Repatriating children from conflict zones is a human rights obligation

The Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development expressed its concern about the situation of the children in Syria and Iraq whose parents are believed to be affiliated to ISIS/Daesh.

The report of Stefan Schennach (Austria, SOC), adopted today by the committee, which will be debated under urgent procedure on Thursday morning, indicates that these children are stranded in squalid camps and detention centres, exposed to grave violations of their rights, as well as risks of radicalisation, and a high rate of illness and mortality.

“Actively repatriating, rehabilitating and reintegrating these children without further delay is a human rights obligation and a humanitarian duty,” the parliamentarians said.

According to the committee, the Assembly should call on the Committee of Ministers to ensure that Council of Europe action against terrorism, when dealing with child-related issues, is focused on the best interest of the child and ensures adequate protection of children’s rights.