Canadian children detained in Syria must be repatriated

Thousands of foreign men, women and children are currently detained in camps in Syria for their alleged links to ISIS (armed group Islamic State). Among them are more than 7,000 are children, 26 of whom are Canadian citizens. Because no child should live in the deplorable and inhumane conditions observed in these camps, the IBCR, along with other NGOs, denounces the inaction of the Canadian government regarding this situation, and calls on Ottawa to repatriate its children without delay.

The living conditions in these overcrowded camps raise serious human and child rights concerns. Difficult access to adequate food, drinking water, decent sanitation facilities and medicines, unsanitary conditions, tensions, violence… many factors threaten the lives and security of those who live there for months or even years. Dozens of children suffer from malnutrition, or illnesses that sometimes lead to death. Victims of discrimination and stigmatisation, Canadian children, already vulnerable, face an increased risk of harassment, exploitation and abuse in these camps, in addition to the trauma of living under the control of an armed group and under the influence of violence.

No child – regardless of nationality – should live or grow up in such a place.

A few days ago, Human Rights Watch, a member of the coalition of organisations alongside the IBCR, released a report on the situation in Syria entitled « “Bring Me Back to Canada” Plight of Canadians Held in Northeast Syria for Alleged ISIS Links ». It denounces Canada’s lack of action to assist and repatriate its nationals detained in Syria, « for purposes of rehabilitation, reintegration and, if necessary, prosecution. »

Read the report

As a signatory to the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, Canada has made a commitment to the protection of its children that it must respect. Many countries have begun repatriating their nationals from Syria, and we call on Canada to keep its promise to children, whose detention in these camps does not respect the most basic rights or the best interests of the child.


*source : Save the Children Canada

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