Save the Children CEO: Unaccompanied Children Being Housed in Inhumane Conditions is Unacceptable

Washington, D.C. (June 24, 2021) – In response to the recent news that migrant children are being housed in inhumane conditions in a government-run shelter in El Paso, Texas, Janti Soeripto, Save the Children President and CEO, issued the following statement:

We are incredibly alarmed by the recent reports of dangerous and unhealthy conditions that thousands of unaccompanied children are living in while in government custody. To learn that government-run shelters have widespread lice and COVID-19 breakouts, reports of sexual abuse, poor medical services and a lack of proper food is deeply disturbing and, simply put, unacceptable. 

We have long advocated against the use of large influx facilities because we know they’re no suitable place for children. As long as the administration continues to use these facilities, the conditions must be drastically improved. Children must be protected and treated humanely, with dignity, respect and compassion. 

While we are pleased Vice President Harris is visiting the border tomorrow to witness the situation firsthand, the Biden administration must do more for the thousands of vulnerable children seeking safety in this country. We call on the administration to immediately address the conditions in these Emergency Intake Sites and provide the health, nutritional and legal services these children have been so negligently denied. We also urge the administration to expedite the reunification of these unaccompanied children with their families and sponsors so they can embark on their undoubtedly bright futures.”

Save the Children – together with its political advocacy arm, Save the Children Action Network – will continue to mobilize on behalf of children and families to ensure they are protected and treated legally and humanely, with dignity and respect.

Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. Since our founding more than 100 years ago, we’ve changed the lives of more than 1 billion children. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share. Follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitter and YouTube.

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