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Statement: Migrant Youth Sexual Abuse Allegations Reflect Government “Callousness”

Today, Axios and other outlets reported that HHS released documents alleging that thousands of migrant youth suffered sexual abuse in U.S. custody. Sandy Santana, Executive Director of Children’s Rights, issued the following statement:

“The latest revelations out of Washington about the sexual abuse of immigrant children while in the custody of the United States government are appalling. But sadly, not surprising given the level of callousness with which we have treated migrant children. We know from our work to reform broken foster care systems that sexual exploitation is particularly likely when children are institutionalized in large numbers without proper oversight. The sexual abuse reported by HHS occurred in private facilities that received millions in taxpayer dollars. But the buck stops with the government agencies that oversee them. Congress must hold the Administration accountable for developing a workable and transparent plan to protect children in its care.”

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