The Rights Working Group and the Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children urge an end to inhumane conditions for children, families and vulnerable populations in detention.
[12 October 2007] - Representatives of two leading advocacy organisations spoke at a hearing on US detention of immigrants and asylum seekers before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on 12 October. This is the first time the Human Rights Commission has held a hearing on the policy and practice of immigration detention. This unprecedented hearing comes at a critical time as the US Government is increasing its use of immigration detention and immigration policies have entered the national debate.
Every year tens of thousands of men, women and children seeking safety in the US are detained while their cases for asylum are being considered.
Speakers discussed the government’s detention and deportation practices that violate the human rights of immigrants in America. They discussed the US detention and immigration enforcement system does not provide adequate protection for the human rights of immigrants and refugee children; the inhumane conditions of immigration detention centres; and the impact of US immigration detention and enforcement policies on refugees and asylum seekers.
“People seeking asylum, including women and young children, are often held in dire conditions, sometimes in former prisons” says Michelle Brané, director of the Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children’s detention and asylum program, who has conducted in-depth research on the issue. “Punitive conditions within the US detention system violate American standards of justice and international law provisions. The US prides itself on family values. Shutting up families in prison is a direct contradiction of these values.”
"Immigrants and refugees deserve to be treated with dignity and fairness," says Kerri Sherlock Talbot, director of policy and planning for the Rights Working Group. "We need to uphold America as a country that respects human rights and guarantees humane treatment of all detainees. Recent tragic deaths in detention have spurred Congress and the international community to investigate the treatment of detainees within the US The hearing will give us an opportunity to shine a spotlight on our hidden detention system and encourage the United States to pass laws that guarantee humane treatment to immigrants in detention."
Read the full testimony here.
See materials in support of the Women's Commission's testimony here.
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- USA: Forced Apart - Families Separated and Immigrants Harmed by United States Deportation Policy (Human Rights Watch, July 2007)
- CRIN's news page on child rights and the Inter-American Commission
Previous Publication (general) items
- 16/10/2007: SCOTLAND: Adults' attitude to contact with children and young people
- 16/10/2007: Barriers to Services for Children with HIV Positive Parents
- 16/10/2007: A to Z of child rights (child friendly)
- 15/10/2007: Girls in Fighting Forces: Moving beyond victimhood
- 15/10/2007: Children Caught in Conflicts: The impact of armed conflict on children in Southeast Asia
Organisation Contact Details:
Women's Refugee Commission
122 East 42nd Street
New York NY 10168 - 1289
Tel: 00 1 212 551-3140
Last updated 17/10/2007 07:22:48