The Australian Government has run out of excuses not to act says Save the Children, after the United States once again reaffirmed its offer to help repatriate Australian children from North East Syria.
There are currently about 47 Australian children and 20 women living in desolate camps in North East Syria, where there is no running water, poor access to education and extremely limited health facilities. Almost all the children are under the age of 12 and about half are five or younger.
Speaking after the AUSMIN talks in the US overnight, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States would continue to work with countries like Australia to repatriate their citizens and warned the situation in parts of North East Syria “may not be sustainable”.
Save the Children Australia Deputy CEO Mat Tinkler said:
“Time and time again, Australia has had the opportunity to bring these Aussie kids and their mothers home from one of the most dangerous places on earth, and has failed to do so.
“The US has once again re-affirmed its support to Australia to help repatriate its citizens. These children are innocent victims of war and they must be treated as such.
“The window of opportunity for repatriation remains open for now, but it won’t be forever. The situation in northeast Syria is extremely fragile and can change quickly.
“Many other countries have repatriated citizens including France just last month, which shows it is still possible.
“There aren’t any excuses left. The Australian government needs to bring these Australian children and their mothers home.
“The alternative – leaving Aussie kids languishing in a war zone – is unthinkable.”
For media inquiries contact Evan Schuurman on 0406 117 937.