Hundreds of unaccompanied migrant children have been forced to return from the U.S. to Mexico and northern Central America since early March, raising concerns for their safety, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has said.According to the organization, at least 1,000 unaccompanied children have been returned to Mexico and El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, which collectively make up the “Northern Triangle,” amid the coronavirus outbreak.In addition to the U.S. deportations, Mexico has also overseen the returns of at least 447 migrant children to Guatemala and Honduras amid the pandemic, according to UNICEF.The deportations have been overseen despite warnings from organization that unaccompanied children could face potential violence and stigmatization in their home countries due to fears that they could be carrying the virus from the U.S., which has the highest known death toll from confirmed COVID-19 cases in the world.Noting that UNICEF had repeatedly warned of “acts of violence and discrimination” being perpetrated against “returnees perceived to have been infected with the disease,” the organization has warned that deported children “face major protection risks during their reintegration.”Limited public information about coronavirus testing, treatment and containment protocols has led to confusion and fear among returnees and the communities they are being… Read full this story
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