Around 27,000 children, many with parents who are affiliated with ISIS, remain in a refugee camp in northeastern Syria, the United Nations counterterrorism chief said, the Associated Press reported Saturday.
The thousands of children “remain stranded, abandoned to their fate” where they are exposed to ISIS and are “at risk of radicalization within the camp,” said Vladimir Voronkov, the undersecretary general for counter terrorism at the U.N., during an informal meeting on Friday, the AP reported. He added that there are children from 60 countries at the camps who need to be repatriated. . .
— Bassem Mroue باسم مروه (@bmroue) January 30, 2021
Al Hol is the largest refugee camp in Syria with around 62,000 occupants, the AP reported. Over 80% of the people there are women and children who escaped to the camp after ISIS lost their last stronghold in the country in 2019.
Several countries, including Russia and Kazakhstan, have already repatriated around 1,000 children and their family members, Voronkov said, the AP reported. A U.N. official added that children under the age of 14 should be approached as victims and not detained or prosecuted. (Read more from “UN: 27,000 Children Stranded in Refugee Camps ‘at Risk of Radicalization’ by ISIS” HERE)