ACT Alliance condemns the separation of children from the families by US authorities

20th June 2018

In the past few months more than 2000 children have been separated from their parents as their families tried to cross the US border. Audio of children wailing in agony as they are ripped away from their parents continue to be broadcast by the media around the world.

“The actions of the US administration not only violate a range of international human rights conventions but contradict basic human decency,” says Rudelmar Bueno de Faria, ACT Alliance General Secretary.

Earlier in the month, member organizations of ACT Alliance based in the USA joined a range of faith-based groups in decrying the action of the US government, saying that they were ‘unnecessarily cruel and detrimental to the well-being of parents and children.’

“Today, on World Refugee Day, there is a record high number of displaced persons in the world, most of them in developing countries, with little solidarity coming from the OECD countries regarding refugee reception and resettlement,” de Faria continues. 

ACT Alliance reaffirms the spirit and the letter of the convention on the rights of the child and reiterates the importance of protecting children and their families that nurture them.

The preamble of the convention states: “Convinced that the family, as the fundamental group of society and the natural environment for the growth and well-being of all its members and particularly children, should be afforded the necessary protection and assistance so that it can fully assume its responsibilities within the community.”

“What is happening in the USA takes away any assurances that these children will be protected and provided for. It demeans the concept of rule of law, which should serve people and communities rather than expose them to danger and suffering,” says de Faria.

The US action takes place in a political climate that includes the US’s stated withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council and Germany’s crisis over refugee reception. Hungary is locking its asylum seekers into prison-like transit zones and Australia has mastered offshoring asylum.

“As ACT Alliance, drawing from our mandate and mission as a church-based humanitarian and development organization, and guided by our faith values, we condemn this approach that targets children and families. We strongly urge the US government to stop separating children from their families and to implement a policy that is in conformity with international human rights and humanitarian law and basic human decency,” says de Faria.

“Our hearts, thoughts, prayers and solidarity are with the children and the families affected by these monstrous actions.  Today and every day, as ACT Alliance we stand for human rights and today specifically the right to seek and enjoy asylum,” concludes de Faria.

For more information, please contact:
Isaiah Toroitich (isaiah.toroitich [at] actalliance.org)
Global Advocacy and Policy Coordinator, ACT Alliance

Simon Chambers (simon.chambers [at] actalliance.org)
Head of Communications, ACT Alliance