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EMERGENCY ALERT

A powerful winter storm has left millions of children and families along the U.S. Southern Border in need of urgent assistance.

 Shelters are in dire need of supplies. Many child care centers, already impacted by COVID-19, are now without critical resources. Save the Children is working around the clock to get coats, hygiene items and clean water to those in need. Your support today is desperately needed. 

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 SalvadorGuatemala and Honduras – and seek safety and protection in the United States. 

Our government has a responsibility to treat children arriving at the U.S. southern border humanely and with dignity. Asylum seekers have a right to seek international protection and must not be returned, either directly or indirectly, to a country where their lives or safety are at risk.

For more than 100 years, Save the Children has protected the world’s children from harm and ensured their rights are upheld. Today we continue to work to make sure children’s rights are realized and protected, and that they are healthy and safe.

 


How Is Save the Children Helping Children at the Border?

Save the Children is one of the only international non-governmental organizations responding to this crisis on both sides of the U.S. and Mexico border, which is critical to addressing migration issues. 


4 Things to Know About Children in Crisis at the U.S Southern Border

Egregious policies of the previous administration have specifically targeted children and families seeking refuge. We have witnessed harmful federal government actions, such as separating children from their families, in order to frighten and deter fellow migrants and asylum seekers. Here’s what you need to know about the ongoing humanitarian crisis.

Seeking asylum is not a crime.

A young boy looks over his father's shoulder.

Every child has a right to safety, protection and a future, regardless of who they are or where they’re from. Our nation has long served as a safe harbor for persecuted people, but the past four years have eroded that proud legacy. 

On February 2, 2021, President Biden signed a series of Executive Orders to put an end to cruel policies that harm children seeking safety at the U.S. southern border, including establishing a task-force to reunite children separated from their families. ⁠⁠
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This is an important first step to ensuring that immigrant children are treated humanely. ⁠⁠
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The new administration and Congress have the opportunity to rebuild a stronger, child-centric asylum and immigration system in America. 

Family separation is a cruel and inhumane policy.

A father and son stand with their backs to the camera.


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.

President Biden's formation of a task force to reunify the hundreds of asylum-seeking children forcibly separated from their families will begin to repair the harm and pave the way for a reimagined system incapable of implementing a family separation policy in the future. 

The task force will provide avenues for the reunification of families in the United States and provide much needed mental health and trauma services to support affected children and families in their recovery.

Efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 must not discriminate.

A mother watches her child sleep on a cot.


In a joint statement, the world's leading children's organizations made clear that when countries choose to implement border restrictions in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, it is critical that such measures be implemented in a non-discriminatory manner, in line with international law, and prioritize the protection of the most vulnerable, especially children.

If children arriving at the border are not tested for COVID-19,  their returns pose grave public health and child protection risks for a region already severely limited in sanitation, shelter capacity, health services and child protection systems.

These practices leave children in hazardous conditions and they violate international law – including the international principle of non-refoulement, which forbids governments from forcing refugees or asylum seekers to return to a country in which they are subjected to persecution.

Every child has a right to safety, protection and a future.

A young girl in a pink shirt looks at the camera.


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.

Save the Children's current work at the U.S. southern border features programs to protect children and address their immediate needs, resource support and advocacy. 

Through partners, Save the Children is helping deliver immediate humanitarian relief to newly arrived children and families on both sides of the border. 

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