The U.S. Must Stand Up For The Principles In The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights And Reunite Families

United Nations Leaders Call For Families To Be Reunited

Washington, D.C.

June 20, 2018


Megan Rabbitt

As parents, sisters and brothers, and children, we have followed with great distress the reports of children from Mexico and Central America being separated from their parents at the U.S. border.

The United Nations Foundation, the Better World Campaign, and the United Nations Association of the United States (UNA-USA) believe strongly that such separations risk deep and lasting damage to the physical and emotional well-being of the children and their parents and are inconsistent with fundamental human rights norms and values.

“Human rights start at home, as Eleanor Roosevelt said 70 years ago when championing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” said Kathy Calvin, President and CEO of the UN Foundation. “For the U.S. to lead around the world, we also need to lead at our borders and put the rights of children first,” she continued.

“The actions of separating vulnerable children from their families on our own soil is in direct conflict to the human rights values the U.S. regularly champions at the UN,” added Peter Yeo, President of the Better World Campaign

“Despite the Administration’s actions, everyday Americans are standing up for human rights and supporting vulnerable families in their time of need,” said Chris Whatley, Executive Director of UNA-USA. “Last week, UNA-USA Members delivered a copy of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to every Member of Congress. Now is the time for U.S. leaders to read its powerful words and recommit to human rights for all.”

The UN Secretary-General, UNICEF, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and the High Commissioner for Human Rights have strongly spoken out against forced separations in the U.S., and we are grateful for their continued leadership on this issue.

The U.S. government should end additional separations of children from their parents, and move immediately to reunite families.


Media Contacts:

Erika Howard | | 202-864-5156

Serena Jiwani | | 202-854-2355

About the United Nations Foundation

The United Nations Foundation builds public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach. Through innovative campaigns and initiatives, the Foundation connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 as a U.S. public charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner and now is supported by global corporations, foundations, governments, and individuals. For more information, visit

About the Better World Campaign

The Better World Campaign works to foster a strong relationship between the U.S. and the UN to promote core American interests and build a more secure, prosperous, and healthy world. The Better World Campaign engages policymakers, the media, and the American public alike to increase awareness of the critical role played by the UN in world affairs and the importance of constructive U.S.-UN relations. Learn more at:


The United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA) is a 50-state grassroots organization dedicated to inform, inspire, and mobilize the American people to support the ideals and vital work of the United Nations. For 70 years UNA-USA has worked to accomplish its mission through its national network of Chapters, youth engagement, advocacy efforts, education programs, and public events. UNA-USA is a program of the United Nations Foundation.