Today is World Children’s Day and what better time than now to bring awareness to a recent report that reveals that more than 300,000 children are detained all over the world. What’s equally upsetting is that the United States has an overwhelmingly amount of children in detention, more than any other country in the world.
It is that startling news that makes the newly erected billboards in Florida that more fittingly. Amnesty International USA paid to have two billboards — one in Orlando and the other in Miami — that read, “You are now 7 miles away from where kids are locked up.” The other states, “We don’t believe in locking up children. Do you?” That billboard is just miles from Walt Disney World. While the advertisements are near detention facilities that are housing children, they also happen to be in the new home of President Donald Trump. A few weeks ago, he announced that he would be changing his permanent address in New York City to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
“If children are going to be detained, it should be in the least restrictive setting — for the least amount of time,” Denise Bell, Amnesty International USA’s Researcher for Refugee and Migrant Rights and the author of the report on Homestead, said in an interview with NBC News.
Homestead is a private company that owns several prisons and also a center where they housed thousands of children. They were one of the last remaining for-profit child detention centers for migrants. After investigations showed that children were treated inhumanely, they were forced to shut down.
Hopefully, the billboards will stay in Florida at least for another month or so because the Republican party is scheduled to host a huge fundraiser there next month, and Trump is reportedly the keynote speaker.
This year’s World Children’s Day is a poignant one as it marks the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, “the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history,” the United Nations reports.
“Young people my age are facing so many new challenges today that 30 years ago were hard to predict,” Stranger Things actress Millie Bobby Brown said in a press conference. She is also UNICEF’s youngest Goodwill Ambassador. “I’m proud to add my voice to all those around the world who are asking for solutions to today’s problems such as bullying, access to education, mental health awareness, suicide prevention, and climate change.”
To learn more about the work of Amnesty International USA and their anti-children detention campaign, click here.