US government must stop tearing families apart

20/06/2018

Asylum seeker children

On World Refugee Day, the PES strongly condemns the inhumane and brutal policy, introduced by US president Donald Trump, of forcibly separating children from their parents.

PES president Sergei Stanishev said:

"We strongly condemn the unnecessary and inhumane policy of forced separation. Separating a child from his or her family unnecessarily is traumatic and immoral, and it risks severe and long-lasting negative social and emotional consequences for the children and their families. We call urgently on the US government to stop tearing families apart."

More than 2000 children have been separated from their parents since the zero tolerance policy at the US-Mexico border began in April. More than a hundred of them were under the age of four. In most cases, migrant children are transferred to government detention facilities or foster care as their parents face prosecution for crossing the border irregularly. The policy has attracted global condemnation.

Mr Stanishev added:

"Many of the families and unaccompanied children arriving at the border are fleeing countries with widespread violence and grave human rights violations. These migrant and refugee children are first and foremost children. Countries around the world, including the US, have a moral obligation to protect victims of violence, and to keep children with their families. We also have a legal obligation to ensure children are protected and their rights are upheld.

"The US's appalling practice has rightly attracted worldwide condemnation and it must end immediately."