Some 900 children are trapped in squalid, disease-ridden detainment camps in northeastern Syria. The children are facing fatal disease in these camps with children losing their lives to diseases.
They lack education and adequate health care with recurrent shortages of food and clean water. Human rights groups say these children are threatened with mental and physical health risks. These children are also feared to get indoctrinated under Islamic State.
The NYT unmasks how the children of tens of thousands of adherents of Islamic caliphate who flocked to Syria and Iraq in 2014 from around the world were disowned by the Western countries. Most of them arrived with their children or gave birth after they arrived.
Those who survived the American and Kurdish-led military campaign against ISIS were detained. Children were separated from their parents and kept in the camps.
Activists and lawyers, highlighting the difficulty in repatriating adults have pressurized the governments to bring the children home as they did not choose to go to Syria and “should not suffer for their parents’ sins”.
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At least 20 countries have brought home some children. United States repatriated 15 children while Canada is trying to bring twenty-six children stuck in northeastern Syria.
The French are having a hard time with the issue of repatriation in the light of attacks by Islamic State that have claimed more than 250 lives. There are 300 children of French parents lodged in Syria’s camps. Only 18 have been repatriated.