Tuesday, March 05, 2013

TSA Still Wants To Grope and Touch Children Despite Change in Policy

Sadly, the US isn't the only country that has imposed on our children's innocence and our personal liberty. According to the article below, the UK has been dealing with the same intrusive searches we have been enduring here in the US under the TSA, as authorized by DHS.

However, the intrusions in the UK are being conducted at "young offender institutions, secure children’s homes and secure training centers"While searches of felons, juvenile offenders or those under law enforcement supervision might be justified in some of these cases, this invasion of privacy is still going on in the US despite DHS saying they were going to stop these searches on children under the age of 12.

TSA ostensibly amended its policy in mid-November 2010, and TSA spokeswoman Kristin Lee announced: “After a thorough risk assessment and after hearing concerns from parents, we made the decision that a modified pat-down would be used for children 12 years old and under who require extra screening.
The most recent case occurred in St. Louis, Missouri where TSA left a three year old girl with spina bifida in tears as they searched her and her wheelchair despite already going through the checkpoint without alarms going off, while she and her family were on their way to Disneyland.

Here's the disturbing video of that incident:

Big Brother Watch:

"Results from an FOI request found that there had been 43,000 recorded incidents of children being strip searched in young offender institutions, secure children’s homes and secure training centers in the 21 months up to December 2012, with only 275 searches finding “illicit” items. When items were found, the most common was tobacco and on no occasions were discoveries of drugs or knives recorded; hardly life or death situations. In 99.4% of searches nothing was found.

The humiliating and intrusive practice should only be used in a limited amount of serious cases against adults, never mind children. The regulation of these intrusive and disproportionate powers is far too weak and urgently needs to be properly addressed. Why are so many searches being conducted and yet so few finding anything? Is this yet another area where powers are being used frequently without suspicion?

In 2011 the Youth Justice Board said that the routine strip-searching of incarcerated children would stop saying that it was “undignified”, lead to “feelings of anger, humiliation and anxiety”, but little has changed since its report."

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mysignature-1.png©2008-2012 Patricia Garza

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