The United Nations human rights office has a blunt message for the Trump administration: The practice of separating migrant children from their families violates international law.
According to The Guardian, spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said the policy has “led to people 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”.
Shamdasani said American civil society groups informed UN officials that several hundred children – including a one-year-old – have been taken from their parents, since October as a result of President Donald Trump’s immigration policy.
“The US should immediately halt this practice,” she told reporters in Geneva. “The practice of separating families amounts to arbitrary and unlawful interference in family life, and is a serious violation of the rights of the child.
“The use of immigration detention and family separation as a deterrent runs counter to human rights standards and principles,” she said.
Shamdasani also said despite being the only country that did not ratify the UN convention on the rights of the child, the United States must nevertheless abide international laws governing human rights – laws she accused the U.S. of violating.
“Detention is never in the best interests of the child and always constitutes a child rights violation,” she said, calling on Washington to “adopt non-custodial alternatives that allow children to remain with their families”.
Trump again on Tuesday blamed congressional Democrats for the practice of separating children from their parents at the border, tweeting that it is the result of “bad legislation” they passed. “Border Security laws should be changed but the Dems can’t get their act together! Started the Wall,” he added.
As The Guardian noted it is not the fault of Democrats:
The policy of separating families at the border was announced by Trump’s attorney general and implemented by Trump’s administration.