SC notice to states to map, enumerate, register children of migrants at work sites during Covid-19 pandemic

Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to all states on a petition seeking appropriate directions and orders to the respondents, including the Union of India (UOI) to map, enumerate and register the number of infants and children of migrant families at various worksites and centres of concentration during the Covid-19 pandemic.

A three-judge bench of the Apex Court, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad Arvind Bobde and also comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian issued notices to all the states and sought their replies in the petition filed by, Bangalore-based NGO, The Child Rights Trust.

“We issue notice to all the states, and seek their reply on the petition,” the apex court said.

The petitioner, The Child Rights Trust, had moved the Supreme Court seeking enforcement of fundamental rights, under Articles 14, 15, 19, 21, 21A, 39 and 47 of the Constitution, of migrant children and children of migrant families during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Bangalore-based NGO had sought direction to the Union of India and others, to set up children’s assistance centres in all major areas of concentration of migrant labour households that would facilitate migrant families to get information and assistance about the basic needs relating to health care, food security, education for children.

The petitioner also sought direction that the Anganwadi centres in villages should extend their services to all migrant children and households and to provide mid-day meals and rations free of cost to migrant children at their homes.

The petitioner sought a direction from the top court that the respondents should provide basic food and nutrition to migrant children and migrant workers through the ICDS Scheme, targeted public distribution system and other welfare schemes covered under the National Food Security Act, 2013 for children in the ages of 0-14 years.

The petitioner also sought that the respondents should be directed to report on the provision of health services of immunization, health check-ups, primary health care services to children of migrant workers.

It also sought that the pregnant and lactating mothers also be given due care and treatment, through ICDS and other schemes including the Primary Health Centres both at their place of migration and source villages and schemes under the National Health Mission.

The petitioner also sought that necessary direction be made to the Respondents, UOI and others, to give data on the out of school migrant children from all the States and to provide an action plan on providing a temporary education plan for migrant children and an action plan on how migrant children will be brought back to schools when schools start.

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