Two Dutch women and three children escaped a Syrian prison camp in Al Hol and reported to the Dutch embassy in the Turkish capital of Ankara with a request to return to the Netherlands, the government said in a letter to parliament on Thursday. "The women and children are currently in Turkish detention, awaiting prosecution and/or deportation by the Turkish authorities", the government wrote, NU.nl reports.
The Public Prosecutor submitted a list of 29 suspected Dutch jihadists that it wants to bring back from Syria to the Netherlands to face justice, the Ministry of Justice and Security confirmed to NRC. That is a significant increase from the 10 requests submitted earlier this year.
The conservative VVD party is willing to discuss retrieving the children of Dutch jihadists from Syria and bringing them back to the Netherlands, but only if their parents do not come with them, parliamentarian Dilan Yesilgoz said on television show Pauw. Up until now the party of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte always outright refused to negotiate on this topic.
"When it comes to children, that of course also affects me. Especially if they are small children", VVD MP Yesilgoz said on the television program. "They didn't choose this themselves."
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.
A 12-year-old Dutch boy with no ticket and no boarding pass managed to board a British Airways plane to Los Angeles at Heathrow Airport in London on Sunday afternoon. He was caught out shortly before the plane took off, when a stewardess asked to see his ticket so she could show him to his seat, The Telegraph reports.
Children of Dutch jihadists will be placed in a special shelter when they return to the Netherlands. There they will be observed and counseled 24 hours per day to determine whether they pose a danger to society, newspaper AD reported on Friday.
According to the newspaper, older children will be placed in this shelter, where they will be kept isolated - they will not stay with other children. Kids under the age of 9 will also be examined and their mental state assessed upon their return to the Netherlands, NU.nl writes.
Krista van T., a 31-year-old woman from Limburg who went to join terrorist organization ISIS with her husband in 2014, is now a widow living in a crowded refugee camp in northern Syria with her four children. She is pleading for the Dutch government to allow her children back to the Netherlands - even if it is without her, she said to newspaper Trouw.
An extensive aid program is ready for the two Dutch orphans, aged 2 and 4 years, who were brought back to the Netherlands from a refugee camp in Syria, radicalization expert Annebregt Dijkman said to newspaper AD. The two young children's parents died in Syria. Their mother, Karenia J. from Zwolle, died due to an illness. And their father, a Belgian jihadist, was killed, according to the newspaper.
Two Dutch orphans from ISIS families were transferred to a Dutch government delegation in Ain Issa in Northern Syria on Sunday, Abdulkarim Omar, who is responsible for foreign relations as a director of the Kurdish region in northern Syria, said on Twitter. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs could not confirm the transfer on Monday morning, ANP reports.
The Netherlands must "show grace and mercy" and bring back the children of Dutch jihadists in Iraq and Syria as quickly as possible, the special UN envoy for Children in Armed Conflicts, Virginia Gamba, said during a visit to The Hague on Thursday. The fact that these kids and their mothers are now just left to their fates is not only inhumane, but also contrary to international children's rights, she said, Het Parool reports.
The parents of Dutch who went to Syria to fight in the civil war established a foundation with the goal to convince the Dutch state to bring their children and grandchildren back to the Netherlands, the Volkskrant reports after speaking with members of the foundation.
The foundation is called Achterblijvers, which translates to 'those who stayed behind'. It will be officially registered with the Chamber of Commerce next week, according to the newspaper.
Karenia J. from Zwolle died in a Syrian prison camp from illness and malnutrition two weeks ago. As the Belgian man she married in the ISIS caliphate also died, presumably on the battlefield, their two young children are now orphans. They are being taken cared for in the area, though exactly what this entails is unclear, AD reports.
Children's Ombudsman Margrite Kalverboer is urgently calling on the government to bring Dutch children still in Syria back to the Netherlands. "There has been talk for almost a year, but not much has happened. The children are a year older and live under poor conditions. That is bad for their development", she said in a letter to Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security, RTL Nieuws reports.
At least six Dutch women who went to join Islamic State in Syria and Iraq asked the Dutch courts to have them arrested. They are currently in Kurdish camps with 11 Dutch children, and hope to be able to return to the Netherlands in this way, AD reports.
Nearly half of Dutch children between the ages of 4 and 12 years did not get enough exercise last year, according to figures Statistics Netherlands and public health institute RIVM released on Friday. According to the Health Council's movement guidelines, kids in this age group must get "moderately intense" exercise, like walking, cycling or playing outside at least 1 hour per day. 45 percent of kids in the Netherlands did not achieve that.
A massive 96 percent of children in the Netherlands celebrate Christmas. Slightly more than half think Christmas is the best holiday in the year, according to a survey done by NOS Jeugdjournaal.
94 percent of the participating kids think Christmas is fun, though 1 percent called it "stupid". The top five best things about Christmas, according to the kids, are being with family and friends, food, Christmas decorations, gifts and no school. The top two least favorite things are going to church and having to wear nice clothes.
Nearly half of Dutch children under the age of 12 already experienced some form of traumatic event ranging from emotional neglect, physical or sexual abuse to a parent with suicidal tendencies, according to a study done by children's rights organization Auegeo, NOS reports.
For this study Auego had 660 children aged 11 or 12 years surveyd by teenagers a few years older than themselves. The study was handed to Children's Ombudsman Margrite Kalverboer and Princess Laurentein on Wednesday.