July/August 2019 ChariTea: Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights
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The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights protects and advances the rights and best interests of immigrant children according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and state and federal law.
The Young Center is a champion for the best interests of children who arrive in the United States on their own, from all corners of the world. We serve as trusted allies for these children while they are in deportation proceedings, advocating for their best interests, and standing for the creation of a dedicated children’s immigrant justice system that ensures the safety and well-being of every child.
The Young Center’s goal is to change the immigration system so that children in immigration proceedings are recognized as children, and best interests are made a part of the decision making process.
Young Center’s Work
The Young Center is a human rights organization that advocates for the rights and best interests of immigrant children. Young Center attorneys and social workers, along with bilingual volunteers, are appointed as Child Advocate (guardian ad litem) by the Department of Health and Human Services. Our role is to advocate for their best interests—from custody and release to the ultimate decision about whether the child will be allowed to remain in the U.S. Our goal is to change both immigration policy and practice so that immigrant children are recognized first as children and their best interests are considered in every decision.
Guided by the principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Young Center has developed the only program in the nation that provides independent Child Advocates, whose job it is to advocate for the child’s best interests—safety and well-being. The Child Advocates meet with the children and learn each child’s story, why the child came to the U.S., and what, if anything, the child has to return to in home country. With this information, volunteer Child Advocates work alongside Young Center attorneys and social workers to make recommendations that champion the child’s best interests.