How can we ignore child refugees facing cruelty and toxic stress? | Letters
Former child refugee Marcelo Venegas writes about the inhumanity of separating immigrant children from their parents at the US border, while another reader draws attention to a teenage asylum seeker’s plight in the UK
I survived the infamous Villa Grimaldi concentration camp and torture centre in Santiago, Chile, as a baby (Nazis separated me from my parents as a child. The trauma lasts a lifetime, 18 June). My father was also detained there. He describes my captivity as the one thing that broke him down even though he suffered all types of depraved torture at the hands of Pinochet’s bloody regime. I was reunited with my mother in Sweden, where we lived in a refugee camp, and then we came to England when I was four. We moved to the US when I was nine years old.
I have not slept much lately as more immigrant children are ripped from their parents at the US border (Trump hit with criticism from all quarters over child separations, 20 June). Particularly painful are the images of the little ones left alone and crying, and the haunting looks of their shackled parents. This particularly cruel and inhuman tactic of separating children from their parents has been used from dictatorships to slavery. A sick justification was given by the US attorney general, Jeff Sessions, invoking God to uphold an inhumane “zero-tolerance” law.Continue reading...