Belgium to repatriate children from northern Syrian camps

Published 14.06.2019 00:01

Belgium will repatriate children of Daesh militants from northern Syria's Al-Hol camp, Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders said Wednesday.

The minister told French media that the country is planning to take back children up to 10 to 12 years and was giving priorities to orphans. Logistical support will be given to get the children out of the region, he added.

For this purpose, a Belgian delegation visited the region to coordinate with the PKK-affiliated People's Protection Units (YPG). It is said more than 50 Belgian children are trapped in the camps in northern Syria.

Earlier this month, the Council of Europe (CoE) also called on member states to repatriate families of fighters that fought in the Syrian civil war.

"Some 90 percent of those stranded in the camp with almost no access to healthcare are women and children, many of whom are not older than 6. In this context, I urge Council of Europe member states to take all the necessary measures to ensure repatriation as a matter of urgency of their underage nationals from the camp of Al-Hol," Dunja Mijatovic, the CoE commissioner for human rights, said.

Western countries have been reluctant to bring their nationals home from Syria since Daesh collapsed. Most of these nationals, comprising of families of Daesh terrorists who were killed during clashes, now live in appalling conditions in refugee camps.

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