Contemporary Challenges and Risks
Edited by Lourdes Gaitán, Yannis Pechtelidis, Catarina Tomás and Natália Fernandes
Chapter 9: Poorest of all: a case study of Roma children in Italy
The chapter focuses on child poverty in Italy, taking into account the main official statistics. Poverty is associated with some clearly defined socio-demographic characteristics and it is distributed very unevenly across the north, centre and south of the country. Southern Italy has a much higher incidence of poverty, due to the disparities in the economic and production systems and to the difference in the local welfare and regional policies supporting families. Economic poverty brings a chain of individual disadvantages that have lifelong effects and creates a risk of regenerating social inequalities: poor children are more likely to become adults with few opportunities, in turn generating families in conditions of poverty. Finally, the chapter stresses how Roma children and adolescents living in ‘nomad camps’ in Italy are a social group in extreme poverty. Nomad camps are places of segregation and produce the radicalization of marginalization and social distress. Education and training are the areas where Roma children’s social exclusion is evident.
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