Protection of Children Affected by Seasonal Migration
A Study in Jalna District, Maharashtra’ conducted by International Institute for Population Studies in partnership with Government of Maharashtra and UNICEF
The study was funded by UNICEF Maharashtra and was aimed at understanding the multi-layered vulnerabilities of the children of seasonal migrants. It used a qualitative approach to explore the lives of children who migrated with their parents, as well as of those who stayed back in their home villages when their parents migrated.
The areas covered in the study included the children’s vulnerabilities in education, health and nutrition, and safety and protection. The study also examined the challenges faced by children in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown.
Seasonal migration, usually a yearly cycle, is a common livelihood strategy for many households, mostly in India’s drought-prone and water-scarce regions. It is prevalent in certain regions of Maharashtra. Small landholdings and lack of livelihood opportunities in their village push several families to take up seasonal migration as a strategy to overcome financial difficulties. When the parents migrate, they either take their children along or leave them behind in their villages of origin. In both cases, the children face multiple challenges and are more exposed to various vulnerabilities.
Although substantial data on the lives of migrants are available, there is little understanding on the lives of seasonal migrants, particularly the effect of seasonal migration on children. This research adopted a child-centric and gender-sensitive approach for understanding the protection issues of children affected by seasonal migration.