Protect Vulnerable Asylum-Seeking Children and Families

Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Every child must be safe and protected. UNICEF has advocated tirelessly for children’s rights around the globe for more than 70 years with the conviction that children need to be seen as children, first and foremost – especially children who are fleeing for their lives.

Current U.S. border restrictions in response to COVID-19 are causing children and families seeking safety and protection to be turned away from the southern U.S. border without proper due process.  UNICEF recently reported that more than 1,000 unaccompanied migrant children have been turned away from the border and forcibly returned to Mexico and Central America since early March. Their returns pose grave child protection and public health risks for a region already severely limited in shelter capacity, health services and child protection systems. These practices violate children’s rights and put their lives at risk!

Children and families fled their homes to escape gangs and other criminals that threatened their lives and integrity.  They are being returned to face conditions that are now even worse due to the coronavirus.

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We Need Your Help

The United States can and must protect migrant children, even while responding to the pandemic.

Please push our policymakers to protect children regardless of migration status during this pandemic. It is possible for governments to protect public health while still protecting the rights and needs of children, and we demand that the U.S. Government do exactly that.