UN expert calls for investigation into death of young migrant girl in US custody

The U.S. needs to carry out a thorough, independent investigation into the death of a 7-year-old girl from Guatemala in Border Control custody and should stop detaining children, a human rights expert with the United Nations reportedly said Monday.

“Redress to her family should be provided and if any officials are found responsible they should be held accountable,” Felipe González Morales said in a statement, according to Reuters.

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“The government should also address failings within the immigration system, and specifically within the US Customs and Border Patrol agency, to prevent similar situations," he added.
 
Jakelin Caal Maquin died earlier this month from dehydration and shock while in Border Control custody after crossing into the U.S. with her family and other migrants. 
 
The girl, who reportedly was dehydrated and had not eaten in several days, began having seizures while in custody. She was then flown to a hospital in El Paso, where she went into cardiac arrest and died.
 
González Morales said in his statement that it violates international law to detain children based on their migrant status. 

“As repeatedly stated by a series of UN human rights bodies, detention of children based on their migratory status is a violation of international law,” he said.

The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) inspector general said earlier this month that it would investigate the girl's death and release its findings in a report.