World Children’s Day: Amnesty pleads for detained families in U.S.

South Texas Family Residential Center
South Texas Family Residential Center

Amnesty International has urged the American Government to release children who are being detained at a South Texas facility.

In a Press statement sent to newsrooms, the human rights organisation cited seven-year-old Mario as one of the many children who have been behind bars at the Dilley Detention Center over two months.

According to Amnesty, he and his mother Andrea left Guatemala after years of being targeted because they belong to the Q’eqchi Indigenous group.

“World Children’s Day should be a day for every child to claim their rights. All children deserve to be safe and protected, to live with their parents and their families, and to have their voices heard. Instead, this World Children’s Day, children are locked up behind bars in the United States with their families, indefinitely, in fear of what will happen to them next,” Margaret Huang, executive director of Amnesty International USA, said.

She decried the US government decision to detain immigrants terming the move abhorrent.

Huang further said that the State has the option of releasing these families while they pursue their asylum claims but has chosen to lock up children with their parents.

“The United States has failed to protect children’s rights, refusing to do what is best for children while it continues to pursue cruel policies of hate and demonisation,” the statement adds.

World Children’s Day is the 1959 Day the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child.

It is also the date in 1989 it adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which guarantees children’s rights around the world.

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