Families of children of jihadists ask Emmanuel Macron to repatriate them to France

The drama had revived the debate on the fate of the children of jihadists, a few days before Christmas. On December 14, 2021, a 28-year-old French woman with diabetes died in a Syrian camp reserved for the families of captured jihadists, leaving behind a 6-year-old orphan. Candidate for re-election, Emmanuel Macron then affirmed that child protection would be at the heart of the next five years. Now, families are waiting for the president to match words with deeds.

“It is high time to change direction, and to give these children, who are also victims of Daesh, their chance”, indicates in a press release the collective families United, an association bringing together a large part of the approximately 80 wives of jihadists and 200 French children held in camps in northeast Syria. “It is high time to grant them the protection that all children deserve”, “to comply with our international commitments, and in particular to respect the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, of which France is a signatory”, continues the collective .

The difficult question of mothers

These children are “victims, recognized as such by the United Nations, Unicef ​​or the Red Cross” and they live “without protection, without appropriate care, without access to education, without hope” in camps for the displaced. under Kurdish control in Syria. They are “deprived of childhood in open-air prisons”, the families insist.

Unlike its European neighbours, including Germany which has repatriated “a large part” of the children, Paris maintains a policy of returns in dribs and drabs which attracts its wrath when the living conditions there are “appalling”, according to the United Nations, because of the difficult question of the repatriation of mothers. Since 2016, 126 French children have returned from Syria or Iraq, most of them very young.

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