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We welcome our kids home

29 October 2022, Action for Change

Innocent Aussie kids are safely home after spending years in camps in North East Syria

Save the Children welcomes the safe repatriation of 13 innocent Australian children and their mothers to home shores after spending years in camps in North East Syria.

For more than three years, the children had been trapped in squalid camps, where many of them were living in uninsulated tents in extreme weather, with limited access to nourishing food, no formal schooling and inadequate healthcare.  

Save the Children highly commends the Australian government for upholding its moral obligation and international legal requirement to bring these children home along with four women.

An important milestone in a long journey

Save the Children has advocated for the return of the children and their mothers since 2019. We have maintained that Australia has a moral and legal obligation to repatriate these children. There were no practical or legal barriers to prevent the government from doing so. Indeed, other nations, including Germany and the United Kingdom, brought home citizens from Roj and Al Hol camps. And eight Australian orphaned children were repatriated by the Morrison government in 2019.

In response to the announcement of the repatriation, Save the Children Australia CEO Mat Tinkler, who visited the camps in North East Syria earlier this year, said, "The Australian government has done the right and just thing by these innocent children and their mothers, and the Australian public. They have given these children hope for their futures and placed their trust in the robustness of Australia’s national security, judicial and resettlement systems to support their safe integration into Australian society.”

Save the Children now stands ready to assist state child support services and work with families to ensure these children are provided the support they need to resettle into the Australian way of life.

Our campaign to bring these innocent children home is not over 

In his statement Mat Tinkler added, 

While today we celebrate their arrival home, we know there are still over 30 Australian children stuck in camps in North East Syria. We urge the government to repatriate them as quickly as possible. We will not rest until every Australian child is brought home.

Mat Tinkler, CEO Save the Children Australia


Furthermore, lasting solutions are also desperately needed for thousands of Syrian and Iraqi children, who still face harsh conditions and a bleak future outlook in the camps. 

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