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India: Punjab on alert for exploitation of kids orphaned due to Covid

Web report/Chandigarh
Filed on May 21, 2021
AFP photo used for illustrative purpose

Authorities fear children might be pushed into illegal activities


Authorities in Punjab are worried that children, who have lost both parents to Covid-19, could end up being exploited by unscrupulous elements, drawing them into human trafficking.

The chairman of the Punjab State Commission for Protection of Child Rights has written to the education secretary, saying there are fears that the Covid crisis could impact children.

“The commission has got to know that children who have lost both parents to Covid are being adopted illegally,” Rajinder Singh, the chairman, said in the letter.

“Such children might also be pushed into illegal activities. Keeping this in view all teachers in schools should be ordered to prepare a list of such children.”

Teachers should also encourage students about Covid-appropriate behaviour and ask them to encourage their parents to get vaccinated, he said. Schools should appoint a nodal officer, who should prepare a list of children who have lost both parents to Covid and keep in touch with them. The list should also be shared with district child protection officers and child welfare committees.

If a teacher feels that the child was not in safe hands, then the child protection units should be alerted.

Posters have come up across the state, alerting people on the need to protect such children. “For the protection of children during the pandemic and to protect vulnerable children during the lockdown that has been imposed due to Covid, please inform the officials of department of Social Security & Child and Women Development about any such children who have: Lost both parents to Covid-19 and now there is none to take care of them; Children who need help during lockdown; Any vulnerable child who needs protection."

Authorities in Punjab are worried that children, who have lost both parents to Covid, could end up being exploited by unscrupulous elements, drawing them into human trafficking.

The chairman of the Punjab State Commission for Protection of Child Rights has written to the education secretary, saying there are fears that the Covid crisis could impact children. “The commission has got to know that children who have lost both parents to Covid are being adopted illegally,” Rajinder Singh, the chairman, said in the letter. “Such children might also be pushed into illegal activities. Keeping this in view all teachers in schools should be ordered to prepare a list of such children.”

Teachers should also encourage students about Covid-appropriate behaviour and ask them to encourage their parents to get vaccinated, he said. Schools should appoint a nodal officer, who should prepare a list of children who have lost both parents to Covid and keep in touch with them. The list should also be shared with district child protection officers and child welfare committees.

If a teacher felt the child was not in safe hands, then the child protection units should be alerted. Posters have come up across the state, alerting people on the need to protect such children. “For the protection of children during the pandemic and to protect vulnerable children during the lockdown that has been imposed due to Covid, please inform the officials of department of Social Security & Child and Women Development about any such children who have: Lost both parents to Covid-19 and now there is none to take care of them; Children who need help during lockdown; Any vulnerable child who needs protection.





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