02:31 GMT +312 November 2019
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    Detainees are seen outside tent shelters used to hold separated family members, Friday, June 22, in Fabens, Texas. The U.N human rights office says President Donald Trump's decision to stop the U.S. policy separating migrant parents from their children doesn't go far enough

    ‘Release These Children’: Trump Guilty of Torture Says United Nations

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    The United Nations, in a particularly damning accusation, revealed that the separation of migrant children from their parents by the Trump administration “may amount to torture.”

    Bowing to a global outcry against the policy, the Trump White House quickly wrote an executive order that it claims will go toward ending the practice, but the presidential decree is a weak stopgap measure that human rights groups suggest will not end detentions, according to the Independent.

    The United Nations, however, issued its strongest condemnation of the Trump policy yet, claiming on Friday that separating migrant children from their parents at the border "may amount to torture," cited by multiple sources.

    Experts representing the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) noted that Trump's attempt to stop the controversial ongoing US practice does not actually stop the detentions and "may lead to indefinite detention of entire families in violation of international human rights standards," cited by the Washington Post.

    UNHRC experts additionally noted that the new White House executive order does not address key points that allow the previous Trump separation edicts to continue.

    "This executive order does not address the situation of those children who have already been pulled away from their parents. We call on the government of the US to release these children from immigration detention and to reunite them with their families based on the best interests of the child, and the rights of the child to liberty and family unity," according to the UNHRC statement.

    The UNHRC announcement noted that any detention of children is punishment.

    "Detention of children is punitive, severely hampers their development, and in some cases may amount to torture," according to the UNHRC statement.

    "Children are being used as a deterrent to irregular migration, which is unacceptable."

    Rights groups around the world have called attention to the likelihood that abuses contained within Trump's original separation decree will not be stopped by the president's Wednesday order, including how to free some 2,300 children — some very small — who were thrown into detention camps through the use of the White House policy after a "zero tolerance" interpretation of US border laws was imposed in mid-April.

    The Trump zero tolerance policy has resulted in every adult illegally crossing the border being arrested, detained and prosecuted; while, under the letter of the law, any minor child also apprehended is taken from its parent and placed in a separate holding facility.

    Few concrete details are available to indicate precisely how the new Trump order will go about humanizing the process and, more significantly, how it will reunite previously locked-up children with their parents.

    "Separations have been conducted without notice, information, or the opportunity to challenge them," the UNHRC stated.

    "The parents and children have been unable to communicate with each other. The parents have had no information about the whereabouts of their children, which is a cause of great distress. Moreover, we are deeply concerned at the long-term impact and trauma, including irreparable harm that these forcible separations have on the children," cited by Dailykos.com.

    The UNHRC group observed that some of the detained children are young enough to still be breastfeeding.

    The White House zero tolerance border arrest policy was announced earlier by Trump's pick for US attorney general, Jeff Sessions who asserted last week that the practice of separating children from their parents was a form of God's will.

    Shocking images of detained children in a Texas facility revealed metal cages inside a windowless temperature-controlled former Walmart warehouse, while lawmakers and reporters seeking additional information on the practice were denied entry.

    The damning UNHRC condemnation was released just days after the US withdrew membership in the global human-rights organization, according to The Independent.


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    border crossings, undocumented migrants, immigration, child abuse, children, torture, Walmart, White House, United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), United Nations, Donald Trump, United States, Texas
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