Dutch girl, 11, brought back from Syria

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Syrian children (Photo: Trocaire/Wikimedia Commons). (Syrian children (Photo: Trocaire/Wikimedia Commons))

An 11-year-old Dutch girl was brought to the Netherlands from Syria on Friday, the Dutch Red Cross, which played an important role in the child's recovery, confirmed to NU.nl after reports in NOS.

The girl has a Dutch father and a mother with dual nationality. Her mother took her to Syrian in 2016. Her father reported that she had been abducted. What the mother and child did in Syria over the past years, is  unknown. They were living in northwest Syria, near the Turkish border, but not in a detention camp, the Red Cross said to the newspaper. The father was in contact with his daughter and ex-wife, and asked the Red Cross to help get his daughter back to the Netherlands.

With the help of Turkish organization Crescent Moon, the Red Cross made contact with the girl's mother and it was decided in consultation that the child could return to her father. The Turkish authorities also gave permission for the girl's return, according to the newspaper.

The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs is aware of the situation. We know about the return of the child. This is an action by the father, through which the child could leave Syria. The Netherlands informed the Turkish authorities about this case. With regard to privacy, we will not go into the matter further", a spokesperson said to NU.nl.

Around 90 Dutch children are currently living in detention- and refugee camps in Syria. The Dutch government does not plan to actively retrieve them. Early in June, two young Dutch orphans were returned to the Netherlands after the death of their mother - a Dutch rebel fighter in the Syrian civil war. According to the government, this was an exceptional case. The children were staying in a refugee camp under dire circumstances and with no parental authority. The French government helped bring them back to the Netherlands when it went to retrieve French children in Syria. 

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