Hindustan Times (Jammu)


- Letters@hindustant­imes.com

The Supreme Court Tuesday directed all states to inform it about the number of migrant children and their condition on a plea seeking directions for the protection of their fundamenta­l rights amid the Covid-19 pandemic. A bench comprising Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubram­anian also asked all the states impleaded as parties in the case to file replies in the matter.

Senior advocate Jayna Kothari appeared for the petitioner­s. The top court had impleaded all the states on March 8 and issued notice on the plea filed by the Child Rights Trust and a Bengaluru resident seeking directions for the protection of the fundamenta­l rights of migrant children amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

The plea stated that the Covidinduc­ed nationwide lockdown affected the migrant children the most. “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 government’s detailing relief measures extended to women and children who are stranded or in relief camps and quarantine centres at source districts. “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 crises.”

It contended that migrant children faced tremendous hardships during the lockdown and till date there has been no assessment of the exact numbers of migrant children, infants, and pregnant or lactating 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.”

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