The thorny question of the return of the children of jihadists to France

About 200 of them are still prisoners and lonely in the Syrian desert. Unlike its European neighbors, France is reluctant to repatriate the children of its jihadists even though those who have returned are melting into the normality of a rediscovered childhood.

Since 2016, 126 children whose parents joined the occupied territories from Islamic State have been repatriated to France. But the largest group, about 200 minors and 80 mothers, are still being held captive in Kurdish-controlled camps in northeastern Syria.

Following in Germany’s footsteps, Belgium decided to repatriate almost all of its children by the end of June, with only five remaining. In contrast, Paris maintains a reprehensible policy of returning to the dropper.

For the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, France has “violated the rights of French children detained in Syria by failing to repatriate them”. He condemned the site’s “terrible” condition, “putting their lives in danger year after year”, according to its results, published in February.

These children crowd into tents, exposed to extreme temperatures, outside the school “lack of basic necessities, including water, food and health care, and at imminent risk of death,” warns ONU experts.

“When it comes to the news, I know that fantasies can be unraveled,” said Stephen Trousel, president of the Seine-Saint-Denis division. Iraqi-Syrian Region apologizes for elected officials supporting two-thirds of French children returning from war zones, mainly through “Childhood Social Assistance (ASE)” From

But “children are not to blame, they are first and foremost victims of the grave abuse of their parents and above all they need to reorganize themselves if we want them to be able to integrate into society”, Mr Trousel emphasized.

A position against public opinion: In 2019, according to an Odoxa-Dentsu consulting poll for France Info and Le Figaro, in 2019, about seven out of ten French people opposed the return of the children of jihadists.

– “Mortgage their future” –

The return of these “returnees”, minors as well as adults, is minimal: in 2021, only eight children were returned to the jurisdiction of Saint-Denis. And the issue is very sensitive for the government.

But past elections, the “United Family Total” have brought together French families who have moved to the Iraqi-Syrian region, with Emmanuel Macron hoping for a “hint” for his second term.

Asked by AFP, Kwai did not want to be contacted by D’Ors, and the latest position on the matter was taken in April, when the president of the republic assured Francis Info that it was not the intention of the orphans to stay in the camp. Without mentioning the schedule.

“We should not leave them in the furnace, everyone is mentally broken,” warned Marie Dose, a lawyer for several French women and children detained in Syria.

“In the camp, it’s an experience of abandonment violence, loneliness,” explains Thierry Boubet, head professor of the Department of Child Psychopathology at Avignon Hospital in Bobigny. However, “one of the reasons for the severity of trauma is the duration of exposure. Leaving them is abusive and it puts them in the future mortgage,” continued the child psychiatrist whose team evaluates each child when they return. .

“Some were in a very bad state of mind with a lot of anxiety attacks, sleep problems, hair loss, the elderly, on the contrary, were surprised by what they saw around them,” noted the vice-president of Bobigny Children’s when they returned. Court, Muriel Eglin.

The reception for these minors was “an adventure”, which was created at the beginning of the threat, according to Yvelines’ ASE. “Foster families or educators are afraid to show their names and addresses in letters sent to the court,” and thus the parents’ attachment to the terrorism files, Lucy Debov, ASE’s head of services in Saint-Denis, believes.

– Report “true” –

Following these trials and errors, Child Protection Services arranged for a tailor-made care of youth and psychologists in coordination with judicial protection. They work together with the goal that “children will become children again,” explained Sandra Lavancharuks, director of ASE des Evelyn.

From going to school, most of whom were deprived, to going to the visiting room, checking WhatsApp messages and letters from Syria, there is nothing left of opportunity by child protection actors. There is no past for extended families.

“More than 65% of parents are in prison. We identify whether the visit is positive for the child. There are very few cases of suspension of the right to visit. Or when children are under pressure to make statements that can be made, biased towards parents who will be tried for terrorism, ”explained Mrs. Eglin.

Judicial authorities, he continued, “want parents and extended family members in the educational project, which is essential for the child’s development. They want to make sure the children grow up with the truth of their story. And don’t add secrecy to all their injuries.”

“Having two parents in prison is not trivial, so you have to explain why and how their parents act,” said Mr. Jossin Bitton, a lawyer for several children. He goes to the parents’ trial “to collect a snippet of their story” to “return them to the child, sooner or later.”

Leave a Comment