People demonstrate to ask for the 'Ius soli', in Rome, Italy, 20 November 2017. Ius Soli (meaning 'right of the soil'), commonly referred to as birthright citizenship, is the right of anyone born in the territory of a state to nationality or citizenship | Photo: ANSA/GIUSEPPE LAMI
People demonstrate to ask for the 'Ius soli', in Rome, Italy, 20 November 2017. Ius Soli (meaning 'right of the soil'), commonly referred to as birthright citizenship, is the right of anyone born in the territory of a state to nationality or citizenship | Photo: ANSA/GIUSEPPE LAMI

Over one million second-generation immigrants were born in Italy or travelled to the country at a very young age but are not citizens, according to a 2018 study conducted by the IDOS Study and Research Centre. The study will be presented to the public on October 24.

Over 1.3 million foreign minors, so-called "second-generation immigrants" lived in Italy at the beginning of 2018. This includes 75% who were born in Italy to foreign parents and 25% who moved to the country at a very young age. The data is part of newly published research conducted by IDOS Study and Research Centre/Statistical Dossier on Immigration. 


The overall number of foreign minors who were born in Italy but did not have Italian citizenship topped one million, more than double the number recorded in 2011, the study said. 

The new edition of the Statistical Dossier on Immigration, conducted by IDOS with the support of the Waldensian Evangelical Church, will be presented and distributed for free to the public on October 24 in Rome and across Italy. 

Immigrants in schools 

According to the report, over 541,000 students who were born in Italy but were not citizens attended school during the 2017-2018 academic year. They represented nearly two-thirds (63.1%) of the 842,000 foreign students who attended school in Italy (9.7% of the student body). 

The research highlighted the fact that the highest percentage of foreign students was registered in nursery school (84.4%), followed by elementary school (75.2%). The majority of foreign students were Chinese (82.3%), Moroccan (76%), Albanian (76%) and Filipino nationals (67%). 

'Citizenship law anachronistic' 

Luca Di Sciullo, the president of IDOS Study and Research Centre, commented the results of the research, saying that Italy's citizenship legislation is "anachronistic". He condemned "the inability to reform, 27 years since its approval, a law on citizenship that was anachronistic since its inception." Di Sciullo in particular criticized the fact that the legislation grants citizenship to ancestors of Italian emigres but not to children who were born in Italy to foreign parents. He concluded by calling for a "joint realistic vision to prevail over sterile ideological positions" to reform the law. 

Italy's citizenship law only allows foreigners born in Italy to apply for citizenship after they have turned 18. 

 

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