Pin It
Paris Hilton Congress
via Instagram @parishilton

Paris Hilton is calling for a ‘bill of rights’ to protect young people

After opening up about her own experiences with abuse, the pop culture star is trying to reform the ‘troubled teen industry’ and ban youth abuse in congregate care facilities

ICYMI, Paris Hilton has been up to a lot this year. Besides making her long-awaited return to reality television with the launch of her own Netflix Cooking show – titled Cooking With Paris, Hilton has announced a 13-episode docu-series, Paris In Love, which will follow her as she plans her wedding with fiancé Carter Reum. Alongside, the showbiz mogul has teased her “searingly honest and deeply personal memoir” and dodged rumours that she was pregnant with her first child.

Now, speaking to The Washington Post in an op-ed, the reality TV star is calling on US President Joe Biden and congress to enact legislative change to protect young people from the “troubled teen industry”. Besides suggesting that the US implements a “basic federal ‘bill of rights’ for youth in congregate care”, Hilton urged for state funding to establish safer practices and staff training, and for an improvement in the handling of abuse reports.

“Ensuring that children, including at-risk children, are safe from institutional abuse, neglect, and coercion isn’t a Republican or Democratic issue,” explained Hilton. “It’s a basic human rights issue that requires immediate action. Those in power have an obligation to protect the powerless.”

In the piece, Hilton referenced her own experiences with “parent-approved kidnapping” when she was 16-years-old – an incident which she originally opened up about in her 2020 YouTube documentary, This Is Paris

Specifically, she recounted her time at Utah's Provo Canyon School where she “endured physical and psychological abuse by staff”. “I was choked, slapped across the face, spied on while showering and deprived of sleep. I was called vulgar names and forced to take medication without a diagnosis,” she said. 

Further, she described how these facilities “drive wedges between parents and children” by telling parents to not believe their children’s reports and by gaslighting children about their cries for help. 

“Every child placed in these facilities should have a right to a safe, humane environment, free from threats and practices of solitary confinement, and physical or chemical restraint at the whim of staff,” Hilton told The Washington Post. “Had such rights existed and been enforced, I and countless other survivors could have been spared the abuse and trauma that have haunted us into adulthood.”

This past March, Hilton delivered a powerful testimony in support of a new US bill which prohibits youth treatment centres from certain punishments of students. Since then, legislation which protects children in congregate care has been passed in Utah, Oregon, Maine, Missouri, and Northern Ireland. The 00s star is also urging for laws to be passed in California, Massachusetts, and “at the Federal level”. 

Last year, Hilton led a protest outside the Utah school that abused her – joined by hundreds of other survivors from both Provo Canyon and similar schools. 

Read Hilton’s full op-ed here.