US migrant children policy reversal, still ‘fails’ thousands of detained youngsters: UN rights experts

UNHCR/Markel Redondo
Eduardo, 31, with his daughter Sara at his house in Chiapas, Mexico. Eduardo together with his wife and four daughters, escaped increasing gang violence from El Salvador and have been recognized as refugees in Mexico.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

The United States government decision to end its border policy of forcibly separating migrant children from their parents, does not help thousands of youngsters already in detention, who should be released and reunited with their families, a group of UN rights experts said on Friday.

The group of 11 independent Special Rapporteurs, and other experts, insist that the detention of the migrant children – “most” of whom are asylum-seekers from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras – inside the US, “severely hampers their development and in some cases, may amount to torture”.

Their statement issued to reporters in Geneva, follows President Donald Trump’s decision to sign an Executive Order ending the practice of forcible separation on Wednesday, two months after the so-called “zero-tolerance” policy was introduced.

The order calls for detaining family members together, who are caught attempting to enter the US, mostly at the southern border with Mexico.

The experts, appointed by the Human Rights Council in Geneva, said that the Order simply “does not address the situation of those children who have already been pulled away from their parents.”

“We call on the Government of the US to release these children from immigrant detention and to reunite them with their families based on the best interests of the child, and the rights of the child to liberty and family unity,” the statement added.

The group of experts had already expressed their grave concerns to the US government over the impact of the zero-tolerance policy in early April. The policy made all adults and children trying to cross the border liable to criminal prosecution as a punitive deterrent, the experts noted.

“The separations have been conducted without notice, information, or the opportunity to challenge them. The parents and children have been unable to communicate with each other,” said the statement, adding: “The parents have had no information about the whereabouts of their children, which is a cause of great distress.”

“Moreover, we are deeply concerned at the long-term impact and trauma, including irreparable harm that these forcible separations will have on children.”

Echoing that point of view, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Friday that it was opposed to separating children from their families for the purposes of migration control.

Spokesperson Christophe Boulierac, added that the agency would also be opposed to unconfirmed media reports that children could stay with their families if all of them had to remain in detention.

An alternative would be to take a non-custodial community approach, Mr. Boulierac added.

Last Monday, the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, said in a statement that “as a matter of principle” refugees and migrants should always be “treated with respect and dignity, and in accordance with existing international law,” although he did not single out the US in this regard.

UN Human Rights chief, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein told the opening of the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday, that the practice of child migrant separation, amounted to “government-sanctioned child abuse” which may cause “irreparable harm” with “lifelong consequences”.

Special Rapporteurs address either specific country situations or thematic issues, across all parts of the world, and work on a voluntary basis, without any salary or remuneration for their work.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Benefits of rural migration effect often overlooked, new UN report suggests

Politicization of migrant ‘crisis’ in Hungary making them scapegoats, independent UN human rights expert warns

What do the economic woes of Turkey, Argentina and Indonesia have in common?

Latvian economy is thriving, but boosting productivity, improving social protection and transitioning to a low-carbon productive model are vital for sustainable and inclusive growth

EU elections: The louder the threats and the doomsaying the heavier the weight of the vote

Bundestag kick starts the next episode of the Greek tragedy

The Europe we want: Just, Sustainable, Democratic and Inclusive

Blockchain can change the face of renewable energy in Africa. Here’s how

FROM THE FIELD: Weather reports come to aid of Uganda’s farmers

Concern rising over fate of Rohingya refugees sent home by India: UNHCR

The MWC14 Sting Special Edition

We don’t need to ban plastic. We just need to start using it properly

Huawei answers allegations about its selling prices

How telehealth can get healthcare to more people

Eurozone stuck in a high risk deflation area; Draghi expects further price plunge

EU-Japan trade agreement enters into force

UN agency chief calls Ethiopia’s revised refugee law ‘one of most progressive’ in Africa

Digital transformation and the rise of the ‘superjob’

The next Google in biotech: will it be Chinese?

DR Congo: efforts to control Ebola epidemic continue, UN food relief agency doubles assistance to affected people

Amsterdam is getting a 3D-printed bridge

I cycled over 6,000km across the United States to document climate change. Here’s what I learned

3 ways to fight stress at work

Germany’s strong anti-bribery enforcement against individuals needs to be matched by comparably strong enforcement against companies

We all have a ‘hierarchy of needs’. But is technology meeting them?

Technology can help us end the scourge of modern slavery. Here’s how

Saudi Arabia, China, among 14 nations under UN human rights spotlight: what you need to know

European Parliament and Eurovision sign partnership for European Elections

France is building a village for people with Alzheimer’s

Greece’s last Eurogroup or the beginning of a new solid European Union?

UN ‘prioritizing needs’, ramping up aid, as Hurricane Dorian continues to batter the Bahamas

Gender equality and medicine in the 21st century

“Leaked” TTIP document breaks post 8th negotiations round silence and opens door to critics

‘Crippling to our credibility’ that number of women peacekeepers is so low: UN chief

Women must be at ‘centre of peacekeeping decision-making’, UN chief tells Security Council

This app lets you plant trees to fight deforestation

Africa Forum aims to boost business, reduce costs, help countries trade out of poverty

EU–US: What is the real exchange in a Free Trade Agreement?

Eurozone: Even good statistics mean deeper recession

The EU Commission vies to screen Chinese investment in Europe

With security improving in DR Congo’s Kasai, thousands of refugees head home from Angola

Partnerships key to taking landlocked countries out of poverty: UN Chief

These are the world’s 20 most dynamic cities

Biggest London City Banks ready to move core European operations to Frankfurt or Dublin?

New Erasmus: more opportunities for disadvantaged youth

What is digital equality? An interview with Nanjira Sambuli

‘Race against time’ to help women who bore brunt of Cyclone Idai: UN reproductive health agency

At UN, Cuba slams US ‘criminal’ practices undermining country’s development

UN chief hopes for new agreement after Israel concludes international observation mission

Migrant workers sent more money to India than any other country last year

Security Council condemns ‘heinous and cowardly’ attack in Iran

Opening – Parliament expresses support for victims of Fuego volcano in Guatemala

Kenya wants to run entirely on green energy by 2020

A Sting Exclusive: “The Digital Economy and Industry are no longer opposing terms”, Commissioner Oettinger underlines live from European Business Summit 2015

Can Obama attract Iran close to the US sphere of influence?

This is what the world’s CEOs really think of AI

COP21 Breaking News: “We must accelerate the process”, Laurent Fabius cries out from Paris

Migrant caravan: UN agency helping ‘exhausted’ people home

European Citizens’ Initiative: Commission registers ‘Mandatory food labelling Non-Vegetarian / Vegetarian / Vegan’ initiative’

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s