The United Nations Organization (UN) revealed that at least 103,000 migrant children are being held in the custody of federal authorities in the United States.
That figure makes the United States the country with the most minors detained in the world.
According to the author of the report, Manfred Nowak, having more than 100,000 children and adolescents locked up violates international law.
The UN estimates that there are about seven million people under 18 in prisons and in judicial custody worldwide. This figure includes the 300,000 minors who are in detention centers for immigrants. Almost a third of them are locked in the United States.
During an interview for the AFP, Nowak said that the estimate of the Global Study of Children Deprived of Liberty yields a “prudent” figure based on official and other unofficial but “very credible” figures.
“Detention of minors related to migration should never be applied (…) in the interest of the child. There are always other options, ”he added.
The author also stresses that “separating children from their parents, as did the administration of President Trump (…) on the border with Mexico (…) is an inhuman treatment at the same time for parents and for the child.”
The United States is the only country that has not ratified the children’s rights treaty.
This human rights treaty, the most ratified internationally, declares that children under 18 must be protected from violence, exploitation, discrimination and neglect.