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Statement from Carolyn Miles, President & CEO, Save the Children
FAIRFIELD, Conn. (June 19, 2018) – In response to continued reports of children being separated from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border, Carolyn Miles, President and CEO of Save the Children, issued the following statement today:
Save the Children remains gravely concerned about the treatment and well-being of children from Mexico and Central American nations who are in the custody of the United States government after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.
Separating a child from his or her family unnecessarily is inhumane, traumatic and simply put, unacceptable. The cruel act of separation can cause severe negative social and emotional consequences for the children and their families in the days, months and years ahead. Our global evidence shows that children living in institutions away from their families are highly vulnerable to emotional, physical and psychological abuse, which can lead to lasting developmental problems, injuries and trauma.
The United States has always been a beacon of hope, welcoming the world’s people for nearly 250 years. Our country should remain a safe haven for children and families. We have a moral obligation to keep families together. We also have a legal obligation to ensure children are protected and their rights for due process are upheld.
We urge the United States government to prevent the separation of children from their parents whenever possible and to limit the duration of any such separation when it occurs. Forced separation surely ends a childhood.
For nearly 100 years, Save the Children has put the rights of every child at the center of our mission. As such, Save the Children and Save the Children Action Network strongly support U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein’s bill, the Keep Families Together Act (S. 3036), which would prevent unnecessary separation of children from their parents. This bill also requires training for staff in childhood trauma and child development, critical to ensuring these children get the care they need, especially if they are in a dangerous and agonizing situation. We encourage Members of Congress to support the inclusion of the Keep Families Together Act in any legislation that is voted on in the House of Representatives or Senate on this issue. Over the past 72 hours, more than 38,250 messages have been generated to Congress by our supporters and partners underscoring our shared and unrelenting belief that families belong together.
We have now heard the cries of these children from the border; we all must raise our voices and stand up for those children who are facing the unthinkable. Save the Children continues to closely monitor this situation and advocate on behalf of the world’s most vulnerable children.
Save the Children gives children in the United States and around the world a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We invest in childhood — every day, in times of crisis and for our future. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.