SC directs all States to furnish data on Migrant Children

THE Supreme Court Tuesday directed all the States and Union Territories (UTs) to apprise the Court of the number of migrant children present in their respective States/UTs and also the conditions of such children.

A bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde passed this order on a plea filed by Child Rights Trust for protection of the fundamental rights of migrant children and children of migrant families.

Senior Advocate Jayna Kothari, for the petitioner, urged the Court to not just direct the state to file a response but to also provide the number of migrant children and the benefits given to them.

The plea drew the attention of the top court to the five areas of concern with regard to migrant children, i.e. hazardous living conditions, food security, health needs, education and protection.

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

The PIL sought directions to map, enumerate and register the number of infants and children of migrant families at various worksites and centres of concentration of migrant families with the help of local authorities at the panchayat and ward offices through frontline workers.