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ILA Stands With ALA in Protecting Detained Children’s Rights to Read

By Marcie Craig Post
 | Jun 28, 2019

The International Literacy Association (ILA) is a global community of literacy educators and advocates with a common goal: literacy for all. It is at the heart of our Children’s Rights to Read initiative, the core tenet of which is that every child, everywhere has the basic human right to read.

We at ILA will not tolerate the blatant disregard for the rights of the migrant children in border detention. In addition to having limited or no access to necessities such as hygiene products, sanitary living conditions, and basic health care, they are also being denied access to books, high-quality instruction, and recreational activities—all of which underscores the inhumane treatment the children are being forced to endure.

This is why ILA stands in solidarity with the American Library Association’s (ALA) Resolution on Library Service for Children in Detention at Migrant Detention Centers in denouncing the dire conditions for minors detained on the southern border of the United States. The resolution calls on libraries and the larger literacy community to provide and share resources that support education and enrichment.

This resolution speaks to the principles at the heart of our Children’s Rights to Read initiative: equity, access, and inclusion. We stand resolutely behind the idea that every child, everywhere, deserves these 10 rights, which include the right to access books and materials, to read texts that mirror their experiences and languages, and to read for pleasure. Furthermore, we believe that literacy educators must take responsibility for delivering on and protecting the promise inherent in these rights.

Our work is rooted in the belief that literacy empowers. That literacy has the ability to transform lives. That being able to read represents the difference between inclusion in and exclusion from society. That it allows people to develop their potential and participate fully in their communities and society.

We urge our network of educators to help us ensure the rights of these vulnerable members of society. Regardless of your political leanings, if you are committed to the mental health and well-being of children, you, too, must stand for ALA’s resolution and for ILA’s Children’s Rights to Read. 

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