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IOHR Organises a Discussion on Pathways for the Children of IS and Militant Groups

14th March 2019

What: IOHR organises Discussion on Pathway for the Children of IS and Militant Groups
When: 14th March 2019, 6-8pm
Where: Bankside House, London School of Economics – Auditorium Room

To RSVP please click here.

Join us on the evening of Thursday 14 March for a discussion hosted by Valerie Peay, Director of the International Observatory of Human Rights that will bring together families of British and European children to share their first-hand experiences of trying to get the children back to safety.

According to an article by The Guardian released in Dec 2018, there are 1,200 foreign children, including 10 from Britain, left in legal limbo since ISIS was driven out of its de facto capital Raqqa, in October 2017

The panel will include top human rights barrister Usha R Sood and former Al Qaida member and founder of Active Change Foundation Hanif Qadir and policy officers from the Belgian NGO, Child Focus who will discuss where the UK and Europe stand in terms of their human rights responsibilities and commitments to international law.

The discussion will question the general position that these governments take on the innocent children whose parents have chosen to return from Syria and will examine what efforts and processes have been put in place to bring these children back home.

With the influx of IS returnees happening at the moment in Syria, The International Observatory of Human Rights has been focusing on the true victims: The Children. IOHR has been supporting the case of Ashfaq Khurshid be bringing it to the public through interviews on BBC and other major publications. IOHR has also helped Khurshid open up a case with The Red Cross to keep watch for baby Salmaan on the ground in Syria.

The panel will include:

Fatiha Lakjaa – Belgian citizen Fatiha is the grandmother of 6 children who are currently stuck in Syria with no clear way of coming home. The Belgian government won an appeal last week concluding that it no longer has an obligation to bring the mothers or the kids back.

Ashfaq Khurshid – Ashfaq lost his son Haroon fighting with militant groups in Syria. His grandchild Salmaan is currently with his Canadian mother, and last communicated with them over a month ago. Their whereabouts are unknown at the moment.

Usha R. Sood – Barrister at Trent Chambers: Usha has always been at the heart of community matters across the Midlands and offers support to numerous charitable and public interest cases. She also combined this with an academic career as Senior Lecturer in Law at Nottingham Trent University. Usha has numerous specialist areas including work on child abduction cases, dowry recovery, human rights, child and human trafficking, public law cases, and international family and civil law litigation.

Hanif Qadir – Founder, Active Change Foundation: A former foreign fighter himself, Hanif once joined Al Qaeda members in Afghanistan, but was deterred by the crimes he saw being committed against civilians and turned his back on them. Upon his return to the UK, he vowed to safeguard young men and women from similar experiences, losing their lives and harming their communities. He is actively involved in advising and assisting senior policy makers in reforming key aspects of the Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) and Counter Violent Extremism (CVE), working closely with a wide range of governmental institutions, most of the UK’s Police Authorities, as well as research academics across the globe.

Policy Officer – Child Focus: Child Focus is a Belgian based NGO that has been supporting Fatiha in her plight to bring her 6 grandchildren back, they have travelled to various camps in Syria and have first-hand experience with meeting over 30 Belgian children and more than 150 minors currently stuck in the camps.

To RSVP please click here.

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