Centre for Development Practice and Research, Patna

TISS Patna Centre and Aide et Action's Consultation on Leaving No Child Behind: Inclusion of Migrant Children in Bihar

Archived


Date and time: Nov. 26, 2019 9:30AM - 3:30PM

Venue: VijayaTej Clarks Inn, P&N Mall, Patliputra Colony, Patna


Leaving No Child Behind: Consultation on Inclusion of Migrant Children in Bihar

November 26, 2019; Tuesday, VijayaTej Clarks Inn, Patliputra Colony, Patna

 

Jointly organised by Aide et Action and TISS Patna Centre

 

Background Note

Bihar is one of the key labour sending states of India. Work is the main reason for outmigration from Bihar. An estimated 4.4 to 5 million labour migrants from Bihar are presently working in other parts of the country (IIPA, 2010). However, this trend appears to have risen sharply in the last few years. An IHD study, based on repeated surveys, conducted in 7 districts of Bihar notes that 58 percent households in these districts report at least one migrant worker (Rodgers et al, 2013). The study compared the data collected in 1999 and 2011 and found that there was a 17 percent increase in migration from rural households. The proportion of migrant workers to total workers rose from 16 percent in 1998-­‐99 to 25 percent in 2009-­‐10. In other words, 1 out of 4 workers are labour migrants[1]. Children constitute a significant section of Bihari migrants. A recent assessment carried out by Aide et Action in 65 brick kilns near Maner (Patna district) found 1100 migrant families who work for 7 to 8 months at the worksites. Accompanying them were 1818 children up to 14 years of age who had almost no access to basic child centric services during their family’s stay at the worksites.

In India, close to 100 million people are estimated to be seasonal migrant workers who work in unorganized sector.  Many migrate along with their families to both rural as well as urban locations in search of employment and livelihoods. Children constitute 15% of the total migrant population, a large number of who accompany their parents. Seasonal migrant labour and those who have semi-permanent status at the destination often live in social isolation, in ghettos and face higher levels of exclusion from essential services. While migration is credited for opening up new economic opportunities for the migrants, it is often bundled with high risks. These risks are disproportionally felt by children – infants, under-5, school going, and adolescent – of migrating families. Right from travelling with their families in a vulnerable condition to participation in family based labour, living at hazardous worksites, dropping out of school, etc., migration brings all sorts of vulnerabilities to them. In the absence of inclusive interventions, migrant workers and their accompanying family and children often do not benefit from key welfare programmes, social security, services and other entitlements. Countless migrant children in the country live without immunization, lack of access to early childhood care, schooling, and health care.

Of late, a few state governments and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have experimented with some innovative interventions to address various deprivations faced by migrant children as cited above. The Government of India has made special provisions under Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) for education of migrant children. Apart from doing advocacy for rights of migrant children, many CSOs are also working in tandem with the government to ensure protection of right to education and other rights of migrant children both at the source as well as destination. However, there is no denying to the fact that current interventions are fragmented, episodic and grossly insufficient.

For more than a decade, Aide et Action international has been working on the rights and entitlements of seasonal migrant workers and their children in some key states including Bihar. A number of successful and innovative interventions for ensuring education and child welfare have been carried out in collaboration with government at a few locations, both at the migrant sending as well as receiving states of India. The Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Patna Centre has been solely focusing on the issue of migration including child migration through its research and short-term teaching programmes.

Aide et Action in collaboration with Tata Institute of Social Sciences is organizing a one day consultation on ‘Leaving No Child Behind: Consultation on Inclusion of Migrant Children in Bihar’ which is supported by Bernard van Leer Foundation. This consultation is part of a series of consultations being organized by Aide et Action in states that are either major sending or receiving states of child migrants to develop a standard operating protocol on migrant children.

Objectives

The objectives of the consultation are as follows:

1. To discuss the status of migrant children and key issues related to deprivation of their rights and entitlements in Bihar

2. To discuss experiences of innovations programmes and best practices by the CSOs and the government

3. To examine current policy and programme gaps in safeguarding the rights and entitlements of migrant children

4. To evolve key elements of a standard operating protocol (SoP) on the rights of migrant children

Participants

Officials from relevant Departments of the Government of Bihar, academic institutions, INGOs and UN Agencies, Civil Society Organisations and other key stakeholders.



[1] https://tiss.edu/uploads/files/Policy_Brief_-_State_Consultative_Meeting_on_Labour_Migration__from_Bihar.pdf