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Italian Yearbook of Human Rights 2013

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Edited By Interdepartmental Centre on

The Italian Yearbook of Human Rights 2013, the third in the series, provides a dynamic and up-to-date overview of the measures Italy has taken to adapt its legislation and policies to international human rights law and to comply with commitments voluntarily assumed by the Italian Government at an international level.
The 2013 Yearbook surveys the activities of the relevant national and local Italian actors, including governmental bodies, civil society organisations and universities. It also presents reports and recommendations that have been addressed to Italy by international monitoring bodies within the framework of the United Nations, the Council of Europe and the European Union. Finally, the Yearbook provides a selection of examples from international and national case-law which cast light on Italy’s position vis-à-vis internationally recognised human rights.
The introductory section of the Yearbook, entitled «Italy and human rights in 2012: a suffering year for economic, social and cultural rights», reminds States of their duty to equally protect all human rights – civil, political, economic, social and cultural – stressing the fact that the right to work is a fundamental human right and not a mere philosophical principle.
With a view on the second UPR of Italy before the Human Rights Council, that will take place in 2014, the Italian Agenda of Human Rights focuses on immediate and long-term measures that should be taken to ensure human rights for all in the Country.
The Yearbook is edited by the University Human Rights Centre of the University of Padua, in cooperation with the UNESCO Chair in Human Rights, Democracy and Peace of the same University. The Centre, established in 1982 with the support of the Region of Veneto, carries out research and education following a global and interdisciplinary approach. It hosts the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence on intercultural dialogue, human rights and multi-level governance.

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Italy and Human Rights in 2012. A Suffering Year for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

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17 Italy and Human Rights in 2012 A Suffering Year for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Unemployment in Italy stands at 10.7%. For men, it is 9.9%, for women 11.9%. Youth unemployment (in the 19-24 age range) is 35.3%. In 2011, 11.1% of families were living in conditions of relative poverty, corresponding to 8.2 million people, or 13.6% of the resident popula- tion. 5.2% of families were living in absolute poverty, impacting 3.4 million people. The threshold of relative poverty, for a two-member household, is 1,011.03 euros monthly expenditure (ISTAT data for December 2012). These data alone are enough to paint a picture of a Country where many fundamental human rights, from the right to life to the right to work, from the right to health to the right to social security, are seriously undermined. The persistence of the international economic crisis, with consequent widespread and reiterated violations of human rights in many parts of the world, led the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which is an independent body charged with monitoring the implementa- tion of the 1966 International Covenant of the same name, ratified by Italy in 1977, to issue a formal letter (16 May 2012) to the States Parties to remind them of their duty to respect fundamental rights. After observ- ing that embarking on austerity programmes in the face of rising public deficit induces many States to take decisions which often have painful effects, especially when austerity measures are taken during a recession, the...

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