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Policy Brief

Repatriation of child returnees from Northeast Syria: A child-rights approach to their management, rehabilitation, and reintegration

21 Dec 2022

State practices relating to the repatriation of child returnees from Northeast Syria continue to be inconsistent and incomplete. With an increasing number of European countries escalating their efforts to bring home women and children from the camps, it is imperative that these practices include holistic policies towards child returnees that address the wide range of issues presented not only in the short- but also in the mid- and long-term. This includes recognition that experiences, and therefore their resulting needs, can differ depending on many factors unique to each child and also that many countries have a number of policies and measures that can inform each other’s child returnee management practices and should be utilised. This policy brief provides a child rights-based approach to the management of child returnees based on the concept of the best interest of the child and offers some observations and recommendations for states on how to develop comprehensive policies for the management of child returnees.