SC directs all states to provide information about number & condition of migrant children

The supreme court on Tuesday directed all states to inform and provide data pertaining to migrant children in the respective state and their condition as well the benefits extended to them amidst the coronavirus pandemic. 

Migration was one of the toughest areas of relief care during the pandemic. Migrant workers who mostly travelled from urban to rural areas were subjected to a lot of hardships. Migrant workers died due to various reasons like starvation, suicides, road and rail accidents, and more. As per an article in the Indian Journal of Labour Economics, about 128 million (12.8 crores) workers’ life might have been affected due to the pandemic and the lockdown. The physical and mental health of the workers was in shambles. 

The wound is still fresh for this section of people. With the second wave rising and a high number of cases being reported in India, migrant workers are choosing to go back to their native places before an unexpected lockdown again. 

The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed all states to inform and provide data pertaining to migrant children in the respective state and their condition as well the benefits extended to them amidst the coronavirus pandemic. The data must include migrant children and children of migrant workers. 

The plea for it was filed on behalf of the Child Rights Trust, which sought the enforcement of fundamental rights and its protection for young children of migrant families during the COVID-19 pandemic. A Bench of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian heard the plea. Senior advocate Jayna Kothari appeared for the petitioners. Kothari insisted the judges to ask the states about the number of children and the benefits provided to them by the state due to the pandemic. 

“The unprecedented lockdown, ensuing migrant crisis and the subsequent effect of the same on migrant children and their fundamental and human rights is conspicuous and an ongoing crisis,” the plea said.

“The pandemic is having a discriminatory impact on migrant children and has aggravated their vulnerabilities. Migrant children will be denied their fundamental rights to education, health and nutrition if the matter is not heard and appropriate orders passed by this Court,” the plea added.

Tamil Nadu has already filed their reply. 

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