The Long-Term Risk of non-Repatriation of Dutch Children in Syrian Camps

Published 27 June 2018

Dutch children currently detained in Syrian camps should be actively repatriated. That is the main message of an opinion piece co-authored by Asser senior researcher Christophe Paulussen that was published on the 26th of June in the Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant.  

Willem Van Genugten, Bibi Van Ginkel and Paulussen believe that the only reason why there is not a massive outcry among the population and politicians is that these children were born form the ‘wrong’ parents, that is: (former) IS fighters. They argue that legally speaking there is no doubt that the Dutch government has a duty of care towards these children – after all: Dutch citizens – and a task to bring them back to the Netherlands. Moreover, the government would first and foremost serve the long-term security interests of the Netherlands, now that the risk that the children, or their children, will settle a score later is many times bigger than the risks involved with active and monitored re-integration. The article was based on the 2018 Spring Meeting of the Royal Netherlands Society of International Law (KNVIR) that was dedicated to this topic.

For the original piece (in Dutch), see here.