Covid Orphans at Risk of Exploitation in India

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Covid Orphans at Risk of Exploitation in India” – below is their description.

    The coronavirus has shattered families and orphaned children around the world. But in India, where 27% of the population of 1.3 billion is under 14, the scale of the crisis is unparalleled. The country had an estimated 350,000 orphans in institutional care going into the pandemic.

    Now authorities are scrambling to get a count of how many children have been abandoned, either because their parents have been hospitalized or died or because the surviving parent isn’t able to care for them. 

    What is a health crisis could well morph into a human-rights crisis in a country where child exploitation has long been a problem. The International Labor Organization estimates that more than 10 million Indian children under 14 are in the workforce. The real number may be far higher: Four times as many aren’t enrolled in school, according to the country’s most recent census data.

    Orphaned children are at risk of being trafficked in smaller towns and rural areas where poverty is endemic and police presence minimal, says Jalla Lalithamma, a social activist with the People’s Organization for Rural Development.

    Indian officials and NGOs are scrambling to keep track of children who’ve become parentless because of Covid, worried they could fall into the hands of child traffickers.

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    One of the world’s earliest preserved censuses was held in China in ad 2 during the Han Dynasty. The population was registered as having 57,671,400 individuals in 12,366,470 households.

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    India, officially the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the second-most populous country, the seventh-largest country by land area, and the most populous democracy in the world. New Delhi is the capital.

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