Wednesday, March 18, 2015

U.S. Looks Overseas for Human Rights Abuses and Ignores U.N. Report Criticizing its Youth Detention Practices at Home
"...in a report released and presented ... to the U.N. Human Rights Council, Juan Mendez, the U.N.'s special rapporteur on torture, sharply criticized the U.S. model of youth detention where children are at 'heightened risk of violence, abuse, and acts of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.' Even short periods of detention undermine a child's psychological and physical wellbeing. The report points out that children's healthy development requires developing emotional connections to caring adults, a requirement that most institutions consistently fail to meet.

The United State is the biggest jailer of children in the world.... nearly two-thirds are held for non-violent offenses, including theft, drug possession, or skipping school. And thousands of more children are locked up in adult jails and prisons in the United States. Children of color are over-represented in detention, particularly among youth serving extreme sentences.

Mendez...singles out the United States for being the only nation in the world that sentences children to die in prison.

The report makes several key recommendations including eliminating juvenile life-without-parole sentences for children and the detention of immigrant children. There should be no use of restraints or solitary confinement under any circumstances. No children should be tried in adult court, and all children should be held in age-appropriate facilities."

View the Report

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