Fengarion - Mirelle Galoghiris Award

Safe and Healthy Living Conditions for Migrant Children in India

by Aide et Action Suisse

We are present at Indian work sites to provide care and protection to 5'000 children between the age of 0 and 8.


Each year 50 million Indians move from the countryside to the big cities to find seasonal work(1). They work in scarcely controlled sectors, such as in brickyards or quarries. Together with their families and children, the latter of whom represent about 15% of internal migrants, they live directly at the workplace. The families live in ramshackle shelters, built from materials found on the spot, in extremely precarious and dangerous conditions. They are exposed to pollution and lack access to drinking water and electricity. Migrant children also have to contribute to the family’s livelihood: about 40% of them have to work, while others take care of their younger siblings. Despite the fact that the right to education is officially recognised in India, these children are most often deprived of it because they are not allowed to attend school outside their home state, and are usually not declared.

In reality, 80% of migrant children do not go to school. 90% of the youngest children have never attended pre-school(2) and have no access to health care, despite studies showing that 65% of them suffer from various illnesses. This lack of education and health care in the first years of life can have lasting consequences (stunted growth, impaired cognitive and emotional development, etc.).

The project

Two years ago, Aide et Action created care and learning centres for these children, called Child Care Learning Centres (CCLCs). In CCLCs, children enjoy protection and care suited to their age and development, as well as healthy nutrition and the necessary education to ensure their cognitive and psychological development. At the same time, Aide et Action encourages schools near the work sites to accept and enrol school-age migrant children and pregnant and nursing women to consult local medical services. Finally, Aide et Action works with worksite owners, the different administrative entities and the local authorities to find lasting and sustainable solutions for migrant workers.

Over the next two years (2016-2018) we aim to build the capacity of the 65 early childhood centres established at the work sites of four big cities: Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Chennai and Hyderabad.

5'000 children between the age of 0 and 8, as well as their families, will benefit.

Each Child Care Learning Center is managed by a facilitator trained and accompanied by Aide et Action. In each centre, the facilitators ensure that the following elements are provided:

  1. a safe and healthy environment for the children,
  2. quality pre-schooling for young children,
  3. access to public early childhood services for the youngest children and their mothers,
  4. the possibility for parents to obtain a birth certificate for their newborn children,
  5. access to local maternity hospitals and wards for pregnant women.

Worksite owners will be encouraged to conduct and replicate this type of programme at their sites.

Finally, Aide et Action will advocate for the inclusion of Child Care Learning Centers in governmental policies dealing with migrants, recognition of their rights, and migrants’ access to basic services.

Video: Migrating Childhood (original version, French subtitles) - Aide et Action

(1) Rapport de l’UNESCO, 2011

(2) Bernard van Leer Foundation


This project is supported by the Bernard van Leer Foundation and Aide et Action needs to raise an amount of CHF 58'521.

Your support will allow us to cover part of the project’s operating costs. In particular, donations will enable to pay for monthly salaries of CCLC facilitators (CHF 101.-), where around 80 children are taken care of each day.

Lifting oneself out of poverty, going to school and believing in a brighter future: the futures of thousands of children depend on our commitment!

Logo - Aide et Action Suisse



OrganizationAide et Action Suisse
PlaceBhopal, India
MoreProfile on Fengarion



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