Coalition divided over repatriating children of Dutch jihadists


Coalition parties are in dispute over plans to allow children of jihadist fighters to return to the Netherlands.

Junior partners D66 and the ChristenUnie (CU) said the option should be available for young children who have been taken to Syria by their parents or born in territory controlled by IS.

‘If their lives are in danger or their circumstances are especially harrowing, as a last resort they should be brought to the Netherlands,’ said CU MP Joel Voordewind.

But the largest party in the coalition, the centre-right VVD, rejected the idea. ‘Before you know it their parents will be coming after them,’ said MP Arno Rutte. ‘The VVD supports the safety and freedom of children in the Netherlands!’

Voordewind also called for more research to be carried out into how many children are affected, how many of them are living in refugee camps and what standard of care they are receiving. Estimates say around 80 children of Dutch nationals are currently living in the conflict zone.