OCTOBER 1, 2019 — Project Amplify and Lawyer Moms of America submitted a joint filing today to the United Nations Human Rights Commission on the human rights abuses reported by children within the three-year period of 2017–2019 during interviews conducted in immigration facilities run by the United States (U.S.) government or contractors. The interviews were conducted by doctors and lawyers as part of periodic site inspections carried out under a class action lawsuit, Flores v. Barr, which resulted in the Flores Settlement Agreement (FSA).[i] The FSA outlines the minimal standards of care regarding the detention, release, and treatment of immigrant children in federal custody.[ii] The human rights abuses highlighted in this report include: (1) forced family separation; (2) prolonged detention of children; and (3) inhumane conditions and treatment, such as sleep deprivation, widespread hunger, overcrowding, unsanitary conditions, unauthorized drugging of children, and assault. Since 2017, declarations collected as part of FSA site visits show an alarming deterioration of standards and widespread violations of children’s rights. We provide specific recommendations to end the human rights violations against these children and to bring the U.S. into compliance with international and domestic law and obligations voluntarily assumed as part of the U.S.’s 2015 Universal Periodic Review (UPR).
[i] Flores v. Barr, Case No. CV 85-4544-DMG(AGRx) (C.D. Cal. 1985), Filed July 11, 1985.
[ii] Stipulated Settlement Agreement, Flores v. Reno, Case No. CV 85–4544–RJK(Px) (C.D. Cal. 1997), Filed Jan. 17, 1997, available at https://www.aclu.org/sites/default/files/assets/flores_settlement_final_plus_extension_of_settlement011797.pdf.