Children and parents forcibly separated at the US-Mexico under Donald Trump's "zero tolerance" policy show signs of severe psychological trauma and mental health disturbances that have persisted even after they were reunited, a new report has revealed. study.
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) published the first qualitative analysis to be performed on health effectsTrump's very controversial policy of forced family separation which has caused outrage and condemnation around the world.
Between 2017 and 2018, the US government under Trump's leadership separated more than 5,000 children - the youngest just for months - from their parents as an act of deterrence to others potential asylum seekers fleeing violence and persecution in Central America. From September , 1,677 children had not yet been reunited with their parents, including 381 children whose status and fate were unknown.
In his new studyrevolutionary , PHR brought together trained clinical experts, including psychologists, psychiatrists and pediatricians, to review the medical and legal documents of 31 children and parents subject to family separation. The study group included asylum seekers from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador and included 19 parents and 12 children, the youngest of whom was six when they were torn apart. ed of their families.
The clinicians diagnosed all of the individuals in the study group with at least one mental health problem resulting from the suffering they were experiencing. 'they suffered while fleeing their home country combined with the devastating trauma of being torn from their families by US officials. The most common conditions were post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), major depressive disorder, and generalized anxiety.
The most common resultShockingly, the severe psychological distress in some cases persisted long after the parents and children were reunited. A six-year-old Guatemalan girl suffered from PTSD one year after being reunited with his parents, while an eight-year-old boy had severe symptoms of PTSD and separation anxiety two years later.
Clinicians have recorded a series of symptoms that commonly occur as a result of traumatic experiences, including feelings of confusion and panic, depression, frequent crying, nightmares and other sleep problems, and loss of appetite. Among the children, several displayed regressive behaviors such as crying, clinging to parents or caregivers, incontinence and uncontrollable fear.
PHR said the overall conclusion of its study was that US authorities intentionallyinflicted severe pain and suffering on asylum seekers from Central America in order to punish them and to compel them not to pursue their asylum claims. The report states that the actions of US immigration officials constituted torture and cruel and inhuman treatment as defined by law international.
"This analysis shows the trauma and agony endured by parents and children who were forcibly separated from each other, and the aggravated toll as the trauma takes on mental and physical health, lingers with these people for weeks, months and years after they are reunited, ”said Ranit Mishori, PHR's senior medical advisor and study co-author.
Mishori added:" The policy of forced family separation violated human rights and resulted in serious and lasting psychological damage. "
As one of his first steps as president, Joe Biden set up an interagency task force to oversee the reunification of families separated by his predecessor. The Biden administration is in talks on the target financial compensation possible to affected families, although there was a data link confusion over the scale of payments.
PHR said its study underscored the urgent need for 'mental health treatment for parents and children. He called on the Biden administration to act on redresss, including a formal apology from the U.S. government, a financial settlement, and prosecution of officials who enforced the zero tolerance policy.