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Statement in response to reported death of Australian teenager in Syria

Save the Children Australia CEO Mat Tinkler responds to reports that a 17-year-old Australian boy has died in Syria.
18 July 2022

Save the Children Australia CEO Mat Tinkler said:

“The reported death of an Australian teenager in Syria is a shocking and terrible tragedy.

“For any family, the loss of a child is unspeakably painful.

“We repeatedly warned the previous government of the risks to Australian children who have been trapped in Syria for more than three years. 

“Our worst fears are now a devastating reality for this young Australian. This deeply troubling news should serve as a wake-up call for the current government.

“The Albanese Government must act quickly to protect the remaining Australian children in Syria. It has never been clearer that time is running out.”


Save the Children has been calling for the repatriation of Australian children and their mothers from camps in Syria since 2019. 

Reports that some of the boys in Roj camp who are now approaching their early teens may also soon face removal from their mothers to an adult prison raise serious concerns for their safety.

At least 63 Australians, including more than 40 children, are languishing in the camps in North East Syria. Australia has a moral and legal responsibility for them. There are no practical or legal barriers to their repatriation.

ENDS

MEDIA CONTACT: Holly Robertson on 0414 546 656 or media.team@savethechildren.org.au

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