Main Menu
Human Trafficking

Prevalence, Abuse & Exploitation of Street Children

In the first decade of the 21st Century                                                       

Italian Republic (Italy)

Italy has a diversified industrial economy, which is divided into a developed industrial north, dominated by private companies, and a less-developed, welfare-dependent, agricultural south, with high unemployment. The Italian economy is driven in large part by the manufacture of high-quality consumer goods produced by small and medium-sized enterprises. Italy also has a sizable underground economy, which by some estimates accounts for as much as 15% of GDP. These activities are most common within the agriculture, construction, and service sectors.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: Italy

CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Italy.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspect(s) of street life are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring how children got there, how they survive, and how some manage to leave the street.  Perhaps your paper could focus on how some street children abuse the public and how they are abused by the public … and how they abuse each other.  Would you like to write about market children? homeless children?  Sexual and labor exploitation? begging? violence? addiction? hunger? neglect? etc.  There is a lot to the subject of Street Children.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.


Msgr. John Patrick Carroll-Abbing, Boys' Towns of Italy Founder Dies

Anne Hanley, The Independent (UK), 13 July 2001

[accessed 2 June 2011]

[accessed 18 December 2016]

Wartime mercy missions for the Vatican brought Carroll-Abbing face to face with the plight of the growing hordes of orphaned and homeless children eking out a living by begging, menial work and petty crime. With his army of volunteer helpers – many, according to another Boys' Town legend, sons of aristocrats coaxed by the persuasive priest into Rome's mean streets – Carroll-Abbing doggedly pursued his charity work through 1944 with tacit approval from the Germans and rapturous praise from the Allies. At his "Shoeshine Hotel" shelter near the Termini station in Rome, waifs were expected to return "home" by 5.30pm to clean or cook for their little community.

The theories of self-organisation and self-government hatched in this small experiment were expanded in 1945 when Carroll-Abbing persuaded many of his Shoeshine Boys to follow him to new, more comfortable quarters near Civitavecchia, 45km north of Rome. In this first Boys' Town, the young residents received vocational training and were instilled with a strong sense of their own value within society. Elsewhere in Italy, relief efforts organised by Carroll-Abbing with mainly private international funds provided food and clothing for hundreds of thousands of needy youngsters in the country's poorest regions.

Exploited and abandoned: A child's journey to Europe

Katya Adler Europe editor, BBC, 17 September 2015

[accessed 18 December 2016]

Feeling uncertain and unprotected, thousands of children have run away from Italian reception centres, disappearing on to streets.

With no one stepping in or taking responsibility for them, they're left to fend for themselves. Doing what it takes to survive.

Rome's Termini station has become a hub for Middle Eastern boys with nowhere else to go. Some as young as 11, these are vulnerable youngsters exposed to the worst of humanity.


*** ARCHIVES ***

Runaways - Where To Turn For Help Before You Are Homeless

Rebeccas Community -- This is for anyone aged up to 13 years old who is thinking about running away

[accessed 1 June 2011]

Here are the best phone numbers to call …They are Confidential - which means they won't tell anyone about your call unless you want them to talk to somebody for you, or you are in danger.  They are open 24 hours - it doesn't matter what time you call.  In Italy, call 030/226363 – 2420845

Afghan minors come via Turkey and Greece to live on Italy's streets

Deutsche Presse-Agentur (German Press Agency) DPA, Rome, Apr 5, 2009

[accessed 24 September 2011]

Hundreds of Afghan children who make up the majority of unaccompanied minors living on the streets of Rome mostly arrive in Italy following hazardous journeys through Greece and Turkey and the countries of the former Yugoslavia, Italian news reports said Sunday.

Some of the children have described how, unaccompanied by their parents, they left their homes in the Afghan cities of Herat or Ghazni travelling thousands of kilometres hidden on trucks and ferry boats.   According to Rome daily La Repubblica, some of the children and their relatives paid up to 10,000 dollars for the trip. It was not clear where they obtained the money to do so.   Some 1,100 unaccompanied immigrant children are estimated to live in Rome's streets, compared to and 262 in 2007 and just 32 in 2004, according to figures cited by La Repubblica.

For the children of Naples

[Last access date unavailable]

These are children who at first glance seem ok. They wear designer clothes, seem well fed and give the impression of living a 'normal' life. However, they sprout out of the most difficult backgrounds, experiencing an emotional deprivation, which is far beyond what children should know. Their designer clothes are usually stolen goods, they sell drugs to survive and at night go back home to broken families.

Sydney Film Festival 2001 - Two Flawed Attempts To Dramatise Child Poverty

Mile Klindo, World Socialist Web Site WSWS, 20 August 2001

[accessed 2 June 2011]

[scroll down]

CHILD POVERTY AND POLICE IN ITALY - Animals Crossing the Road by Isabella Sandri is set in suburban Rome and follows a few weeks in the life of Martina Curto (Francesca Rallo), a 14-year-old girl drifting into a life of crime. Susanna Curto (Cristina Donadio), Martina’s mother, works nights as a prostitute and the brothel where she is employed is running drugs. Ali, the brothel-keeper, is Susanna’s common-law husband and, as we later learn, Martina’s real father. During the day Martina, who refuses to attend school, and her boyfriend Sciu (Salvatore Grasso) wander the streets picking pockets and stealing from shops. Sciu spends most of his time away from home in an abandoned warehouse, which he shares with other neglected or poor kids.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 9 February 2020]

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS – In December police arrested a Romanian and accused him of exploiting 9 Romani children, ages 6 to 14, by picking them up in a camp every morning and forcing them to beg on the streets.

Victims of trafficking were usually lured to Western Europe with promises of a job, or sold by relatives, friends, or acquaintances. They were then forced into prostitution, laboring in restaurants or sweatshops, or begging in the street.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 31 January 2003

[accessed 14 February 2011]

[43] The Committee welcomes the adoption of Act 9/99, which extends the duration of compulsory education from 8 to 10 years, and the various programs to improve teacher's training, but remains concerned at the high rate of drop-out in upper secondary education; the variations in educational outcomes for children according to their cultural and socio-economic background, and to other factors such as gender (more girls than boys do obtain a secondary education diploma), disability and ethnic origin.

All material used herein reproduced under the fair use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.  PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHTS OF COMPONENT ARTICLES.  Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Street Children - Italy",, [accessed <date>]