The Finnish authorities see it as the country’s constitutional obligation to repatriate children from the al-Hol camp in northern Syria, where around 20 Finnish children and fewer than ten mothers still linger.
A group of twelve Finns previously interned at the al-Hol camp in northern Syria, where people from the self-proclaimed Daesh* “caliphate”, mostly women and children are held, have arrived in Finland, national broadcaster Yle reported.
Finland’s Foreign Ministry confirmed that the three families (three women and nine children) managed to escape from the camp and were flown to Finland from Turkey. All the children are under ten years old. All of the individuals were granted travel documents by the Finnish Embassy in Ankara, and their return journey was arranged in cooperation with the Turkish authorities.
The circumstances of their escape are so far unknown. The Foreign Ministry specifically advised its citizens from attempting to leave it on their own initiative.
“If you take into account the circumstances, they are doing well, at least physically”, Foreign Ministry spokesman Pekka Puustinen said.
The Foreign Ministry is reportedly unaware of other Finnish families, besides these three, who have left the camp.
The Finnish authorities are yet to provide detailed information on what will happen to the women and children. The government is responsible for questions about child protection, health investigations, quarantine…