Children welfare during Covid-19

News: The Supreme Court Juvenile Justice Committee, in coordination with UNICEF has highlighted the need to urgently provide care and protect children suddenly made vulnerable by the loss of one or both parents to the second wave of COVID-19.

Details:

  • The Supreme Court has been nudging the Centre to prepare for the third wave of the pandemic. Recently, a Bench led by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud had highlighted reports that children would be affected in the third wave.
  • The Juvenile Justice Committee has noted the need for concerted efforts to provide interim care for children who have been orphaned, abandoned or even left unaccompanied in their own homes.
  • Setting up of State-level nodal officers and a district task force for rapid response for the care and protection of such children.
  • Sponsorship for children who had lost parent/s or bread-earners or were facing economic hardship.
  • Clear guidance has to be published on steps to be taken in the event when such children in an extremely vulnerable state had been exposed to the virus or showed symptoms of infection. Care measures for their isolation and treatment needed to be stepped up.
  • Childcare institutions should be declared “essential services”. The caregivers and employees of childcare institutions — both government and private — should be vaccinated as frontline professionals.
  • The state should focus on ensuring heightened medical watch for children in institutional care.