Immigration and children’s rights on US border ‘not incompatible’, says UNICEF
Separating children from their families is in no one’s best interest — the head of UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Tuesday — pointing to “heartbreaking” stories of infants who have been reportedly removed from their parents after entering the US from Mexico illegally.
In an appeal to the US regarding its recent policy change cracking down on migration at the border with Mexico, Henrietta Fore said in a statement that children who were in need of shelter “have the right to be protected…and be with their families”.
Detention and family separation can create “toxic stress”, which can impact children’s long-term development, the UNICEF Executive Director added.
Echoing Ms. Fore’s message, UNICEF spokesperson Christophe Boulierac told journalists in Geneva that immigration and children’s rights were not incompatible.
“I think our main role here is to make the point… that what’s happening is not right and, and more than that, immigration enforcement and protecting the right of children are not a zero-sum game.”
The development comes amid reports that very young children have been held in US detention centres while their parents are prosecuted for illegally entering the country via its southern border.
The US had long helped “uprooted children” from crises around the world, Mr. Boulierac said, before confirming that it is the only country which has yet to ratify the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child.
Humanitarian supplies arrive at embattled Yemen port
Food for millions of people in Yemen has been unloading in the Red Sea port of Hodeida amid ongoing fighting between Saudi-backed forces supporting the Government and Houthi militants, UN aid officials said on Tuesday.
Here’s Bettina Luescher from the World Food Programme (WFP):
“So, there were three ships in total — one, I think, has finished unloading, the others are about to be unloaded. But the important thing is the work, as far as we know right now, is still ongoing. And it’s food for 6 million people for a month.”
From the World Health Organization (WHO), Christian Lindmeier stressed that Hodeida remains a key access point for aid to Yemen.
Some 8.4 million people face “pre-famine conditions” and need humanitarian supplies to survive, he told journalists, before calling on the warring parties to keep ports such as Hodeida open to aid agencies and commercial cargo.
UN rights expert urges action to end systemic abuse of leprosy sufferers
People suffering from leprosy face stigmatization and institutional discrimination, which are holding back efforts to eliminate the disease, a leading human rights expert said on Tuesday.
Alice Cruz — the UN Special Rapporteur on the elimination of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy and their family members — issued the warning at the Human Rights Council in Geneva.
In her first report to the 47-Member Council, Cruz described how people with the disease are subjected to physical and psychological abuse and violence.
More than 20 countries have yet to repeal discriminatory laws against sufferers, she said in a statement.
Many have faced compulsory internment, forced sterilization and the right to participate in public and political life, the Special Rapporteur said.
Despite progress towards the global elimination of leprosy, in 2016, there were nearly a quarter of a million new cases.
The disease is curable with multidrug therapy and if detected early, physical impairments long associated with it can be prevented.