Conditions in which migrants and refugees are being held in the United States are appalling, said the UN human rights chief on Monday, underscoring that children should never be held in immigration detention, or separated from their families.
Spelling out that immigration detention is never in the best interests of a child, the OHCHR chief explained that “even for short periods under good conditions” it “can have a serious impact on their health and development”. “Consider the damage being done every day by allowing this alarming situation to continue”, she said.
‘Measure of last resort’
Address root causes
The High Commissioner said she recognized the “complexity of the situation and the challenges faced by States of origin, transit and destination”, calling on them to work together to address the root causes which force migrants to leave their homes. She said crosscutting policies needed to be put in place that consider the complex drivers of migration. These include insecurity, sexual and gender-based violence, discrimination and crippling poverty.
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