Statement: Repatriation of British orphans from Syria

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On Friday, 22 November a group of orphaned British children caught up in the war in Syria returned to the UK.

The children, who are all from one family, are the first to be repatriated from the area of Syria once controlled by the Islamic State (IS) group.

The Foreign Office was asked by the High Court to help them return. The court heard they arrived in London on Friday and were in good spirits.

The United Nations has said countries should take responsibility for their own citizens unless they are to be prosecuted in Syria in accordance with international standards.

Statement from the Bishops’ Conference Department for International Affairs:

“We welcome the special repatriation of the orphaned British children from Syria and commend the Government’s initiative to bring them home.

“We 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.

“We can do more as a nation and we must be unafraid to save lives”.