UN human rights office condemns US child separation policy

UN human rights office condemns US child separation policy

By Ellen Ratner   
Published
A wide view of the U.N. Human Rights Council Chamber in Geneva, Switzerland. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré
A wide view of the U.N. Human Rights Council Chamber in Geneva, Switzerland. (UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré)

“Children should never be detailed for reasons related to their own, or their parents, immigration status," said a U.N. spokesperson in Geneva.

UNITED NATIONS – The United Nations human rights office condemned new U.S. immigration rules separating migrant children from their families at the southern border with Mexico on Tuesday.

That policy, enacted in May by the Trump administration as a part of “zero-tolerance” immigration stance, has led to thousands of children being held in detention facilities apart from their parents.

“In the U.S., migration control appears to have been prioritized ahead of the effective care and protection of children.”

Ravina Shamdasani is a U.N. spokesperson in Geneva.

“Children should never be detailed for reasons related to their own, or their parents, immigration status. Detention is never in the best interests of the child, and always constitutes a child rights violation.”

Several international treaties, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child, prohibit the detention or separation of children from their parents unless doing so is necessary to ensure the child’s safety.

The United States is the only country to have not ratified that treaty, but is still bound by numerous child welfare provisions spelled out in other human rights agreements.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley shot back against criticism of U.S. immigration policies, saying, “neither the United Nations nor anyone else will dictate how the United States upholds its borders.”

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