UN study claims US has the highest rate of children in detention

Children are being detained at a younger and younger age and held for longer periods of time.


The United Nations released a study on Monday stating the U.S. has the world’s highest rate of children in detention. The study claims this number includes more than 100,000 in immigration-related custody that violates international law.

The U.S. is also responsible for detaining high numbers of children in the criminal justice sector too, the study says.  

“Worldwide more than 7 million people under age 18 are held in jails and police custody, including 330,000 in immigration detention centers,” says Professor Manfred Nowak an Independent Expert leading the United Nations Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty. “Of course separating children, as was done by the Trump administration, from their parents and even small children at the Mexican-U.S. border is absolutely prohibited by the Convention on the Rights of the Child. I would call it inhuman treatment for both the parents and the children.”

According to Reuters, there was no immediate reaction from U.S. authorities. Novak said U.S. officials had not replied to his questionnaire sent to all countries.


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