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British Nationals Abroad: Syria

Home Office written question – answered on 4th November 2019.

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Photo of John Lamont John Lamont Conservative, Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to prepare for the return of British children trapped in north-east Syria.

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women

There may be British children in Internally Displaced Persons camps in Syria, who because of their age, are innocent victims of the conflict, however, the process of providing any assistance is extremely complex. If we become aware of British unaccompanied or orphaned children or if British children are able to seek consular assistance, then we will work with the local and UK authorities to facilitate their return if feasible.

Children returning from Syria are likely to have been exposed to the conflict and to have experienced trauma. In some circumstances they may also pose national security concerns that need to be carefully managed. A range of specialised support – some of which is funded directly by the Home Office – is offered to address concerns ranging from safeguarding to national security. Our support will be tailored to the needs of each individual child.

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