UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, urged on Monday the United States to prioritize family unity and the best interests of children as it implements new border management policies along the US-Mexico border.
“There are effective ways to ensure border control without putting families through the lasting psychological trauma of child-parent separation,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said.
“UNHCR stands ready to support the United States in implementing humane and secure alternatives,” Grandi added.
Growing numbers of families in Central America have been forced in recent years to flee extraordinary, unchecked violence including murder, rape, abduction and forced recruitment of children into gangs. These families have been seeking protection in countries throughout the region.
UNHCR said it continues to call on governments to work together to address the root causes in Central America and at the same time ensure safe haven for families fleeing life-threatening violence and persecution.