Christians welcome repatriation of British children from Syria

Published 23 November 2019  |  
Reuters
Debris is thrown out from an apartment building in the Duma neighbourhood of Damascus, Syria. Buildings and infrastructure have been destroyed in the war.

Christians have welcomed reports that some British children caught up in the conflict in Syria are to be repatriated back to the UK.

Marc-Andre Hensel, World Vision's Syria Response Director, said that many foreign children in the wartorncountry were "trapped by circumstance" and are at risk of violence, malnutrition and disease.

He called on Britain to do everything in its power to better protect children there after a missile attack on a camp for displaced families in Idlib killed 12 on Thursday, the majority of them women and children.

"We welcome reports of the repatriation from Syria of orphaned British children. Innocent victims of war should not be punished for the actions of their parents," he said.

"All children in Syria face deadly threats every single day; from indiscriminate violence, to being forced to flee their homes with nothing but the clothes on their backs.

"Many children in Syria, including foreign children trapped by circumstance, will have experienced violence, acute deprivation and unimaginably distressing events. They now face malnutrition and the constant threat of fatal diseases in overcrowded camps."

He added: "Every child has the right to a safe place to live."

Cecilia Taylor-Camara, senior policy adviser at the Catholic Church's Office for Migration Policy, also welcomed the repatriation of orphaned British children but called on the Government to do more to support others left behind.

"We welcome the special repatriation of the orphaned British children from Syria and commend the Government's initiative to bring them home," she said.

"I would ask the Foreign Secretary to go beyond this charitable gesture and address the injustice of leaving British children behind in a war zone.

"The impact of the conflict on children in the Syrian war is devastating and we cannot be indifferent to suffering of innocent victims.

"I believe we can do more as a nation and we must be unafraid to save lives."

"We welcome the special repatriation of the orphaned British children from Syria and commend the Government's initiative to bring them home. I would ask the Foreign Secretary to go beyond this charitable gesture and address the injustice of leaving British children behind in a war zone. The impact of the conflict on children in the Syrian war is devastating and we cannot be indifferent to suffering of innocent victims. I believe we can do more as a nation and we must be unafraid to save lives".

Cecilia Taylor-Camara

Senior Policy Adviser, Office for Migration Policy

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