U.N. calls on U.S. to find alternatives to child migrant detention

Immigrant children walk in single file between tents in their compound next to the Mexican border in Tornillo, Texas June 18, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Thomson Reuters

GENEVA (Reuters) - The U.N. human rights office called on the Trump administration on Friday to "overhaul" its migration polices and find alternatives to detention, saying that children should never be held in custody, even with their parents.

"While we acknowledge the U.S. decision not to continue separation, we understand that the practice now will be to detain a child with the parents," U.N. human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told a Geneva briefing. "We have said that a child should never be detained in relation to their parents' migration status."

The U.S. military has been asked to get ready to house up to 20,000 immigrant children, officials said on Thursday, as President Donald Trump's efforts to roll back a widely condemned policy of separating children from their parents were beset by confusion.

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Alison Williams)

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