Britain has obligation to take back children of ISIS fighters
Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt has said that Britain has an obligation to take back ‘innocent’ children born to ISIS fighters in Syria.
Arguing that the UK needs to resolve its failure to repatriate minors caught up in the Syrian civil war, Mordaunt outlined how she wanted to establish ‘a very clear picture’ of where children have been taken into camps as Syria’s violent conflict has subsided and be prepared to allow them to come to the UK.
There are estimated to be 76,000 women and children living in the al-Hawl refugee camp in Syria, a thousand of the children currently unaccompanied and many believed to be of European descent.
Speaking at a military conference in Westminster, the new Defence Secretary said: “I think the British public would agree we absolutely have an obligation to innocents who were taken into a war zone. Extracting them would be a very difficult thing to do and would in all practical honesty require the practical consent of the parents who were there.”
France and Germany have begun taking back children caught up in the conflict. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has previously said that the UK would look at ways of bringing back British children with the help of the Department for International Development, but no progress has yet been made.