A 15-year-old boy in Rome is believed to have committed suicide after suffering anti-gay bullying in Italy.

According to Italian news agency ANSA, the boy who has not been formally named is reported to have worn pink clothes as well as nail varnish, something that saw him reprimanded by his school teachers as well as allegedly bullied by his schoolmates.

Investigators led by deputy prosecutor Pierfillippo Laviani have begun a series of investigations.

Italy has among the worst legislative base for LGBT rights in Western Europe with no protections against discrimination in public, in the provision of goods and services or against hate speech. Same-sex relationships are not recognised in national law and it is not legal for gay couples to jointly adopt.

A recent study into the number of British, American, Australian and Canadian teenagers taking their own lives due to bullying and homophobic bullying show the problem has increased dramatically over the past seven years.

The American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) study showed 78% of teens who committed suicide had been bullied both online and at school and only 17% were targeted solely online.

Mood disorders were reported in 32% percent of the teens, with an additional 15% suffering from depression. 24% were found to be the victims of homophobic bullying

The study also found that teen suicides have increased over time, with 56% of the cases examined occurring over seven years from 2003 to 2010, and 47% in just fourteen months between January 2011 and April 2012.