CARECEN to Testify in Hearing Convoked by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on Unaccompanied Minors
Washington, D.C. October 23, 2014- On October 27, 2014, CARECEN will testify on behalf of the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities (NALACC) in the hearing held by the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights (IACHR), an autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS) whose mission is to promote and protect human rights in the Americas, on the current human rights crisis faced by the dramatic increase in unaccompanied children arriving at the U.S. southern border.
This is the first time the U.S. government is expected to address publicly before an international body concerns about the humanitarian crisis faced by unaccompanied children arriving at the southern border. In an unprecedented move, this is also the first time an international human rights body will hold a hearing on the current immigration crisis.
In what became known as “the surge” by U.S. government officials and advocates, the number of undocumented children apprehended crossing the United States’ southern border without their parents shot up from 8,000 in 2011 to 60,000 in 2014. The majority of these children came from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico— countries plagued by gang violence, high levels of unemployment, and political unrest.
Many children were potentially eligible for international protections such as refugee status or the guarantee against return to danger, non-refoulment. However, countless of them were deported without their right to due process, detained for prolonged periods of time, and experienced other human rights abuses at the hands of U.S. officials. This generated extensive policy debates both in the United States and throughout the region.
Participating organizations will present analysis and policy recommendations to members of the IACHR and U.S. government and direct questions to high-ranking U.S. government officials slated to attend the hearings.
Petitioners expect these discussions will steer the United States towards greater compliance of international human rights obligations in regards to refugees and migrants in the U.S. Requesting organizations include: the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC), the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities (NALACC), the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), University of Texas School of Law Immigration Clinic, University of Pennsylvania Transnational Legal Clinic, Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC), and the University of Chicago Legal Clinic, among others.
The hearing “Situation of Human Rights of Migrant and Refugee Children and Families in the U.S.” will take place on October 27, 2014 from 9:00 to 10:00 am at the Padilha Vidal Room of the Organization of American States located at 1889 F St NW, Washington, D.C., 20006