More than 100,000 children are currently being held in migration-related detention in the United States, often in violation of international law, the UN said Monday.
Lead author of the United Nations Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty, Manfred Nowak, said the figure refers to migrants children currently in custody who reached a US border unaccompanied, as well as those detained with relatives and minors separated from their parents prior to detention.
"The total number currently detained is 103,000," Nowak told AFP, calling it a "conservative" assessment, based on the latest available official data as well as "very reliable" additional sources.
Globally, at least 330,000 children across 80 countries are being held for migration-related reasons, according to the global study that launched Monday, meaning the US accounts for nearly a third of such detentions.
The study in part looked at violations of the UN's Convention on the Rights of the Child, which mandates that child detentions be used "only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time."
The US is the only UN member state that has not ratified the convention which took effect in 1990.
Source: AFP News