United Nations Asks US to Stop Violating Migrant Child Rights

US laws have led to criminal prosecution of migrants parent, and their children are taken away as a result.

2 min read
Hindi Female

Concerned over the zero-tolerance policy introduced by the Trump administration to deter illegal immigration, the UN Human Rights on Tuesday, 5 June, pulled up Washington to immediately halt its controversial practice of separating asylum-seeking Central American children from their parents at the southern border, reported The Guardian.

UN spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said information received from US civil society groups indicated that several hundred children had been separated from their parents at the border since October 2017, including a one-year-old, The Guardian reported.

The policy has led to people getting caught entering the country irregularly being subjected to criminal prosecution and having their children – including extremely young children –taken away from them as a result.
Ravina Shamdasani at a press conference

This comes weeks after the Associated Press and The New York Times published a report that the federal authorities have lost track of more than 1,000 immigrant children from their parents.

Earlier in May, speaking for Trump administration, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said they have opted for a zero-tolerance policy for families that would cross the border illegally, reported USA Today.

If you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you as required by law. If you don’t like that, then don’t smuggle children over our border.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Since then, hundreds of children have been separated from their parents and over 2,000 have been detained after entering USA alone. To top this, the scale of unaccounted children have sparked concerns that some may have fallen into the hands of human traffickers, reported Al Jazeera.


The United Nations, in strong words, reprimanded the US. “The child’s best interest should always come first, including over migration management objectives or other administrative concerns,” the UN said, reported The Guardian. is therefore of great concern that in the US, migration control appears to have been prioritised over the effective care and protection of migrant children.
Ravina Shamdasani

Suggesting a better path towards the pressing issue, Shamdasani suggested the US adopt non-custodial alternatives that allow children to remain with their families.

Meanwhile, President Trump pushed the blame on Democrats.

According to The Guardian, the US says the policy aims to stem a surge in the number of poor families, mostly from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, entering the country. Thousands cross the US-Mexico border each week and immediately turn themselves in to authorities asking for asylum, citing the daily violence in their home countries.

William Spindler of the UN refugee agency told Reuters, “The right to claim asylum is a fundamental human right... and it is also part of the law in the United States.”


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