“The simple fact of detention puts children at risk”

August 23, 2019

Statement from Caryl Stern, UNICEF USA President and CEO

NEW YORK (August 23, 2019) – Detention for any length of time, with or without their families, is bad for children. The proof is there. Detained children experience long-lasting harm on their well-being, safety, and development. UNICEF USA opposes child immigration detention around the world, including in the United States.

For many years, the Flores Settlement Agreement (FSA) limited detention of children to 20 days, and ensured other protections. The U.S. Government’s just-published rule guts this agreement to allow migrant families to be held in detention facilities for the duration of their immigration proceedings – no matter how long that takes. The simple fact of detention puts children at risk – and the longer the detention, the greater the damage.

When efforts to override these crucial child protections were introduced last fall, UNICEF USA and thousands of our supporters in the U.S. submitted public comments in support of the FSA, and UNICEF USA will continue to fight for children to live their lives detention-free by joining a filing to the court opposing the regulation.


#  #  #


The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to put children first. UNICEF has helped save more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization, by providing health care and immunizations, safe water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. UNICEF USA supports UNICEF's work through fundraising, advocacy and education in the United States. Together, we are working toward the day when no children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood. For more information, visit www.unicefusa.org.


For more information, contact
Erica Vogel, UNICEF USA, 212.922.2480, evogel@unicefusa.org
Gabby Arias, UNICEF USA, 917.720.1306, garias@unicefusa.org