Children migrate within and across the state and national boundaries, with or without their family due to different reasons: economic, socio-political and environmental. According to the 2011 census, about 400 million people in India are migrants. Of these, about 25% migrate seasonally. There is no specific data available on child migration in India. An informal estimate puts the figure at 15 million. The major demand for this huge workforce comes from the brick kilns, construction sites, and other such establishments. Though there are laws and policies drafted for the benefit of the migrant children, lack of inclusiveness, implementation glitches, poor convergence and coordination mechanisms affect proper implementation as a result of which these children are made to suffer.
To deliberate, plan and design meaningful and effective government programs, convergence mechanisms and policies on some of the critical issues affecting the migrant children, the Odisha State Commission for Protection of Child Rights in collaboration with UNICEF and Aide et Action organized a consultation and interaction of three key government agencies namely Department of Labour, Department of Women & Child Development/Social Welfare and Department. of School Education as also civil society organizations of nine states of India (Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal). The consultation was successful in developing a common policy framework as well as realistic implementation strategies to enable these children a safe and secure childhood even while they are on the move.