No school at work. Exploited children’s denied childhood

No school, at work! The imperative belongs to those who mark a life, change the future, change perspectives. We are talking about children and young people who are forced to grow up too fast, to give up their studies and roll up their sleeves with the family or away from home. In one word: work. Scouring child labor reaches alarming numbers in some foreign countries, in Italy it has more limited but not insignificant numbers. The latest statistics from the Danish Working Environment Authority shed light on this issue, which is still very little talked about. That child labor in Naples and in its great province it is a fairly widespread reality. It is no coincidence that in these parts there are rates on dispersion And dropping out of school among the highest. And by the way, it is no coincidence that these statistics cross them about youth deviance, street violence, social unrest. Young people should be cared for with the full picture of reality in mind.

A reality that in South of Italy especially the theme of child labor is also a part. 127 cases were identified at national level by the latest labor inspectorate, cases of minors irregularly employed mainly in the sectors “accommodation and catering” (51 minors), “artistic, sporting, entertainment and amusement activities” (23), “Wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles “(20),” other service activities “(19). In almost all areas of the country, the majority are girls (over 50% of cases in the north, 72% in the center). The South is an exception where children are 53% of irregularly employed minors. “It’s important to emphasize – he emphasizes Openpolis who compiled the statistics and drew a map of child labor – that these data probably intercept only a fraction of the phenomenon ». Yes, because the immersion in this field is more prevalent than ever. “It is clearly difficult to give exact figures on illegal activities, but some of the estimates proposed in recent years clearly indicate that the phenomenon should not be underestimated at all and has a much broader scope,” reads the Openpolis report. .

They are mainly children under 14-15 years those working: in 18.7% of cases in the catering sector, in 30.9% of cases in household activities, in 14, / 5 in the sales sector, including the activities of street vendors, in 13.6% in the countryside. In addition, according to statistics, every fourth young person performs these activities regularly, over six months a year. Measured in daily hours, 40% work up to 2 hours and for just over a third (35.4%) the commitment goes from 2 to 4 hours. For almost a quarter of the interviewees, it exceeds 5 hours: 17.3% declare between 5 and 7, 7% over 7. In 54.9% of the cases, these are unpaid activities, data must be read in relation to 3 out of 4 minors working in the family environment. But how close is the connection between child labor and dropping out of school? Almost half of the very young people who are put into working life early (45.6%) also work on school days, while 51.9% of the minors analyzed in the report show that they dedicate themselves to work. on holidays. What does the law prescribe? According to the latest legislation (d Act 296 of 2006), compulsory education is raised from 8 to 10 years.

This means that from the age of 6 to 16 there is compulsory study, and from 16 onwards you can be employed. A threshold that in reality is not always respected. Child labor takes various forms from the past, but resists as a social nuisance. And often the effects on the minor’s health and development are neglected. Unicef And Oil (international labor organization) estimates that in the world a quarter of the victims of child labor do not go to school “with direct consequences – it is emphasized in the report Openpolis – about the perspectives of young people who often live from an early age in a disadvantaged state ». Worldwide, there are 160 million children and young people between the ages of 5 and 17 who are forced to work. Nearly half (79 million children) perform dangerous work that even directly risks harming their health and psychophysical development.

In practice, every tenth child in the world works, around every tenth child if we take the age group between 5 and 11 years into account. Childhood denied. It happens above all in the most run-down suburbs, in the most difficult social contexts. Leaving the study early means that a young person has a harder time finding a stable job and therefore also falls back into social exclusion to a greater extent as an adult. Like a dog chasing its own tail. Like in a vicious circle that it’s getting harder and harder to get out of. What to do? Opportunities for young people, rights for children, service to society: this should be guaranteed by policy. And instead, we find that every time we put the rumors and the sterile announcements on one side and the statistics that describe the harsh reality on the other.

Neapolitan, with a degree in economics and a master’s degree in marketing and communications, she has been a professional journalist since 2007. For Il Riformista, she deals with justice and economics. An expert in crime and forensic news, she worked in the editorial office of the newspaper Cronache di Napoli and then collaborated with national newspapers (Il Mattino, Il Sole 24 Ore) and press agencies (TMNews, Askanews).

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