Number of abandoned infants throughout Europe doubles

CNBC’s Holly Ellyatt reports that as “the euro zone debt crisis deepens and austerity measures take their toll across Europe, the number of young children and babies abandoned across the region has increased, according to local charities.”

Ellyatt said the “rise in the abandonment of infants across Europe is most visible in the spread of ‘baby hatches’ or ‘boxes’ across Europe, where unwanted infants are left anonymously.” When baby is dropped off in one of the boxes, an alarm is signaled to alert an authorized carer to come for the child. Ellyatt says there are baby boxes in at least 11 countries including Germany, Italy and Portugal. Even in countries where these baby drop boxes are banned, the number of baby abandonment is on the rise.

Ellyatt’s report indicates that last year there were at least 1,200 children were abandoned in Greece and 750 in Italy. The number has doubled from previous figures. The rise in these numbers could be attributed to the soaring cost to raise children in Europe, which has been estimated to be between 20 and 30 percent of the average household’s budget.

Human rights watch groups believe the abandonment problem is a violation of a child’s rights.


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