Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell on the lifting of Title 42

12 May 2023

NEW YORK, 11 May 2023 – “Migrant children have the right to request asylum, to be protected from harm and to be with their families.

“UNICEF hopes that the lifting of the public-health related asylum restrictions at the U.S.-Mexico border under Title 42 will help to restore and safeguard those rights.

“We commend recent efforts to provide children and families on the move with greater access to safe migration pathways, and we strongly urge all governments, including the United States, to ensure access to asylum processes – regardless of nationality.

“Ultimately, we must work together to tackle the negative drivers of migration and displacement. Each day, millions of children and families in Latin America and the Caribbean are on the move – many driven from their homes by disasters, the effects of climate change, violence, extortion and extreme poverty.

“UNICEF strongly supports ongoing efforts of the U.S. and governments in the region to address these root causes of migration and to provide humanitarian assistance to those living in crisis situations.

“But the region’s children need more support. This means expanding access to essential services that support children’s health and wellbeing, preventing and responding to violence, and helping to create education and livelihood opportunities in their communities.

“Supporting the most vulnerable children today will help to secure a brighter future for the entire region.”

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