Plan International calls for children to be brought back from Syria

Plan International is calling on the Australian Government to urgently transfer an Australian woman living in a Syrian refugee camp and her young children back to Australia so that the children can receive much-needed medical care.

The woman told the ABC she left Australia to join her IS-fighter partner, who she then married. She said she wants to return to Australia, but Prime Minister Scott Morrison has indicated this is not a priority for the Australian Government.

Plan International Australia’s Advocacy Director Hayley Cull said while it is a complex situation, the woman’s vulnerable children must be put first in this instance.

“Children should never be held accountable for, or be made to suffer because of the actions of their parents. These children are in danger through no fault of their own.

“Plan International believes that the welfare of these children would be best served by bringing them and their mother back to Australia, where she should face the full consequences of her decisions under our law, as an Australian citizen. This should be done as quickly as possible to protect the lives of the six-month old and two year-old children, one of whom is reportedly malnourished. 

“These children are descended from an Australian citizen, so the Australian government should intervene to alleviate their medical circumstances whilst holding their mother to account for her actions. It is not fair to expect to leave this responsibility to other countries already under tremendous pressure and continuing to deal with the fallout of a horrific conflict.” 

About Plan International 

 Plan International is a leading girls' rights agency. We champion girls’ rights because we know that there is nowhere in the world where girls are treated as equals. We work alongside children, young people, supporters and partners to tackle the root causes of injustices facing girls and the most marginalised children.

Plan International works in more than 75 countries to help create a just world that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. Our local office, Plan International Australia funds programs to support children in more than 25 countries, as well as sponsorship programs across the federation.