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Supreme Court Directs All States To Provide Number Of Migrant Children In Each States As Well As Their Condition

Radhika Roy
13 April 2021 7:16 AM GMT
Supreme Court Directs All States To Provide Number Of Migrant Children In Each States As Well As Their Condition
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Supreme Court on Tuesday directed all States to provide data pertaining to numbers of migrant children and children of migrant workers in the State as well as the benefits that had been extended to them. A Bench of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, and Justices AS Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian heard the plea, filed on behalf of Child Rights Trust, which primarily sought for enforcement...

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Supreme Court on Tuesday directed all States to provide data pertaining to numbers of migrant children and children of migrant workers in the State as well as the benefits that had been extended to them.

A Bench of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, and Justices AS Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian heard the plea, filed on behalf of Child Rights Trust, which primarily sought for enforcement of the fundamental rights of migrant children and children of migrant families under Articles 14, 15, 19, 21, 21A, 39 and 47 of the Constitution during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senior Advocate Jayna Kothari, appearing for the NGO, requested the Bench to not just direct for a response, but also to request the States to provide the number of migrant children, along with the benefits that have been given to them by the State.

The Court accordingly directed the States to provide the number as well as report the condition of the children that are in their States. State of Tamil Nadu has already filed their Reply.

The plea, filed by Advocate Rukhsana Choudhary, submits that the national lockdown which was announced last year led to a mass exodus of millions of migrants from cities. While measures had taken for the protection of the migrant workers, the impact of the lockdown on migrant children had not been addressed by the authorities.

"Migrant children are of three categories – children of migrant workers who are left behind in their villages, children who are taken by the migrant families with them and migrant children who migrate for labour of their own. All these children have been the most vulnerable during this time and have been worst affected".

Submitting that as children of migrants and migrating children are invisible and vulnerable, the plea states that they are denied access to healthcare and proper nutrition, access to education, and therefore, live in makeshift, unfriendly, unhygienic and testing conditions.

"Migrant children affected due to COVID-19 are still working in brick kilns, stone crusher units, construction sites, rice mills, plantations and other sectors where children as young as 5 years lend a hand to help their parents earn their daily sustenance", the plea avers.

Citing the disproportionate and discriminatory impact on migrant children which have tentatively aggravated their vulnerabilities, the plea brings to the fore five areas of concern with regard to migrant children – hazardous living conditions, food security, health needs, education and protection.

In light of the above, the plea prays to the Supreme Court to pass directions to protect the fundamental rights of migrant children and children of migrant families in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.


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