Close to 2 million kids live in poverty, according to UNICEF report (2012). The country has the highest percentage of child poverty in all 25 European countries. Italy may conjure up postcard perfect images of beauty, art, and culture, but it is also a country in which nearly 2 million children are struggling to survive.
Every morning, hundreds of thousands of children in Italy’s poorest regions wake up hungry. Some have never used a computer because the schools can’t afford them in the classrooms. Many don’t go to school at all, or when they do they drop out, hoping to find scarce jobs. While their parents try to eke out a living, infants are left alone with young children as caregivers because of a lack of public day care. A growing number of children work as laborers on farms. Others are pushed into the sex trade to help support their families. Thousands live without basic amenities like hot water, regular meals, or simple health care.