July 8 (UPI) -- The U.N. high commissioner for human rights said the detention of migrant children in the United States is cruel, inhumane and degrading and could violate international law.
Michelle Bachelet said Monday these migrant families are escaping violence and hunger in their home countries, making a long and perilous journey and then get locked up in "undignified conditions." The detainment should be a "last resort," she said.
"As a pediatrician, but also as a mother and a former head of state, I am deeply shocked that children are forced to sleep on the floor in overcrowded facilities, without access to adequate healthcare or food, and with poor sanitation conditions," Bachelet said in a statement. "Detaining a child even for short periods under good conditions can have a serious impact on their health and development. Consider the damage being done every day by allowing this alarming situation to continue."
This follows a Department of Homeland Security Office report last week that described "dangerous overcrowding" and "prolonged detention of children and adults" along the border in Texas.
President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday that the conditions at the detention facilities were being exaggerated.