Save the Children welcomes the news that the Belgian government will repatriate children from Al Hol camp in North East Syria, urging more countries to do the same and bring back their children.
Save the Children Australia Deputy CEO Mat Tinkler said:
“More than 40 Australian children continue to suffer in camps in northeast Syria. There is no practical or legal barrier to Australia bringing them home.
“There have been increasing reports of violence in the camps and the Australian Government should not continue to sit on their hands.
“The Australian children are innocent and should not be punished for the actions of adults. They belong in Australia and our government should urgently repatriate our children and their mothers.”
Save the Children’s Syria Response Director Sonia Khush said:
“While we welcome the news to bring back these children, governments must not re-define childhood and should take every possible measure to ensure families are not torn apart – that means taking the mothers back as well.”
“These children are trapped in the most horrific conditions. A recent spike in violence and killings in the camps has made the situation worse. Only a few days ago, three children died and 15 others were injured in a fire in Al Hol. Over the last few months, our team in Al Hol witnessed how a nine-year-old girl got progressively sicker due to a kidney disease and died awaiting repatriation.”
“We urge international governments to do more to repatriate children from Al Hol, Roj, and other camps. Efforts must continue to bring innocent children to safety and help them recover, and build a new life.”
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