UN: France is violating rights of children in Syria
France has violated the rights of French children by leaving them for
years in inhuman and life-threatening conditions in Syrian camps for
family members of suspected militants, a UN watchdog said Thursday.
The UN child rights committee ruled that “France has the responsibility and power to protect the French children in the Syrian camps against an imminent risk to their lives by taking action to repatriate them.”
It stressed in a statement that “the prolonged detention of the child victims in life-threatening conditions also amounts to inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment.”
The committee, whose 18 independent experts are tasked with monitoring the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, issued its findings after considering three cases involving 49 French children held in Kurdish-controlled camps in Syria’s northeast.
Relatives of suspected militants, including children, are kept in a number of camps in the region, the largest of which is Al-Hol with around 56,000 displaced people and refugees.
Repeated calls for Western countries to repatriate their nationals have largely fallen on deaf ears.
“The children are living in inhuman sanitary conditions, lacking basic necessities including water, food and health care, and facing an imminent risk of death,” committee member Ann Skelton warned.
“The situation is therefore extremely urgent.”
She pointed out that at least 62 children have reportedly died in the camps due to these conditions since the start of 2021.