The Children's Advocacy Institute at the University of San Diego School of Law, in conjunction with the nonprofit group First Star, published Tuesday a three-year study about the U.S. government's enforcement of child protection laws.
The 110-page report, titled "Shame on U.S.," claims that the government's failure to enforce these laws is a "national disgrace" and "leaves abused children vulnerable to future harm," The Associated Press reports. A similar AP investigation published in December found "weak federal oversight" and at least 786 child deaths over a six-year period, thanks to abuse and neglect.
"Our laws are weak. We don't invest in solutions. Federal laws aren't enforced. And courts are turning their backs. This creates a trifecta of inertia and neglect," Amy Harfeld, policy director at the Children's Advocacy Institute, told AP.
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The report blames all three federal government branches for not protecting the nation's children. The government estimates that about 1,650 children die annually as the result of abuse or neglect. The report called for Congress to mandate that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issue fines when states fail to follow federal regulations.
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