28 September 2022
- The Netherlands is working on plans to bring back 12 women and 29 children from camps in northern Syria. The decision to bring them back stems from a court ruling in which judges said that cases involving defendants who could not appear in court would not be handled.
25 July 2022
- 42 women and 104 children, including orphans, who were held in the al-Hol and Roj camps, have been repatriated to Tajikistan.
17 July 2022
- Australian teenager dies in Syria. “Tragically, the reported death of teenage Yusuf Zahab should be no surprise to Australia and other governments that have outsourced responsibility for their nationals held in horrific conditions in northeast Syria,” said Letta Tayler, associate crisis and conflict director at Human Rights Watch. “His death should prompt these countries to urgently bring their detained citizens home.”
05 July 2022
- 16 women and 35 children have been repatriated from Northeast Syria to France, in a coordinated operation by the French state in the morning of the 5th of July. This is the first time France proceeds with such a coordinated repatriation of children and adults. Before that, France had already brought back 35 children. These were mostly orphans, and in some cases children who were separated from their mothers. The latest operation signals, therefore, a turning point in France’s treatment of the matter and an important rupture with the case-per-case approach which has been denounced by the French Collectif des Familles Unies which lobbies for the repatriation of all children and their mothers. There are still 75 French women and 160 children in the camps.
21 June 2022
- Belgium has repatriated 6 six women and sixteen children from the camp Al Roj in North-East Syria last night. This is the second operation of repatriation. The first one was in July 2021, when it brought back six women and ten children.
30 March 2022
- Germany repatriated eight women and 32 children from Al Roj last night. A statement was issued by the foreign minister Baerbock, which you can read here.
22 February 2022
- The Netherlands repatriated five women and eleven children from Northeast Syria following a decision by the court to be able to judge them. The Netherlands doesn’t try in absentia.
23 January 2022
- UNICEF calls for the release of children in detention whose safety is at risk after the “Ghwayran” prison break in the city Al Hasakah, related to the “Ghwayran” prison break.
15 December 2021
- A French woman, aged 28, and suffering from long-time diabetes has died in the camp al Roj, leaving behind her 6 year old daughter who is now an orphan.
11 December 2021
- Switzerland repatriates two children from the first time. They have been separated from their mother who still remains in the detention camp in Northern Syria.
10 December 2021
- Finland repatriates a woman and her four children from the camp Al-Hol. Since 2019, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs has repatriated a total of 35 Finns, 26 children and nine adults, who were held in the al-Hol camp. A dozen Finns are still in the Syrian camps.
1 December 2021
- Amnesty International interviewed 10 individuals with knowledge of the situation in the camps, including eight eyewitnesses. Based upon the report AI stated: “Governments must stop flouting their international human rights obligations to uphold these children’s right to life, survival and development and promptly repatriate them as a matter of urgency. Additionally, the Autonomous Administration must draw up a clear mechanism of return for Syrian children, their mothers or caregivers.”
22 November 2021
- The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Kurdish Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) signed an agreement to repatriate an orphaned Norwegian child from al-Hol camp.
20 November 2021
- While the world celebrates the international day of the child, children are still stuck in the camps in North-East Syria. Here’s a communique by the French Collectif of the United Families (Le Collectif des Families Unies) and a a video in support of the repatriation of the 200 French children featuring French journalists and artists.
10 November 2021
- The Netherlands is to repatriate five Dutch women with their children, following court decisions that state that the ruling would be suspended unless they are returned to The Netherlands within the three to six months.
20 October 2021
- The Kurdish Authorities have handed 3 Swedish women with their children over to the Swedish authorities for repatriation. This operation is also part of a larger operation of replacement and release of families in the detention camp of Al-Hol
19 October 2021
- Three British children living in Kurdish-controlled camps in northeast Syria have been handed over to a UK delegation to be brought back home, the co-chair of the Kurdish foreign relations commission said on Tuesday.
7 October 2021
- Germany has repatriated eight women, who had joined the so-called Islamic State (IS), and 23 children from a camp in northern Syria. They were brought back in a joint operation with Denmark, which repatriated three women and 14 children, German officials said.
29 September 2021
- The first hearing was organised in the Grand Chamber of the European Court for Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg representing lawyers from two French families whose daughters joined the Islamic State (IS) group and have now been held in Kurdish-run camps – with their young children – for several years.
29 September 2021
- Italy repatriates an Italian woman with her four children from the camp Al-Hol in a special operation of arrest by the Italian police and the FBI.
16 July 2021
- Belgium repatriates six mothers and ten children from the camps Al-Rosh in North-East Syria. It is the biggest repatriation since the group’s fall in 2019. There are no plans, however, to repatriate the women without children in the camps.
2 July 2021
- The Commissioner of Human Rights for the Council of Europe considers that nationals of the States Parties to the Convention being held in these camps fall within the jurisdiction of those states and that the prevailing health and security situation in the camps endangers the lives and physical and mental health of those detained there, especially children.
5 June 2021
- The Dutch government repatriates one woman and her two children and one orphan from the camps. There are currently still more than 20 women and fifty children in the camps.
29 March 2021
- The President of the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) visits Syria and the camp Al-Hol and calls the international community to find a durable solutions for their residents stranded in the camps.
23 March 2021
- “Men, women, and children from around the world are entering a third year of unlawful detention in life-threatening conditions in northeast Syria while their governments look the other way,” according to Letta Tayler, associate crisis and conflict director at Human Rights Watch.
8 February 2021
- UN human rights experts express serious concerns at the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation at the Al Hol and Roj camps in northeast Syria – home to over 64,000 people, mostly women and children – and urge 57 States whose nationals are held there to repatriate them without delay.
30 January 2021
- The UN Undersecretary urges countries to repatriate 27000 children in Syria. Vladimir Voronkov told an informal meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Friday that “the horrific situation of the children in Al Hol (camp) is one of the most pressing issues in the world today.” Read the full letter here.
13 January 2021
- France has repatriated seven children who have been separated from their mothers. The case-per-case approach adopted by France, instead of a general repatriation of all children with their mothers, has been criticised by human rights organisations and the Collectif des Families Unies, the organisation that represents the parents and grandparents in France. The communiqué of the Collectif des Familles Unies is here.
25 December 2020
- Belgium repatriates a 9-year old boy from Syria. His mother and his two younger siblings are still in the camps.
20 December 2020
- Germany and Finland repatriate five women and 18 children, thereby showing the example for the other European countries.
17 December 2020
- Roundtable “Europe’s Guantanamo. Justice Denied” with Yasmine Ahmed (Human Rights Watch), Tanja Mehra (ICCT) and Marijke Van Buggenhout (VUB).
25 November 2020
- RSI International published a damning report on the arbitrary detention of the European women and Children in the camps. In it, describes the terrible living conditions and various forms of abuse. They have come to the conclusion that Europe has created its own Guantanamo camps in the region. Read the full report here.