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Trump has bowed to public pressure

21 June 2018
The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) has taken steps to formally file a complaint with the United Nations. The zero tolerance policy that separates children from their families violates international law. PSI urges affiliates to join the AFT campaign calling on the United Nation Human Rights Council to take immediate action.

Trump changed his mind: Will keep families together

US President Donald Trump signed an executive order promising to “keep families together” - in migrant detentions. The order does not address families already separated by the policy. According to US immigrations officials, 2,342 children were separated from their parents between 5 May and 9 June.

However, the text makes it clear that a hardline approach to immigration enforcement will continue:
- Government officials will continue the “zero-tolerance” policy of criminal prosecution for every immigrant who crosses the border illegally.
- Government officials will seek to “maintain family unity” by detaining parents and children together.

PSI will continue to monitor the situation and will advocate for US respecting international law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Original story from 20 June:

American Federation of Teachers is filing a human rights complaint against Donald Trump

The American Federation Teachers (AFT)  is turning to the 47 member states who sit on the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), recognizing that it is the body within the United Nations responsible for strengthening and protecting human rights, addressing violations of fundamental freedoms occurring in any part of the world, and most importantly, taking action against those violations.

PSI urges affiliates to join the AFT in calling on the United Nation Human Rights Council to follow its mandate in bringing these violations to the world’s attention and to use its powers of recommendation, exposure, site investigation, fact-finding and advocacy to shine a light upon these transgressions of international law and treaties.


We trust the Council will use its unique voice, as it has in the past, to directly address the United States as a UN member, and further, report back to all the members of the General Assembly. We urge the Council to pull the curtain back on a cynical policy that is both cruel and immoral, before it’s too late.

Only universal complaint procedure

This is the only universal complaint procedure covering all human rights and fundamental freedoms in all U.N. member states. The Council has the ability, and AFT argues, the duty -- to discuss all human rights issues and country-specific situations that require its attention.

The violations in international law triggered by the US government’s policies are clear and indisputable. The traumatic policy of forcibly breaking families apart at the border, along with the refusal to grant asylum to refugees, violates the letter and the spirit of numerous U.N. treaties and protocols, including the “Right to Family,” the UN’s “Convention Against Torture,” the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” and the UN’s “Recommended Principles and Guidelines on Human Rights at International Borders.”

The US Government has failed in protecting human rights

The government of the United States has thus far failed to heed the call of human rights activists and millions of ordinary Americans who have voiced their shock at hearing stories of the abuse, torture, and child endangerment along the southern border that, in no way, represent American values and ideals.

The American Federation Teachers (AFT) is turning to the UNHCR in an attempt have their voice heard, and to find justice for those children and families who cannot find it for themselves.

The children caged and separated from their parents on the US border 

US Withdraws from United Nations Human Rights Council

UN Ambassador Nikki Haley made the US withdrawal from the United Nations Human Rights Council official this Tuesday, calling the group “hypocritical and self-serving” and claiming it “makes a mockery of human rights,” according to the BBC.

Last year, Haley told the council it was "hard to accept" that resolutions had been passed against Israel yet none had been considered for Venezuela. Israel is the only country that is subject to a permanent standing agenda item, meaning its treatment of the Palestinians is regularly scrutinised.

The move, which was widely expected, comes amid controversy over the Trump Administration’s policy of separating immigrant families and children at the U.S. border, a policy that the United Nations has strongly condemned.

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