Save the Children CEO: White House Executive Order Harmful to Children

Statement from Carolyn Miles, President & CEO, Save the Children

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (June 21, 2018) In response to the Presidential Executive Order regarding family separation, Carolyn Miles, President and CEO of Save the Children, issued the following statement:

Save the Children believes the Presidential Executive Order addressing family separation achieves one thing: further harming already vulnerable children. As announced, the Executive Order simply replaces family separation with indefinite family detention – this unconscionable order does not once mention the best interests of children. Save the Children has zero tolerance for policies that do not put children’s interests first. We know from our nearly 100 years of service that family detention has significant adverse effects on a child’s development and psychosocial well-being, which ultimately results in the loss of childhood.

Indefinite family detention is simply unacceptable. Family detention centers have been consistently found unsuitable and injurious for children. The Executive Order does not address the needs of previously separated children or the need to uphold asylum rights. America has always been a beacon of hope and refuge – it is what makes our country great.

Save the Children works around the world with children who are separated from family members by natural disasters and war, in places like Yemen, South Sudan and Syria. Never have I seen children forcibly displaced from parents or families indefinitely detained. We know the trauma these actions can cause and the long-lasting effects it can have. We cannot stand by and watch this suffering be inflicted on children by our own government.

We have now heard the cries of these children from the border; we all must continue to raise our voices and stand up for those children who are facing the unthinkable. Now, more than ever, it’s important to remember that all children – yours, mine, refugee, migrant and those seeking asylum – deserve safety and a chance at a future.

We continue to urge the President to do the right thing for children and for Congress to include the policies and recommendations outlined in the Keep Families Together Act in any legislation that is voted on in the House or Senate on this topic. We have already heard bipartisan commitments to end cruelty toward children. Save the Children continues to closely monitor this situation and advocate on behalf of the world’s most vulnerable children.

Save the Children gives children in the United States and around the world a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We invest in childhood — every day, in times of crisis and for our future. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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