Emergency Alert

Children’s rights continue to be violated at the border. Vulnerable and terrified, young boys and girls are being held in custody longer than the legal limit, being separated from their families, and more. Save the Children is on the ground at the U.S.-Mexico Border, assisting families who have been released from U.S. detention facilities. We urgently need your help to reach every last child in need. A donation to our U.S. Border Crisis Children’s Relief Fund will support our programmatic and advocacy work at the border and ensure that children at the border are being treated with care and kindness.

How is Save the Children Helping Children at the Border?

For 100 years, Save the Children has protected the world’s children from harm and ensured their rights are upheld.

Through donor support, we are the only national response agency working in transit shelters focused on the unique needs of children.

Our programmatic and advocacy work at the border is focused on delivering immediate humanitarian aid to newly arrived children and families. 

Currently, we are supporting transit shelters that care for newly arrived children and families after being released by U.S. Customs & Border Patrol. We are providing child-friendly spaces so that children have safe, designated areas to play, socialize, take a respite from the stress and receive psychological and emotional support from trained adults. We are also supporting mothers with very young children who need a safe, clean and quiet place to care for and feed their children.

We are also continuing to address the root causes of migration through our work in Central America with longstanding programs primarily focused on children and adolescents in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico.

But we can’t do any of this important work without the support and the generosity of people like you.

4 Things You Need to Know About Children in Crisis at the Border

Save the Children is gravely concerned about the treatment and well-being of children who are in the custody of the United States government after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. Children’s rights continue to be violated at the border – being held in custody longer than the legal limit, being separated from their families, and more. Here’s what you need to know about the ongoing humanitarian crisis.

1. Many of the families and unaccompanied children arriving at the border are fleeing from a complex mix of social and economic factors.
For years, a complex crisis of violence, brutal gangs and entrenched poverty has driven children and families to flee the Northern Triangle of Central America – El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras – and seek safety and protection in the United States. According to an April 2019 Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council report, family unit migration at the U.S.-Mexico Border has surged by 600% over the previous year.

2. Separating a child from his or her family unnecessarily is inhumane, traumatic and simply put, unacceptable.
The cruel act of separation can cause severe negative social and emotional consequences for the children and their families in the days, months and years ahead. Our global evidence shows that children living in institutions away from their families are highly vulnerable to emotional, physical and psychological abuse, which can lead to lasting developmental problems, injuries and trauma.

3. Save the Children is the only national response agency working in transit shelters focused on the unique needs of children.
Currently, Save the Children is growing the capacity of local transit centers on the southern U.S. border that serve children and families after being released by U.S. Customs & Border Patrol. We are providing our renowned child-friendly spaces, where kids can be kids again, express themselves and begin to cope. Our child safeguarding experts are ensuring children are protected and providing technical training to local municipalities about how to safely serve children.

4. Every child has a right to safety, protection and a future.
Children should not have to experience the trauma that comes from daily threats, a terrifying journey, forcefully being removed from their parents, facing danger at the border or being held indefinitely by the U.S. government.

“Prolonging the detention of young children and ignoring their legal rights is not a constructive deterrent for combatting the migrant crisis at our border, and is not a solution befitting our great nation,” said Mark Shriver, Senior Vice President of U.S. Programs & Advocacy. “Children are innocent victims at the border and our government has a responsibility to treat them humanely and with dignity.”

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