"In the United States, I am deeply concerned by recently adopted policies which punish children for their parents’ actions. In the past six weeks, nearly two thousand children have been forcibly separated from their parents," UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said in his opening statement at a UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva.
"I call on the United States to immediately end the practice of forcible separation of these children, and I encourage the government to at last ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in order to ensure that the fundamental rights of all children, whatever their administrative status, will be at the center of all domestic laws and policies," he added.
- Syrian regime decried for refusing access
On war-battered Syria -- the scene of continued attacks on civilians, despite cease-fires -- he said his office and the council's commission of inquiry have been refused access by the Syrian regime to “all regions” of the country.
"Our extensive remote monitoring of human rights violations in Syria will continue," he said.
- 'Systematic attacks' on Rohingya in Myanmar
On the plight of the persecuted Muslim Rohingya in southeast Asia, he said: "In Myanmar, as the council is aware, there are clear indications of well-organized, widespread, and systematic attacks continuing to target the Rohingyas in Rakhine state as an ethnic group, amounting possibly to acts of genocide if so established by a court of law."
"Although Myanmar has stated that it will investigate allegations and prosecute alleged perpetrators, its actions to date have not met minimal standards of credibility or impartiality,"
He said Myanmar has been continuing to refuse to permit access to UN special rapporteur and fact-finding missions to investigate human rights violations.
- Israel must enable 'accountability and justice'
Israel has continued to deny access to the Occupied Palestinian Territory by the special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, he said.
"I urge Israel to provide access to all human rights mechanisms -- including the investigative body mandated last month -- to enable impartial monitoring and advance accountability and justice," he said, speaking in the wake of hundreds of Palestinians being martyred and thousands wounded in the recent Great March of Return demonstrations.
"In China, despite efforts by my office to establish conditions conducive to an effective dialogue, my staff have not been given unfettered access to the country, including to the Tibetan Autonomous Region and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, where the human rights situation is reportedly fast deteriorating," he said.
Uyghur, a Turkic group that makes up around 45 percent of the population of Xinjiang, has accused China of carrying out repressive policies that restrain their religious, commercial and cultural activities.
"I encourage the authorities to enable all actors to contribute to all the international human rights mechanisms, and to cooperate with them in a spirit of open and mutual partnership, in order to improve respect for the rights and freedoms of China’s people," he said.