The United Nations’ top human rights official on Monday added to the mounting furor over the Trump administration’s policy of separating undocumented immigrant children from their parents, calling for an immediate halt to a practice he condemned as abuse.
United States immigration authorities have detained almost 2,000 children in the past six weeks, which may cause them irreparable harm with lifelong consequences, said Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights. He cited an observation by the president of the American Association of Pediatrics that locking the children up separately from their parents constituted “government-sanctioned child abuse.”
“The thought that any state would seek to deter parents by inflicting such abuse on children is unconscionable,” Mr. al-Hussein said.
His intervention added to an escalating chorus of condemnation from people across the political spectrum in the United States, including the former first lady Laura Bush, who called the separations “cruel” and “immoral.”
The high commissioner’s office had already condemned the practice of separating children from their parents this month, calling it a serious violation of children’s rights and international law. That drew an angry rebuke from Nikki R. Haley, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, who accused the agency of ignorance and hypocrisy.
[New York Times]