01:36 GMT28 February 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The US Health and Human Services’ (HHS) inspector general in a statement said it was launching an investigation into the conditions of camps for unaccompanied immigrant children.

    "Specifically, this review will focus on a variety of safety-and-health related issues such as employee background screening, employees’ clinical skills and training, identification and response of incidents of harm, and facility security," the HHS Office of the Inspector General said as quoted by The Hill on Wednesday.

    The inspector general said it will specifically review HHS’ Office of Refugee Resettlement, especially because it received a sudden increase in the number of children placed under its care.

    Earlier in the day, 77 Democratic lawmakers in a letter called on HHS Secretary Alex Azar to explain allegations of child abuse that were reported at detention facilities. The lawmakers referenced media reports claiming that pediatricians in South Texas were alarmed by the conditions and the treatment of children in migrant shelters.

    In April, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a new zero-tolerance policy for anyone who crossed the US border illegally, which would mean placing adults in detention and sending children to the Department of Health and Human Services.

    READ MORE: US Court Orders Reunification of Migrant Parents With Children — Reports

    Last week, US President Donald Trump was forced to issue an order to halt family separations at the border after viral images of kids locked in cages sparked outrage across the entire political spectrum and drew intense levels of international opprobrium.


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    zero-tolerance policy, immigrant children, US
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