Enabling the Safe Return of Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTFs) and Associated Family Members from Northeast Syria

20 September 2023
New York, USA

The IIJ and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Counterterrorism held a highly successful discussion on Enabling the Safe Return of Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTFs) and Associated Family Members from Northeast Syria on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly meetings. The event brought together more than 50 senior policy officials from around the world, including more than 65 attendees online, to highlight the ongoing humanitarian and security crisis in the detention facilities and at al-Hol and Roj displaced persons camps in northeast Syria.

Speakers included Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Richard R. Verma, United States; Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein, Republic of Iraq; UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, Fionnuala D. Ní Aoláin; UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Ted Chaiban; International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) Special Coordinator for Northeast Syria Marianne Gasser and other distinguished experts and government representatives.

The event featured dynamic discussions on the security and humanitarian crisis in ISIS detention facilities and the camps housing those displaced after the 2019 territorial defeat of ISIS in northeast Syria. Speakers underscored the urgency of repatriating suspected foreign fighters, their families, and other foreign nationals, highlighting the risk of human rights violations and the need for special protections for children. Country delegations shared solutions to the complex challenges associated with repatriation and offered insights on rehabilitation, reintegration, and where applicable, prosecution of those who are returned.

The full event is accessible here:


For more information on this event please, contact Programme Manager Parvina Abduvakhobova- abduvahobovap@theiij.org

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