“[US] States are consistently failing to protect abused and neglected children with little to no consequence from the executive branch,” the institute's staff attorney, Elisa Weichel, was quoted as saying in a press release to the report.
Weichel added that many federal courts had denied citizens the right to file suits for violations of US child welfare law.
The report, based on research carried out over three years by the advocacy organization in collaboration with public charity First Star, stated that at least four to five children in the United States died every day because of abuse or neglect.
“Sadly, the real numbers of both child abuse/neglect victims and fatalities are much higher, due in part to unreported abuse,” the report stated.
The report says child protection laws put together over the past 40 years have contributed to an “anemic and dysfunctional” US child welfare system and should be overhauled.
The report accuses the Department for Health and Human Services (HHS) of being a complicit partner to the legislative and executive branches of the US government in providing substandard care for children.
According to the report, the HHS has at times blatantly disregarded orders by the US Congress in relation to child protection, while Congress has shown "little appetite" to address these issues.