I gave a talk at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week where I told the story of Mr. Patricio Galvez, a Swedish-Chilean musician and grandfather of seven children orphaned in Syria. Both their parents, former ISIS members were killed, but the children survived and ended up in Al-Hol a wretched refugee camp along with 70,000 other people, mostly wives and children of ISIS. Mr. Galvez managed to rescue his grandchildren and bring them back to safety in Sweden where they now have a chance for a normal life. But today, 28,000 children are still trapped in refugee camps and detention centers of North-Eastern Syria enduring inhuman conditions. On assignment for the The Wall Street Journal, I went to Al-Hol, where I met a Russian mother who told me: “Please let them take my children, if they don’t want to take me”. Repatriation efforts are slow, as governments are still reluctant to bring them back home. These women and children will pose a far greater threat to the world, as they are exposed to an environment of violence and radicalization. Their miserable state reinforces the narrative of victimhood upon which most violent radical ideologies, such as ISIS are based. The children has been branded as children of ISIS even though they have not committed any crimes. More than half of them are under the age of 5! Yet they are being punished by association and their basic human rights are being violated.
Please watch my talk here to find out more