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UN Urges 57 Countries to Repatriate Women, Children in Syria

The United Kingdom, the United States and China are among 57 countries designated by UN human rights experts on Monday as appearing on its “list of shame” for failing to repatriate citizens held in Syrian camps. Almost 10,000 foreign women and children are living in the detention camps, located in northeastern Syria.

In a joint statement on Monday, UN human rights experts voiced their concern about the worsening conditions in the camps. According to a UN report, the experts said that “thousands of people held in the camps are exposed to violence, exploitation, abuse and deprivation in conditions and treatment that may well amount to torture.” A majority of the 64,000 camp detainees held in the al-Hol and Roj camps are women and children, many associated with the Islamic State.

The experts sent official letters to the countries’ governments, reminding them of their obligation to follow international law in their repatriation of those citizens held in Syria. Countries are legally obliged to repatriate their citizens and investigate allegations of war crimes when evidence exists, the experts said.