The Hon’ble Supreme Court on 13th April 2021, Tuesday while passing the order directed all States to provide data about numbers of migrant children and children of migrant workers in the State as well as the benefits that had been provided to them.
The Hon’ble Bench of Chief Justice of India, and Justices while hearing the petition in the instant case filed on behalf of Child Rights Trust.
Child Rights Trust in its petition filed before the Hon’ble apex court stated that they want the 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 Indian Constitution during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the due course counsel appearing on behalf of the NGO, humbly requested before the Hon’ble SC 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”.
Subsequently, given the request made by the counsel, the Hon’ble Court directed the States to provide the number as well as report the condition of the children that are in their States.
Needful to mention that the petitioner in its petition filed before the Hon’ble court also submits that the national lockdown which was announced last year led to a mass migration of millions of migrants from cities. While measures had been taken for the protection of the migrant workers, the impact of the lockdown on migrant children had not been addressed by the authorities. Additionally, the petitioner also submits that the “Migrant children are of three categories 1. children of migrant workers who are left behind in their villages, 2. children who are taken by the migrant families with them and 3. migrant children who migrate for the labour of their own. All these children have been the most exposed during this time and have been affected”. In continuation, the petitioner also stated that the children of migrants and migrating children are invisible and vulnerable, and are denied access to healthcare and proper nutrition, access to education, and therefore, live in rough-and-ready, unfriendly, unhygienic, and testing conditions.
Furthermore, the petitioner in its petition filed also stated that the “Migrant children affected majorly 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”.
Moreover, the petitioner while citing the unequal and biased impact on migrant children which have uncertainly intensified their vulnerabilities, brings forward the fore five areas of concern with respect to migrant children;
- hazardous living conditions,
- food security,
- health needs,
- education and
While concluding in light of the above submissions made, the petition humbly prays before the Hon’ble 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. Likewise, the State of Tamil Nadu has already filed its Reply and submitted the report