The UN has called on the Trump administration to overhaul its migration policies and find alternatives to detention, saying that migrant children and their parents should not be treated like criminals.
The US has faced fierce criticism for separating more than 2300 children from their families in order to prosecute their parents for crossing the border from Mexico illegally.
President Donald Trump backed down on Wednesday, signing an executive order to keep families together in detention during immigration proceedings.
“While we acknowledge the US government’s decision not to continue separating children from their parents, we understand the practice now will be to detain the children with their parents,” UN human rights spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani told a briefing.
“We have said time and again the children should never be detained in relation to their or their parents’ migration status. It is never in the best interests of the child for them to be detained.”
Video footage of children sitting in cages and an audiotape of wailing children sparked worldwide anger.