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Dunja Mijatović: 'The children of suspected ISIS fighters stranded in the camps of Northern Syria must be repatriated’

Addressing the Assembly in an urgent debate on the repatriation of children from conflict zones, Dunja Mijatović, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights said: “I know that the return of these European citizens to their home countries sparks fear and raises legitimate security concerns, but children stranded in the camps of Northern Syria are not responsible for their parents’ decision to join these groups.”

“Letting the children of suspected ISIS fighters die there will not bring more security in Europe, or anywhere else. Repatriating these children is the only way forward,” she added.

Ms Mijatović underlined that many in the intelligence and security community also supported repatriation, to better exercise any necessary control or implement disengagement or rehabilitation measures. “More and more voices are calling for the repatriation of children, from the UN Assistant Secretary General to senior members of the judiciary and associations of victims of terrorism," the Commissioner concluded.