1Dipartimento Materno-Infantile, Università di Palermo
2Area Sanitaria Caritas, Roma
3Pediatra di famiglia, Responsabile Nazionale FIMP per il bambino immigrato
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Key words: Migrant children, Legal status, Social and health policies
Over the last decade there has been a remarkable increase in migrant children in Italy. The existing lack of an appropriate legal framework and of social and health policies leads to discrimination and missed opportunities. Children born in Italy from immigrant parents can gain the Italian citizenship only when they are 18 years old. Only a ministerial instruction (not a law) authorizes parents without regular status to declare the birth of their newborns. Equitable policies should allow the acquisition of Italian citizenship at birth and clear birth registration. Some migrant students show school difficulties, due to late and inadequate learning of Italian, recent migration and psycho-socio-cultural disadvantage. Therefore, adequate education policies are needed, including promotion of early language acquisition, specific educational support and language programmes, training of teachers in issues related to migration as well as the presence of cultural mediators in schools. Recommended policies include: 1) universal access to family paediatricians; 2) access to all health care services for all children including those from parents with irregular status; 3) prolonged residence permit to migrant women who are pregnant including those with irregular status; 4) support to language learning and educational activities, specific training for teachers and health professionals on migration issues; 5) facilitation of familiar reunification; 6) withdrawal of the law that has introduced the crime of clandestinity.
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