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Supreme Court calls for details on welfare of migrant children

A Bench of Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde, and Justices A.S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian, directed the States to file their responses.

April 13, 2021 03:35 pm | Updated 08:02 pm IST - New Delhi

A view of the Supreme Court of India. File

A view of the Supreme Court of India. File

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered State governments to provide information on the number of migrant children in their respective territories, steps taken for their welfare amid a surge in the pandemic, and benefits given to them.

A Bench of Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde, and Justices A.S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian, directed the States to file their responses.

The order came in a petition filed by Child Rights Trust, represented by senior advocate Jayna Kothari, to protect children during the pandemic.

The plea stated that due to the severity of the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, the Centre had announced a nationwide lockdown, and during this period, migrant children were affected the most and have been among the most vulnerable.

“Although there have been marked efforts by the respondents to provide migrant workers with welfare measures, no report emanated from the Central or the State governments which detailed relief measures extended to women and children who are stranded or in relief camps and quarantine centres at source districts,” the plea said.

It contended that the lockdown had resulted in tremendous hardship for migrant children and, till date, there had been no assessment of the exact numbers of migrant children, infants, and pregnant or lactating migrant women, and their needs.

“Children of migrants and migrating children remain invisible and are the most vulnerable and are denied access to health and proper nutrition, quality education and skills and knowledge they need to thrive and spend their lives in makeshift, unfriendly, unhygienic and testing conditions,” the petition said.

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