France repatriates 37 minors from camps in northeastern Syria

French authorities have repatriated 35 minors of Gallic nationality from camps in northeastern Syria, in an operation that has also included the transfer of 16 mothers, according to the Foreign Ministry.

The minors have been placed at the disposal of French social services and will undergo a medical examination, while the women will be held accountable by judicial authorities to determine whether they may have committed any crime.

The French government, which has already carried out several repatriations of this type, thanked the local authorities for their cooperation in a statement.

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NGOs have urged foreign governments to speed up repatriations from camps in northeastern Syria, where thousands of people are living in a kind of limbo on the possibility that they were somehow linked to terrorist groups.

The camps are home to some 18,000 Iraqi children, as well as an additional 7,300 from 60 other countries, including several Western ones, according to Save The Children, which estimates that it would take 30 years to complete repatriations at the current rate.

Organizations have warned that there are no minimum living conditions in the camps. In Al Hol, 74 children died in 2021 alone, including eight victims of violent incidents.

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