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Charity slams UK’s inaction to save children in Syria camps

July 20, 2020 at 9:20 am

Syrian children at Jordan’s Za’atari refugee camp which is home to 80,000 Syrian refugees [Save the Children]

The UK home office was slammed for its “alarming inaction” as it faces accusations it has made no attempt to return British children from war-torn Syria.

Save the Children said that nothing has been done in the past eight months to bring British children trapped in Syria to safety, despite Prime Minister Boris Johnson describing the repatriation of children as a “great success”.

Orlaith Minogue, conflict and humanitarian advocacy adviser for Save the Children, said: “We have tried on several occasions to engage the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on a progress report on what is going on and the state of children’s safety, but we have not received any other information or what action has been taken. We are concerned about the alarming inaction.”

Around 60 minors remain trapped in displacement camps in Syria, three of them orphans.

Last November, Home Secretary Priti Patel, backed by several ministers, blocked a move to return British orphans, in what was described the Save the Children as a “purely political move” to garner support during the general election.

READ: France repatriates 10 children from Syrian camps 

However, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is alleged to be a strong advocate of returning the trapped children to the UK, saying it was the “right thing to do” as the innocent children should never have been subjected to the horrors of war.

This comes as a court of appeal ruled that 20-year-old Daesh bride Shamima Begum, who fled to Syria aged 15, should be allowed to return to the UK to fight the controversial decision to revoke her citizenship, which left her stateless in a refugee camp in northern Syria.

Begum’s lawyer, Tasnime Akunjee, accused the government of doing everything in its power to keep Begum out of the UK.

He said in a statement: “However determined this particular government is in keeping Shamima Begum out, I can assure them that the family are more determined to bring her to safety.”