2014) has been established for the reception of UAMs. In 2012 the Ministry of Labour and Social Policies sponsored 1.126 individual grants for the social and labour integration of UAMs after they turn 18.
63. In 2013 Guidelines on UAMs (to define the procedures related to census, family tracing, assisted voluntary return and residence permit conversion when coming of age) were adopted.
74. Minority groups living in border Regions enjoy a special form of autonomy in compliance with the Constitution and Law 482/ 1999 on the protection of historical linguistic minorities. The Slovenian minority of Friuli Venezia Giulia enjoys a particular system of protection arising from international agreements concluded after World War II, completed by Law 38/2001. The latter provides inter alia for the use of the minority languages in joint bodies and in public administration with an allocation of € 7.6 million in [...] Regional Law 26/2007 promotes cultural, artistic, scientific, educational, sport, leisure, information and editorial initiatives involving Slovenian institutions and associations. A regional register of Slovenian minority organizations and a regional fund to support the Slovenian minority have been established. In Trieste a network of state schools operates where students study and speak Slovenian. A Permanent Institutional Panel on issues concerning the Slovenian speaking minority in Italy was established in 2012 in order to strengthen cooperation and dialogue with the Slovenian minority and to identify ways to reinforce their rights.
Fight against human trafficking
Social protection programmes for victims of trafficking
76. Italian legislation provides for the implementation of social protection programmes for victims of trafficking:
• Short term programmes (Law 228/2003): identification, protection and provision of first aid to presumed foreign and European victims;
• Long term programmes (Legislative Decree 286/1998): assistance and social integration for persons who have suffered from violence and serious exploitation or whose safety is at risk, also granting special residence permits for humanitarian reasons. A H/24 toll-free number for victims of trafficking (800 290 290) is active, with multilingual personnel giving assistance and information about legislation and programmes. 665 long term projects were financed in 2000/12 and 166 short term projects in 2006/12. All together 25.051 victims were assisted in 2000/12 (1399 minors). In 2012 € 8 million were allocated to DEO for this purpose.
Victims of labour exploitation
77. As to the protection of illegal alien workers victims of labour exploitation, Legislative Decree 109/2012, enacting EU Directive 2009/52, introduced heavier sanctions for the employer and the possibility to grant a permit to foreign nationals, victims of particular forms of labour exploitation (when aged less than 16, exposed to serious danger related to the nature and conditions of work etc.) volunteering to report their employers to the police and cooperate with law enforcement agencies.
Education and training on human rights
80. The State Police has increased and widened the scope of training activities for operators, with specialized courses on investigative techniques, covering crimes against children and sexual offenses and thematic issues have been introduced such as domestic violence, stalking, violence against women as well as the contrast of discriminatory acts.
82. Since 2012 the Observatory for Security against Acts of Discrimination (OSCAD) has carried out intense training activities for officers and law enforcement officials in the field of human rights, anti-discrimination and contrast of hate crimes, as well as for secondary schools students.
V. Description of achievements, of "best practice" as well as of challenges in implementing the recommendations accepted by Italy
89. The “National Strategy for the Inclusion of Roma, Sinti and Travellers Communities in Italy, 2012–2020”, approved by the European Commission, is focused on four main pillars – Labour, Housing, Health, and Education – to be developed and implemented by national and regional “Working Groups” and “local Plans of social inclusion”. [...] In June 2012 a Task Force comprising the Italian National Statistical Institute, the National Association of Italian Municipalities and the European Fundamental Rights Agency was set up by UNAR in order to collect relevant data. Bilateral and multilateral talks were launched with regional and local Authorities. The following National Working Groups, chaired by the competent administrations, have been established: Working Group of the Regions; on Roma Legal Status; Labour and Social Policies; Health; Education; Housing.
92. The two-year programme of action to promote the rights and inclusion of people with disabilities has been adopted in 2013. It was prepared by the National Observatory on the Status of Persons with Disabilities, with the contribution of all organizations of persons with disabilities. The programme sets seven priority lines of action: a review of access system, recognition of certification of disability and socio-medical model of intervention; labour and employment; policies, services and organizational models for independent living and inclusion in society; promotion and implementation of the principles of accessibility and mobility; educational process and school inclusion; health, right to life, habilitation and rehabilitation; international cooperation.
93. In 2011 the Third National Plan of Action and Measures for the Protection of Human Rights and the Development of Subjects in Children and Adolescents was approved in line with CRC Convention and related Protocols. The Plan provides for four main lines of action: strengthening the network of integrated services and the contrast of social exclusion; strengthening the protection of rights; facilitating intergenerational relationships; promoting migrants integration.
94. Italy supported the adoption of UNSC Resolution 1325 and is among the UN Member States which adopted a second National Action Plan on women, peace and security – 2014/2016, in order to strengthen initiatives to reduce the impact of conflict and post-conflict situations on women and children, improving their involvement as ‘agents of change’ in conflict prevention and resolution.
VII. The way forward
98. Italy is firmly committed to the promotion and protection of human rights and to fully cooperate with international mechanisms such as the UPR aimed at monitoring national progress in this field. [...] Italy’s priorities during the six month presidency of the EU Council are: [...] to promote women rights and to fight against gender violence; to promote an EU resolution on fighting early and forced marriages; to boost European initiatives in the field of freedom of religion or belief and for the protection of religious minorities.
100. The drafting of the National Report is the result of a wide consultative process which has highlighted the following priority action areas: [...]
• rights of migrants, asylum seekers and unaccompanied minors;
• inclusion of Roma, Sinti and Travellers;
• austerity measures and the protection of the economic, social and cultural rights of vulnerable categories (minors, elderly, persons with disabilities);
• gender violence [...]
• prevention of trafficking in human beings and protection of victims; [...]
• education and training in human rights, especially for law enforcement officials.
101. CIDU at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has set up a working group to draft a road map of legislative and executive measures that need to be implemented in the next midterm review with regard to the above mentioned priority action areas.
Background and framework
Treaty body suggestions on treaty ratification
1. Several treaty bodies and special rapporteurs recommended that Italy ratify ICRMW.12 The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) recommended that Italy ratify CPED. Additionally, CRC recommended that Italy ratify OP-ICESCR.
2. CRC and UNHCR recommended that Italy ratify the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.
3. CRC encouraged Italy to ratify the Additional Protocol to the Convention on cybercrime, concerning the criminalisation of acts of a racist and xenophobic nature committed through computer systems,16 the European Convention on the Legal Status of Children Born out of Wedlock, and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.
4. The Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences recommended the ratification and implementation of the Convention on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Cooperation in respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children and the European Convention on the Compensation of Victims of Violent Crimes.
5. CRC urged Italy to amend its declaration under OP-CRC-AC on the minimum age for recruitment to conform with national legislation of a minimum age of 18 years.
B. Constitutional and legislative framework
8. The Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences urged Italy to adopt a specific law on violence against women to address the fragmentation due to the interpretation and implementation of the Civil, Criminal and Procedural Codes. The Special Rapporteur also recommended that Italy address the legal gaps in the area of child custody and include relevant provisions relating to protection of women who are the victims of domestic violence.
12. CRC welcomed the adoption of Act No. 62/2011 on the protection of the relationship between mothers in prison and their minor children, and Act No. 112/2011 on the establishment of the National Ombudsperson for Children and Adolescents.
13. CRC strongly recommended that Italy fully harmonize national legislation with OP-CRC-SC, in particular by introducing a definition of child pornography into the Criminal Code, and that it develop a strategy for the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse.
C. Institutional and human rights infrastructure and policy measures
19. CERD welcomed the 2012 National Strategy for the Inclusion of Roma, Sinti and Camminanti Communities, which was part of the European Union Framework and which covered relevant key sectors such as education, employment, health and housing.
III. Implementation of international human rights obligations
A. Equality and non-discrimination
25. CEDAW called upon Italy to put in place a comprehensive policy to end the portrayal of women as sex objects and to end stereotypical attitudes relating to women’s roles and responsibilities in society and in the family. CRC raised similar concerns.
26. CRC urged Italy to eliminate any remaining discrimination between children born in marriage and children born outside marriage.
31. CERD and CEDAW recommended that Italy remove obstacles hindering the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights by non-citizens, in particular their rights to education, adequate housing, employment and health.
B. Right to life, liberty and security of the person
37. The Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences recommended that Italy promote existing alternative forms of detention, including house arrest and low-security establishments, for women with children, having due regard to the largely non-violent nature of the crimes for which they were incarcerated and the best interests of the children.
41. CRC recommended that Italy prioritize the elimination of all forms of violence against children.
42. CRC recommended that Italy reform domestic legislation to ensure the inclusion of an explicit prohibition on all forms of corporal punishment in all settings, including in the home.
43. The Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children urged Italy to expedite the preparation of a national action plan that identified objectives, delineated responsibilities, provided sufficient funding and set out clear indicators to measure the progress and impact of policy response, in consultation with all stakeholders.
44. On training and capacity-building, the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children stressed the need to consistently implement the existing identification system and allocate adequate resources to it throughout the country. She added that training should be provided for relevant law enforcement agents, especially the police, immigration officials, labour inspectors and social workers, that should seek to enhance the capacity of those officials to identify trafficked persons quickly and accurately and to make referrals to appropriate services, particularly when minors were involved.
45. The Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children emphasized that the recovery and reintegration of victims of trafficking should be given continuous and adequate State funding and recommended that Italy strengthen partnerships with source countries, including bilateral and multilateral agreements, and extend cooperation for the exchange of information and for mutual legal and investigation assistance.
D. Right to privacy, marriage and family life
52. CRC was concerned that Act No. 94/2009 on public security made it compulsory for all non-Italians to show their residence permit in order to obtain civil records. Recalling Italy’s acceptance of universal periodic review (UPR) recommendation No. 40 to implement Act No. 91/1992 on Italian citizenship, CRC recommended that Italy ensure by law the obligation of, and facilitate in practice, the birth registration of all children born in and living in Italy.
53. CRC recommended that Italy undertake a study on the situation regarding the right to a family environment for children with parents in prison.
E. Freedom of religion or belief, expression, association and peaceful assembly, and right to participate in public and political life
54. CRC called upon Italy to ensure in practice that religious instruction was truly optional, and study good practices of alternatives to Catholic religious instruction and consider making them available in the national curricula.
G. Right to social security and to an adequate standard of living
65. CRC was deeply concerned at the high number of children living in poverty and the disproportionate concentration of child poverty in southern Italy.
H. Right to health
69. CRC strongly recommended that Italy refrain from further budget cuts in the education sector, introduce educational support mechanisms for children from economically disadvantaged families, take action to pass legislation on access to vocational training, and develop programmes to improve the integration of foreigners and minority children in schools.
70. CRC was concerned at the very limited number of Roma children enrolled in primary and especially secondary school.118 CEDAW called upon Italy to implement measures to decrease dropout rates among Roma and Sinti girls.119 CERD encouraged Italy to ensure effective access to education by Roma and Sinti children and other vulnerable groups.120 UNESCO made similar recommendations.
J. Persons with disabilities
71. CRC was concerned that disability was still conceptualized as a “handicap”, rather than approached with the aim of ensuring the social inclusion of children with disabilities. It recommended that Italy ensure a rights-based approach in relation to children with disabilities.
73. CERD was extremely concerned about the census that had taken place subsequent to the state of emergency imposed in May 2008 and the “Nomad Emergency Decree” regarding the settlements of nomad communities. CERD was concerned at the information that, in the course of that census, fingerprints and photographs of Roma and Sinti residents of camps, including children, had been collected. CERD strongly recommended that Italy inform the communities concerned that data had been destroyed and that it refrain from conducting emergency censuses targeted at minority groups. CRC made related recommendations.
76. CRC was seriously concerned about the poor health of Roma children. CRC noted with utmost concern the death of six children in 2010 in “illegal” Roma camps with very poor conditions, as well as evictions, deportations, and government efforts to remove Roma children from their parents for their protection. CRC recommended that Italy adopt a national action plan for their genuine social integration into Italian society, allocate adequate resources to ensure sustainable improvement in the socioeconomic conditions of Roma children, and address harmful practices such as early marriage.
L. Migrants, refugees and asylum seekers
77. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed her concern at many of the provisions in the “security package” and at the fact that women, children and men, who, under international law, had not committed any crime, were sometimes spending more time in detention than genuine convicted criminals.
82. UNHCR was concerned that hundreds of migrants from North Africa had been repatriated pursuant to bilateral readmission agreements with their countries of origin. Furthermore, persons who had arrived in an irregular manner in Adriatic ports, including children as young as 13, had reportedly been returned to a third country without their protection needs being properly assessed, in accordance with the readmission agreement signed in 1999.139
84. UNHCR indicated that Italy still lacked an adequate multidisciplinary age determination procedure. The Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants recommended that Italy establish a comprehensive mechanism for the identification of unaccompanied minors that included not only medical examinations but also a psychosocial and cultural approach, in order to best identify specific protection measures in the best interests of each child. CRC also recommended that Italy introduce comprehensive legislation ensuring assistance and protection for unaccompanied children.
85. WGAD was concerned at reports of the summary return of individuals, including, in some cases, unaccompanied minors who had sought asylum, in the context of bilateral readmission agreements, mainly due to inadequate or non-existent screening that had failed to determine their age or to inform them of their rights.
86. CRC recommended that Italy ensure that each child under its jurisdiction, whether on the high seas or on its territory, who sought to enter Italy, had the right to an individual examination of his or her circumstances and was provided with prompt access to asylum procedures and other relevant national and international protection procedures; and that it review its domestic law to ensure that it prohibited the expulsion of persons under the age of 18, even for reasons of public order and State security, where there were substantial grounds for believing that there was a real risk of irreparable harm to the child.
87. CRC was concerned that Italy lacked a framework law on political asylum. UNHCR stated that the fragmentation of the legislative framework on asylum corresponded to a division of competence among various institutions, where different actors often operated without adequate coordination.
89. CRC urged Italy to include the recruitment and use of children in armed conflict as a ground for refugee status in domestic legislation.
91. UNHCR indicated that de facto stateless persons could be found among the Roma and Sinti communities originating from abroad and having lived in Italy for many years. CERD recommended that Italy take measures to reduce statelessness, in particular among Roma and Sinti children born in Italy, and to facilitate access to citizenship for stateless Roma, Sinti and non-citizens who had lived in Italy for many years.
M. Right to development
92. CRC encouraged Italy to strive to redress the fall in official development assistance and recover its growth path in order to meet the internationally agreed target of 0.7 per cent of gross national product by 2015.154
A. Background and framework
1. Scope of international obligations
3. Joint Submission 3 (JS3) recommended that Italy ratify OP-CRC-IC.
2. Constitutional and legislative framework
8. JS9 and JS4 recommended that Italy introduce new penitentiary law only for minors in order to give more space to re-educational programmes and to reduce the impact of disciplinary measures.
3. Institutional and human rights infrastructure and policy measures
10. APGXXIII, Defence for Children International Italy (DCI-Italy), and JS3 indicated that, although the National Action Plan for Children was a bi-annual instrument established by law in 1997, only four National Action Plans were approved since. The last from 2011 was not funded.16
11. JS3 and JS6 noted that a law for the creation of a National Children’s Ombudsman was approved and the first National Children's Ombudsman was appointed. However, only a few regional ombudsmen appeared to have been appointed, with considerable differences in skills, resources and manner of operating.
B. Implementation of international human rights obligations
2. Right to life, liberty and security of the person
35. APGXXIII stated that some children, whose mothers were incarcerated, l lived in prison. It recommended that Italy broaden the protections provided for in the national laws to all children and, choose alternative measures to detain mother and children, for example, in family-like centres.
43. JS3 indicated that there were many cases of child prostitution involving boys. Male prostitution was particularly prevalent in Roma communities.
44. JS6 recommended that Italy approve a National Plan for the prevention of and fight against, abuse and sexual exploitation of minors; establish a database pertaining to the phenomenon of sexual abuse of minors; and allocate sufficient resources to fight the phenomenon of said abuses.69 JS3 made similar recommendations.
45. Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children (GIEACPC) stated that legislation had not been reformed explicitly to prohibit corporal punishment against children in the home. GIEACPC hoped that the UPR Working Group wold make a specific recommendation that legislation be enacted to enshrine the 1996 Supreme Court ruling and explicitly prohibit corporal punishment in the home and all settings.71 JS3 made a similar recommendation.
52. DCI-Italy stated that the Italian system did not provide for any form of victim-offender mediation and penal mediation was not regularly practised. Overcrowding in some juvenile detention centres affected the quality of care services.
53. DCI-Italy indicated that foreign children, and to some extent, Italian children from the southern part of the country were disadvantaged by the Italian juvenile justice system. JS3 stated that foreign children were convicted more often than Italian children, spent longer in pre-trial detention, and were less likely to benefit from alternative measures to detention, judicial pardons or parole.
6. Right to social security and to an adequate standard of living
66. The Joint Submission 7 (JS7) noted that, with the large increase in rents, the cost of rented housing had become too much for many families to bear and that the vast majority of evictions had resulted from the inability to make rent payments. The absence of a targeted national housing policy had compounded many issues for both low- and middle-income families.
7. Right to health
68. JS6 expressed concern about consumption of drugs, alcohol and tobacco among minors and recommended that Italy adopt more restrictive legislation on the advertizing of alcoholic beverages and access to the same by underage children.
69. International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) recommended, among others, that Italy implement a national monitoring system for breastfeeding practices; adopt strict regulation over the marketing of complementary and junk foods and beverages; and extend maternity protection legislation to all working mothers, including those in the informal economy.
70. DCI-Italy was concerned that there was a low number of paediatricians across Italy and lengthy waiting lists to receive specialised care for children. Decentralization of health care had led to regional and local differences in supply, which affected the access of undocumented children.
8. Right to education
71. JS6 stated that Italy was affected by the phenomenon of early school leaving, especially in southern Italy, and particularly in the two years of high school (14-16 years old). In addition, this phenomenon applied in particular to male students.
72. JS3 recommended that the Government refrain from introducing further cuts to spending on education and guarantee all the necessary resources – human, technical and financial – for the integration at school of foreign children and children from minority groups.
9. Persons with disabilities
74. JS8 remained concerned that children with disabilities and their families continued to experience barriers to inclusion in society. Children with physical or mental disabilities were not provided with the adequate assistance to cope with the formal education system, while integration was adversely affected by architectural and other physical barriers.
84. JS8 expressed deep concern at the situation of migrant children, especially those belonging to Roma communities and stated that they faced a wide range of challenges in accessing education, healthcare and housing.
85. ERRC recommended that Italy implement complex housing, employment, education and health projects to promote real inclusion of Roma as the National Strategy prescribed. More concretely, ERRC recommended that Italy end forced evictions, which disrupt children’s ability to attend school; improve the conditions of Roma living in temporary shelters; bring to justice public officials and other actors responsible for forced eviction; ensure family unity and privacy in all offers of alternative accommodation; and conduct outreach campaigns encouraging Roma to access regular primary health services.
91. APGXXIII stated that foreign adults and children who had irregularly arrived on Adriatic ports were also sent back to a third country without access to the protection procedure. HRW raised similar concerns. APGXXIII recommended that Italy apply the humanitarian clause and the sovereignty clause of the Dublin II Regulation, avoiding sending asylum-seekers back to unsafe countries.
95. A number of organizations expressed concerns about inadequate age determination procedures for unaccompanied minors and delay in naming a guardian.
98. APGXXIII stated that a large group of Roma that had lived in Italy for many years was still without citizenship.142 JS8 indicated that the number of children born in Italy to foreign parents had continuously increased. However, the recognition of Italian citizenship remained linked to ius sanguinis.143 ICAAD indicated that there was no facilitated route to citizenship for children born of foreign persons living in Italy.
99. A number of organizations recommended that Italy reform the law on citizenship (Law No. 91/1992), taking measures to make it easier to acquire citizenship for: statelessness Roma and Sinti, who had lived in Italy for many years; children born of foreign persons living in Italy; minors entering the country; and adults after five years of permanent residence.
The following recommendations were accepted
Italy welcomes the recommendations made during its Universal Periodic Review on October 27th, 2014. Italy accepts the following recommendations, considering them already implemented or under implementation
145.13 Consider ratifying the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure (OP-CRC-IC) (Gabon);
145.14 Ratify OP-CRC-IC (Costa Rica); Ratify OP-CRC-IC (Portugal); Ratify OP-CRC-IC (Montenegro);
145.25 Adopt further legislation that restricts and prevents minors from all consumption of drugs, alcohol and tobacco (Lebanon);
145.54 Further institutionalize measures to protect and promote the rights of the child (Viet Nam);
145.82 Condemn all statements of a racist nature and increase awareness-raising, particularly directed at youth, of the unacceptability of racism (Norway);
145.91 Strengthen protection of women and children, ethnic minorities, migrants, persons with disabilities, older persons and other vulnerable groups (China);
145.92 Continue paying special attention to the protection of the rights of vulnerable groups of the population, in particular, children, women, persons with disabilities, older persons, national minorities, especially Roma (Russian Federation);
145.104 Further improve the living conditions in State penitentiaries and juvenile detention centres (Thailand);
145.106 Continue with its efforts regarding violence within the family and with the enforcement of the three categories of aggravating circumstances included in the Italian Criminal Code, in order to prevent violence in all its forms (Dominican Republic);
145.114 Address the legal gaps in the area of child custody and include relevant provisions relating to protection of women who are the victims of domestic violence as recommended by the Special Rapporteur on violence against women (Botswana);
145.115 Take the necessary measures to ensure that national protection laws against sexual violence, including in the domestic context, be applied at all levels consistently and effectively to fight against impunity (Switzerland);
145.117 Allocate sufficient funds for the effective protection of victims who report gender-based violence and focus on training and education in order to prevent such acts of violence, especially within the family (Germany);
145.124 Improve identification of victims of trafficking in human beings by setting up a coherent national mechanism of identification and referral of such cases, including among unaccompanied minors, irregular migrants and asylum seekers (Republic of Moldova);
145.125 Provide follow-up to the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings with a particular concern on unaccompanied minors (Holy See);
145.128 Protect children from all types of abuses by ensuring rigorous implementation and monitoring of existing frameworks to capture all threats to all children (Maldives);
145.132 Provide, in accordance with its obligations under international human rights law, effective protection for the family as the fundamental and natural unit of society (Egypt);
145.149 Continue efforts for implementation of the National Strategy for the Inclusion of Roma, Sinti, and Travellers and to further promote Roma inclusion in local communities, with specific regard to providing necessary assistance and support to children and adolescents in the field of education (Serbia);
145.151 Consider taking further measures to combat all forms of discrimination against the Roma community, and ensure equal opportunities for the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights, including education, health and housing (Sri Lanka);
145.152 Adopt legislation on access to vocational training and develop programmes to improve the integration of foreigners and minority children in schools (Iran (Islamic Republic of));
145.154 Provide the necessary resources to improve the schooling of children which belong to vulnerable groups and to combat the early dropout rates of children (Algeria);
145.156 Continue to strengthen the laudable initiatives to ensure a fully integrated school system for migrants, ethnic minorities, women, girls and boys, notably from the Roma communities (Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of));
145.174 Ensure that all those involved in the reception process for migrants have the training, time and ability to identify persons who want to apply for asylum. Anyone claiming to be an unaccompanied minor should benefit, without exception, from the specific protections guaranteed under Italian law, pending a properly conducted age determination (Netherlands);
145.179 Introduce legislation to ensure assistance and protection for unaccompanied children seeking asylum (Denmark);
145.180 Ensure that every child, particularly unaccompanied minors, whether on the high seas or on its territory, who seeks to enter Italy, has the right to an individual consideration of his/her circumstances and is provided prompt access to asylum and other relevant national and international procedures and protective measures (Brazil);
145.181 Strengthen mechanisms to integrate migrant children in the school system (Angola);
The following recommendations were rejected by Italy
On the remaining recommendations, Italy wishes to express the following considerations:
Recommendations No. 145.1- 145.6
145.1 Study the possibility of acceding to the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (ICRMW) (Egypt);
145.2 Consider ratifying ICRMW (Chile); Consider ratifying ICRMW (Indonesia);
145.3 Ratify ICRMW (Ghana); Ratify ICRMW (Sierra Leone); Ratify ICRMW (Uruguay); Ratify ICRMW (Peru); Ratify ICRMW (Iran (Islamic Republic of));
145.4 Ratify ICRMW (Senegal);
145.5 Complete the ratification process of ICRMW, as recommended by several treaty bodies and special rapporteurs (Turkey);
Recommendations No. 145.126-145.1274.
145.126 Enact legislation to enshrine the 1996 Supreme Court ruling in legislation and explicitly prohibit all corporal punishment of children in the home (Liechtenstein);
145.127 Explicitly prohibit all corporal punishment of children, bringing legislation into line with the 1996 Supreme Court ruling against violence in child-rearing (Sweden);
The protection of children from all forms of violence within the family, including even mild corporal punishment, is enshrined in Articles 2, 3, 29, 30 and 31 of the Italian Constitution. The protection of children from “all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child” also flows from the 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Italy incorporated into national law in Law No. 176 of 1991.
Article 572 of the Criminal Code punishes with imprisonment any ill - treatment of children within the family. In Italian law ill- treatment means “any form of physical or psychological abuse, any behaviour likely to result in a state of physical or spiritual prostration or any form of submission” and “all forms of harassment of a child by an adult or a person belonging to the same household”. The penalties are more severe when the ill -treatment results in physical injury or death, and depending on the presence of aggravating circumstances. In addition to the criminal sanctions against abusers, there is a whole range of measures in civil law to protect children who are victims of abuse. When bringing proceedings under Article 572 of the Criminal Code, the Public Prosecutor is required to inform the Youth Court that has territorial jurisdiction and to ensure that the child concerned is assisted by the social services (Article 609decies of the Criminal Code). The Youth Court may order the abuser to stay away by means of the protection orders provided for in Article 342bis of the Civil Code, or may have the child taken away, if necessary (last paragraph of Article 333 of the Civil Code).
The Court of Cassation has extensively interpreted Article 571 of the Criminal Code asserting that the use of any degree of violence may not be regarded as a lawful correctional measure, but comes under the category of ill-treatment which is explicitly prohibited by Article 572 of the Criminal Code. Correctional measures (jus corrigendi) are therefore to be understood to mean only a system of instructions, guidelines and potential orders and advice, as well as prohibitions and mild penalties for failure to comply, all falling within the sphere of the bringing up of children.