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Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Supreme Court seeks info on migrant workers’ children, their condition

The petitioners stated: "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.”

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: April 14, 2021 4:00:23 am
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.(Representational image/File)

Taking note of a plea highlighting the plight of children of migrant workers during the pandemic, the Supreme Court on Tuesday asked all states to inform it about the number of such children within their territories, and update it about their condition.

Hearing the plea filed by the NGO Child Rights Trust and a Bengaluru resident, seeking directions for protection of fundamental rights of these children amidst the pandemic, a bench comprising Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian asked states that have been made parties in it to file their replies.

The plea stated that these children were affected the most during the nationwide lockdown imposed last year, and that they have been among the most vulnerable. It stated that there have been no official reports yet about the condition of these children.

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

The petitioners stated: “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 court had issued notice on the plea on March 8.

Seeking the court’s intervention, the plea added that the pandemic has a “discriminatory impact on migrant children and has aggravated their vulnerabilities”, and these children will be “denied their fundamental rights to education, health and nutrition if the matter is not heard and appropriate orders passed…”.

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