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Unaccompanied foreign minors at risk of irregular work

idi euaA recent UNICEF study in Italy found that unaccompanied foreign minors seeking job opportunities risk falling into irregular networks. The study found that only 15 percent of those who had worked in Italy had had a contract.

A recent UNICEF study in Italy found that unaccompanied foreign minors seeking job opportunities risk falling into irregular networks. The study found that only 15 percent of those who had worked in Italy had had a contract.

One of the most frequent factors leading unaccompanied foreigners to leave their country and undertake a difficult journey on the Mediterranean route towards Europe is the chance to find a job. To achieve this, however, young migrants and refugees who arrive in Italy are at high risk of falling into the trap of irregular, underpaid work, according to a study by U-Report on the Move, a UNICEF digital platform that brings together the voices of unaccompanied foreign minors in the Italian migrant reception system.

Risky employment panorama

The study found that ”about 3 percent of young migrants and refugees had already had work experience in Italy. Only 15 percent of them had had a regular contract, while 40 percent were sure they did not have one and 46 percent were uncertain about what the employment was regular or not”.

Concerning the future, ”76 percent of respondents said they would accept work even if underpaid and 67 percent would accept it without a regular contract.” U-Report on the Move said that ”these are frightening percentages, due also to the fear – felt by 90 percent of unaccompanied foreign minors – that for them it is more difficult to find work” than it is for an Italian citizen.

Italian regulations provide for the possibility of work for minors but only if some protective measures are ensured including that the job be regularized, that educational opportunities of the minor are not jeopardized during mandatory school years and that the minors are not assigned dangerous or exhausting work.

Ensure access and orientation

According to the director of the study, in order to offer real opportunities for jobs, it is necessary to ”ensure access to professional orientation and training internships”. Only 34 percent of the unaccompanied foreign minors who were interviewed had had the chance to access extra-curricular internships.

About 90 percent of them would like to take part in a professional internship: 70 percent to learn a trade, 26 percent to begin to put aside some savings and 24 percent in the hope of getting a regular contract. ”Further efforts are thus necessary to meet the needs of young people to build – including through school – a bridge with the world of work in order to offer them positive future opportunities in a protected and safe environment, and within the definite boundaries of the legal framework in place,” U-Report on the Move stressed.

Fonte: Infomigrants – 07/03/2018

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