By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Human Rights Minister for Brazil, Gustavo Rocha, travelled to the United States on Saturday (July 14th) on an official mission to assess what is being done to reunite the nearly fifty Brazilian minors with their parents.

Brazil,Brazil's Human Rights Minister, Gustavo Rocha, gives interview before travelling to U.S. to assess conditions of Brazilian children kept in shelters
Brazil’s Human Rights Minister, Gustavo Rocha, gives interview before travelling to U.S. to assess conditions of Brazilian children kept in shelters, photo by Marcello Casal Jr./Agencia Brasil.

The children were separated by U.S. authorities when the families were trying to enter the country illegally and despite an order on June 20th to reunite parents with their children by July 26th, the majority of Brazilian minors remain in U.S. shelters, with only a few being released into their parents’ custody.

“We have to respect the laws of the countries. We understand that each country has its own specific legislation. But we can not accept that such legislation violates basic human rights, such as family reunification. Our concern is to ensure that human rights are fully guaranteed,” Minister Rocha was quoted as saying by government-run news agency, Agencia Brasil, before leaving on the fact-finding mission.

Until the end of the week the Brazilian authorities visit New York, Washington, and Boston, and will have meetings with multilateral agencies and civil society organizations working to protect immigrants. The Brazilian delegation is also expected to visit shelters where some of these youngsters are believed to be held.

And although the Brazilian government criticized the measure as ‘a cruel practice and in clear disagreement with international instruments for the protection of children’s rights’, Foreign Relations Minister, Aloysio Nunes, said earlier this month during a visit to U.S. shelters that the children are being well taken care of and most do not want to come back to Brazil after reuniting with their parents.


  1. The court order says by July 26th, it is only July 16th there is still 10 days remaining besides the children are being well cared for even though their parents decided to violate US laws and enter illegally. I believe they will be returned to Brazil once their parents are on the plane being deported. What is really hard to believe is that this minister is worried about children being well cared for in the US but isn’t worried about the crime and well being of children in his home country. Many of which sleep on the streets in far worse conditions that being detained in the US under custody while their parents face legal actions for violating our laws. I say that Brazil should look after their problems domestically before meddling in the immigration affairs of the US. Take care of their domestic problems and children at home so they wouldn’t be leaving the country and entering the US illegally in the first place. Brazil is more to blame for this than the US. They will be reunited just not the way Brazil deems the US should do it, It will be done under US law and legal system not that of Brazil’s


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