How are the children of repatriated jihadists cared for?

How are the children of repatriated jihadists cared for?

How are the children of repatriated jihadists cared for?

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France repatriated, this Tuesday, January 24, 15 women and 32 children who were detained in a camp for jihadists in northeastern Syria. This is the third major repatriation since last July. The women, who had joined the Islamic State group, were handed over to justice and separated from the children. Claire Paucher, Bobigny juvenile judge, details how the care of these children will be carried out.

RFI: What happens to these children once they return to France?

Clara Pacher: these children, when they arrive in france, are separated from their parents, who are placed in police custody. Children are entrusted by the prosecutor to child welfare services, which is a service of the department. And then child welfare services often refer them to a foster family.

Why aren’t these children directly entrusted to grandparents, to extended families, who have been asking for them for many years?

Nothing prohibits it in the law, but in practice, most of the time, we choose to do the educational research measures beforehand to better assess the grandparents’ application and their possibility of foster care, and also to better understand the family history to really can think. of a longer-term project for the child.

► Read also : France repatriates 15 women and 32 children from jihadist prison camps in Syria

Can parents, who often go to detention, see their children?

If these children are interested in seeing their mother, they will be able to see her under mediated visitation rights. Afterwards, it is evidently the assessment of the file by the seizing juvenile judge.

You take a step back, because you have seen repatriated children. Do you follow them? Do you have any news of what happens with them?

Yes, of course, because we received the first cases in 2016-2017. So we have a bit of a setback. And what we can say is that some children are doing well. In general, when there is coherence around them, when we manage to work in coherence with the educational services, the extended family and also the parents, the children manage to find a balance. But again, it all depends on the case.

Are there children for whom it is difficult to readjust to life in France?

Yes, it can be complicated. Some probably experienced trauma on the territory of the Islamic State group, in the camps. Then there is also, it must be said, the trauma of parental separation for sometimes very young children, even babies.

What do you say to those who say that these children, given their experience, are already lost, that they are time bombs and that they should not be repatriated?

All players in the legal and child protection world are convinced that it is never too late for a child. Of course we can repair it, we can help it build itself. The only thing is, you have to take good care of these children, and I was going to say as soon as possible actually.

Therefore, proceed with repatriations as soon as possible…

In general, a child who has been traumatized, the sooner we take care of him, the better, of course.

► To listen also : In the Roj camp in Syria, with the families of the French jihadists

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