Washington D.C., Mar 1, 2019 / 19:00 pm America/Denver (CNA).
Thousands of migrant children and teens have reported being sexually abused or harassed while in government custody during the last four years, according to recently released government figures.
According to reports made public by Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) earlier this week, between October 2014 and July 2018, there were 4,556 reports of sexual misconduct made to the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement Of those reports, 1,303 were deemed serious enough to be referred to the Department of Justice.
"These HHS documents detail a staggering number of sexual assaults on unaccompanied children in their custody," Deutch said in a statement. "Together, these documents detail an unsafe environment of sexual assaults by staff on unaccompanied minors."
The Office of Refugee Resettlement began keeping statistics on sexual abuse reported by “unaccompanied minor” migrants and refugees in the fiscal year 2014 - 2015. While the figures showed a rise in the number of complaints over time, the cause for rising and falling numbers in different years were not apparent.
The number of sexual abuse claims rose after the Trump administration began the practice of separating minor children from their parents at the border during the summer of 2018.