Hundreds of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services officials have sexually abused migrant children.
According to a report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), this agency received 4556 complaints of sexual abuse against unaccompanied migrant children at facilities on the border with Mexico between 2014 and 2018.
“It is an environment of systemic sexual assault committed by staff against unaccompanied minors,” said Tuesday U.S. House Democrat Ted Deutch.
HHS spokeswoman Caitlin Oakley also reported that the investigation into what happened will begin quickly and promised that the U.S. agency will take the allegations seriously.
The spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services also said that the safety of each child must be guaranteed. “These are vulnerable children in difficult circumstances,” she added.
“When allegations of abuse, sexual abuse or neglect are made, they are taken seriously and ORR (Office of Refugee Resettlement) acts quickly to investigate and respond,” Oakley said.
According to the HHS report, crimes by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services officials included relationships with minors, unwanted sexual contact and showing inappropriate videos to children and teens who were in their shelter.
This report, which emphasizes sexual abuse of unaccompanied children, was issued after HHS released a report last January revealing that the total number of migrant children separated from their families on the border with Mexico could be much higher than originally announced by U.S. President Donald Trump’s Administration.
Trump’s government has been heavily criticized, inside and outside the U.S., for its policy of “zero tolerance” of irregular immigration, which has led to the separation of undocumented families at the border with Mexico. The White House tenant policy involves treating undocumented immigrants entering the country as criminals.
Also, the Government of Mexico has repeatedly described the separation of immigrant children from their families as “cruel and inhuman” and denounces that this fact “clearly represents a violation of human rights”.