Following a strong rebuke from the United Nations human rights office earlier this month, the U.N.’s top human rights official called on the Trump administration Monday to end its “zero-tolerance” policy and stop the practice of separating children from their parents at the southern U.S. border.
Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, spoke out against the policy during an address in Geneva, The New York Times reported.
“The thought that any state would seek to deter parents by inflicting such abuse on children is unconscionable,” al-Hussein said.
The official pointed to a statement from the president of the American Association of Pediatrics, which called the practice “government-sanctioned child abuse”.
Over the course of several weeks, at least 2,000 children have been taken from their parents.
To date, the Trump administration has been defiant as various organizations and individuals have insisted it end the “zero-tolerance” policy, choosing instead to put the blame for separated families on Democratic lawmakers or immigrants themselves.
Still others in the administration have indicated no one will tell the U.S. how to police its borders.
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley hit back at that statement at the time, calling it hypocritical.
“Neither the United Nations nor anyone else will dictate how the United States upholds its borders," she said.