1. The Committee
considered the third periodic report of Italy on the implementation
of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
(E/1994/104/Add.19) at its 6th, 7th and 8th meetings, held on 27 and
28 April 2000, and adopted, at its 23rd meeting held on 11 May 2000,
the following concluding observations.
2. The Committee
welcomes the submission of the third periodic report of the State
party as well as its written replies to the list of issues that were
presented by a high-level delegation comprised of officials of various
ministries. However, it notes with regret the late submission of the
report as well as the written replies to the list of questions. The
Committee welcomes the constructive dialogue with the delegation.
B. Positive aspects
3. The Committee
notes with appreciation the measures taken by the State party to combat
organized crime. The Committee also welcomes the adoption of the immigration
bill of 1998, granting one-year residence/work permits to women who
have been the victims of trafficking and who denounce their exploiters,
and the criminalization of trafficking of migrants under the Penal
4. The Committee
also notes with appreciation the approval of the Texto Unico 286/98,
which gives foreigners "regularly present on the national territory"
equal standing with Italian citizens regarding access to residential
and public housing, and credit on favourable terms for building, acquiring
or renting their first home.
5. The Committee
notes with appreciation the approval of law No. 53 of 8 March 2000
which recognizes the right of the father, as well as the mother, to
take leave from work to care for a child during early infancy.
6. With regard
to the problem of domestic violence against women, the Committee welcomes
the approval of law No. 66 of 1996, characterizing sexual violence
as "a crime against the person" punishable by imprisonment.
and difficulties impeding the implementation of the Covenant
7. The Committee
notes the socio-economic problems arising from the increase in immigration
to Italy caused by the tragic events in the Balkans and the influx
of persons from other regions.
D. Principal subjects of concern
8. The Committee
regrets that some of the written replies to the list of issues were
insufficient, and that some oral statements made during the dialogue
were too vague and general.
9. The Committee
notes with concern the statement made by the State party in its written
replies to the list of issues, confirmed by the delegation during
its dialogue with the Committee, that only very few court rulings
refer explicitly to the Covenant.
10. The Committee
notes with concern that a large number of the Roma population live
in camps lacking basic sanitary facilities on the outskirts of major
Italian cities. The Roma on the whole live below the poverty line
and are discriminated against, especially in the workplace, if and
when they find work, and in the housing sector. Life in the camps
has had a major negative impact on the Roma children, many of whom
abandon primary and secondary schooling in order to look after their
younger siblings or to go out begging in the streets in order to help
increase their family income.
11. The Committee
draws the attention of the State party to the concern expressed by
the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations
of the International Labour Organization (ILO) regarding the transfer
to local health units of the functions of the labour inspectorate
with regard to prevention and occupational safety and health. The
Committee is concerned that such transfer may create a problem of
coordination. The Committee also regrets that the delegation did not
answer the question put to it on this matter.
12. The Committee
is alarmed by the high rate of accidents in the workplace and draws
the attention of the State party to the concern expressed by the ILO
Committee of Experts which has repeatedly drawn the Government's attention
to the need to adopt legal regulations and policies on the prevention
of accidents in the workplace, and in particular in the ports.
13. The Committee
regrets the insufficiency of the information provided by the State
party concerning the social security system, especially considering
that the Committee's previous concluding observations on Italy had
signalled a lack of information on article 9 in the State party's
second periodic report (E/1993/22, para. 188).
commending the State party for its efforts to combat violence against
women, the Committee remains concerned that the Government has not
yet devised a comprehensive, coordinated and concerted strategy to
address this serious problem.
also commending the State party for the many initiatives taken to
combat organized crime, the Committee remains concerned at the extent
of trafficking of women and children, sexual abuse of minors and child
pornography in Italy.
16. The Committee
notes with concern that there are still substantial economic and social
inequalities between the northern and southern parts of the country,
which impact negatively on the situations of women, young people,
children and disadvantaged and marginalized groups.
17. The Committee
notes with regret that in Italy, asylum-seekers have access to subsidized
health care only in emergency situations. The Committee points out
that this policy is not in compliance with the provisions of the Covenant.
respect to education, the Committee notes with concern the high rate
of young people dropping out of secondary education. In addition,
the Committee is concerned about the phenomenon of functional illiteracy.
The Committee regrets not having had a clear answer to its question
on this issue during the dialogue.
19. The Committee
is concerned about the controversial proposal in the State party's
school education reform programme to give private schools some public
E. Suggestions and recommendations
20. The Committee
encourages the Government of Italy, as a member of international organizations,
in particular the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank,
to do all it can to ensure that the policies and decisions of those
organizations are in conformity with the obligations of States parties
to the Covenant, in particular the obligations contained in article
2 (1) concerning international assistance and cooperation.
21. The Committee
recommends that the State party organize briefings for judges to familiarize
them with the provisions of the Covenant and the general comments
adopted by the Committee.
22. The Committee
recommends that the State party ratify the 1961 Convention on the
Reduction of Statelessness.
23. The Committee
recommends that the State party step up its efforts to improve the
situation of the Roma population, inter alia by replacing camps
with low-cost houses; by legalizing the status of Roma immigrants;
by setting up employment and educational programmes for parents; by
giving support to Roma families with children at school; by providing
better education for Roma children; and by strengthening and implementing
anti-discrimination legislation, especially in the employment and
24. The Committee
calls upon the State party to implement the recommendations made by
the ILO Committee of Experts concerning the decentralization of labour
inspection. The Committee would appreciate detailed information about
the system of labour inspections in the next periodic report.
25. The Committee
calls upon the State party to take effective measures to ensure that
workers enjoy safe working conditions. In particular, the Committee
recommends that the State party adopt measures, including legislation,
on the prevention of accidents, particularly in the ports, and ratify
the ILO Occupational Safety and Health (Dock Work) Convention, 1979
(No. 152). The Committee also recommends that the State party ratify
the Prevention of Major Industrial Accidents Convention, 1993 (No.
174) and the Part-time Work Convention, 1994 (No. 175).
26. The Committee
encourages the State party to ratify, as planned, the Vocational Rehabilitation
and Employment (Disabled Persons) Convention, 1983 (No. 159). The
Committee would appreciate information from the Ministry of Labour
in the next periodic report on the number of cases dealt with by the
courts under the legislation on disability.
27. The Committee
recommends that the State party devise a national strategy to combat
violence against women, the elements of which should include data
collection, enactment of relevant legislation, training courses for
and sensitizing of the police forces and the judiciary, establishment
of refuges for battered women and public awareness-raising campaigns.
28. The Committee
recommends that the State party devise a comprehensive, coordinated
and concerted national strategy to combat trafficking in women and
children, sexual abuse of minors and child pornography by organized
29. The Committee
recommends that the State party seriously address the persistent problem
of economic and social disparities existing between the northern and
southern parts of Italy, which have a negative effect on the situations
of women, young persons, children and disadvantaged and marginalized
30. The Committee
recommends that the State party step up its efforts to assist those
living under the poverty line, the majority of whom are women.
31. The Committee
invites the State party to address, in its next periodic report, the
issue of the cost of medication under the privatized system and the
measures the State party is taking to combat the negative effects
this may have on the health of vulnerable groups. The Committee would
also like more information about the results of the latest completed
National Health Plan, especially with regard to older persons and
other vulnerable groups.
32. The Committee
urges the State party to extend the subsidized health-care system
to asylum-seekers without discrimination.
33. The Committee
recommends that the State party draw up a national strategy and plan
of action to address the significant problems relating to school drop-outs
and youth unemployment.
34. The Committee
would like to receive information on the extent of the phenomenon
of functional illiteracy in Italy.
regard to the public funding of private schools, the Committee reminds
the State party that any such funding must be without discrimination
on any of the prohibited grounds.
36. The Committee
recommends that the State party distribute these concluding observations
widely. The Committee invites the State party to inform the Committee
about the implementation of these concluding observations in Italy's
next periodic report.