ISIS babies will not be brought back to UK

Orient Net 2019-08-12 09:52:00

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Children of British foreign militiamen stuck in warzones will be left to their fate, the British government has ruled.

Sajid Javid made the decision in one of his last acts as home secretary before his promotion to chancellor last month, The Times has learnt.

He concluded that it was too dangerous to dispatch military or civilian personnel to rescue babies and minors who have British citizenship from camps in northern Syria.

The decision, made after a cross departmental review, is likely to be criticised by children’s charities and opposition politicians, who have put pressure on the government to protect innocent British citizens in Syria.

Mr Javid also sought advice about the legal implications of repatriating the British children of militiamen and ISIS brides, it is understood. Concerns had abounded that such a move could provide a legal route for parents who have had their citizenship revoked to return under human rights laws.

Not all children born to a mother or father from the UK necessarily hold the right to British citizenship. If a parent was deprived of citizenship before their baby was born, or the parent was a naturalised British citizen, the child would not automatically be entitled to UK citizenship.

The Home Office-led review also explored what to do with any children rescued from Syria. Officials looked at options to allow relatives living in Britain to adopt the children, as well as provisions in the care system.

The fate of British ISIS babies gained traction after the birth and subsequent death of the son born to Shamima Begum. The Bethnal Green schoolgirl, who ran away at 15 to join Isis in 2015, was discovered in a refugee camp by Times journalist Anthony Loyd in February. Heavily pregnant, she had pleaded to come home to Britain and to keep her baby. Mr Javid, however, revoked her citizenship.

Labour said the baby’s subsequent death was the result of a “callous and inhumane” decision by the government, while the international charity Save the Children said his death was “avoidable”.

Mr Javid said that “the loss of any child is a tragedy” but told the Commons: “I do not want any more children brought into a war zone because their parents think that they will automatically be bailed out.”

About 900 British citizens fled to join the so-called caliphate in Syria and Iraq, of whom 400 were thought to have returned as of March this year. At least 10 per cent have been prosecuted and about 150 are thought to have died.