LONDON: The children of British Daesh brides are being returned to the UK from Syrian detention camps and put up for adoption, The Times reported.
At least 10 children — mainly orphans or those who have been left unaccompanied — have been quietly repatriated from the camps.
Dozens of British women married to fighters traveled to Syria and Iraq during Daesh’s peak, but were captured or left widowed following the collapse of the group.
The UK is only country in Western Europe that continues to block the repatriation of the women. France reportedly returned 160 of its citizens, including 160 children and over 50 women, and Germany repatriated about 100 children and their mothers.
The US has claimed that repatriation is the “only durable solution” to the problem of detention camps operating over capacity in Syria.
Human rights organizations have warned that the camps are a breeding ground for a new generation of terrorists.
Living conditions in the facilities are also poor, with Al-Hol, Syria’s largest camp, facing a series of disease outbreaks.
Reprieve, a charity, has warned that the UK is avoiding responsibility in caring for its citizens.
Katherine Cornett, head of Reprieve’s unlawful detentions team, said: “It shames ministers and shocks the conscience that British kids are growing up in freezing tents in dangerously unstable detention camps simply because their government refuses to bring them home.
“The longer it goes on, the greater the chances that a British child will die in the camps, or that a British boy will be taken from his family by men with guns and thrown into an adult prison never to be heard from again.”
In one case, two British siblings under the age of eight will be put up for adoption after their mother was killed during fighting in Syria and their father imprisoned.
Charities believe that up to 38 other children with British ties remain in Syrian camps, as well as 21 women, including Shamima Begum, who, aged 15, left London along with three friends to join Daesh in 2015.
The two siblings who are set to be adopted were born in Syria, and are believed to have received counseling and support since being flown to Britain last year.
Under the UK’s existing adoption framework, prospective foster parents will be told about the pair’s upbringing in Daesh territory in Syria.
One set of grandparents of the children living overseas offered to adopt them, but were denied by the local British authority now responsible for the siblings.
Another set of grandparents were judged to be unable to care for the children.
The former director of counterterrorism at MI6, Richard Barrett, warned that Britain could face a growing threat to its national security if the Syrian camps remain open.
“It is hard to argue that these women and children pose less of a threat, either now or in the future, while they remain poorly supervised, exposed to the influence of their former Islamic State (Daesh) comrades and at risk of further exploitation than they would if under the watchful eye of our highly competent security authorities in the UK, and of their own communities,” he said.
A Foreign Office spokesperson said: “Each request for consular assistance from Syria is considered on a case-by-case basis taking into account all relevant circumstances, including, but not limited to, national security.”