Beyond forced separation, mental cruelty!

[Read in La Presse on June 25, 2018: « Là où les accolades sont interdites » (Where hugs are not allowed)]

Not content with forcefully separating 2,300 migrant children from their parents, we are now learning that in these famous southern Texas shelters, the children are prevented from consoling one another and guardians are not allowed to show them any attention, even between brothers and sisters. In other words, they are condemned to isolation, despair, rejection and ongoing trauma from the very beginning of their lives.

The “good news” is that these shelters are reportedly the largest employers in southwestern Texas and they are giving the local economy a boost. There are now thousands of children staying in these shelters, which continue to grow. Will the next step be to transform them into residential schools like the ones we had in Canada, with the consequences that we have seen?

The United States of America, this large, influential country that never ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, is currently setting the tone for a societal change that will now allow all extremists like this on the planet to engage in the open abuse of children and worse to get their supporters involved.

What is beyond belief is the trivialization of the major forces that support a healthy society, especially the respect of children, the basic security that we provide them, our ability to console them and the empathy that every human being requires to live in society.

What is somewhat reassuring is the large protest movement rising up around the world, including in the United States, but will it be sufficient and persistent enough to counter all this violence against children?

Gilles Julien
Social Pediatrician
President-Chief Executive Officer
Fondation du Dr Julien