In a statement issued on 15 October, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child said that Finland has violated the rights of Finnish children who have been held for years in the Al-Hawl camp in Syria with families of suspected jihadists in extremely dangerous conditions.
Noting that “Finland has the responsibility and power to protect Finnish children in Syrian camps from imminent risk to their lives by ensuring their repatriation,” the committee stressed that “the prolonged detention of children in dangerous living conditions amounts to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
It is worth noting that although not legally binding, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child's statements and recommendations are important on the international scene. In 2019, families submitted a petition to the UN body concerning six Finnish children currently held in the camp in north-eastern Syria. Since then, three of them have been able to leave the camp on their own initiative with their mother and have returned to Finland.