The Netherlands must endeavor to repatriate 56 Dutch children born to 23 Dutch women who had joined the ISIS (Islamic State) in Syria, a court ruled on Monday.
The children are presently living in detention camps in northeastern Syria.
The court said that children are not responsible for the behavior of their parents, no matter how serious the acts or crimes committed by their mothers are.
“The children are victims of the actions of their parents,” the court stated in its verdict.
Therefore the Dutch government’s policy of not actively seeking to bring the children back must change, according to the judge.
As for the mothers, “they deliberately went to Syria or Iraq to join ISIS, a terrorist organization,” the court stated. “They knew that that organization is guilty of repugnant and gross crimes. The women must face a trial for that.”
The obligation on the part of the Dutch state to repatriate the children does not mean that they will be able to travel to the Netherlands immediately, given the situation in northern Syria.
“The state must make use of all the options that are available …” the judge stated. “But one cannot ask the state to take major security risks.”__The Nation