'Compelling evidence' British women, children held in Syria were trafficked by IS

'Compelling evidence' British women, children held in Syria were trafficked by IS
An inquiry carried out by an all-party parliamentary group found evidence that the UK government has 'failed' British women and children held in Syria, most of whom were 'trafficked'.
1 min read
11 February, 2022
British women and children detained in Syria were 'failed' by the UK government, an inquiry found [Getty]

There is "compelling evidence" that British women and children held in Syria were trafficked to the country by the Islamic State (IS) group, according to an all-party parliamentary group report released Thursday.

Several British women and children currently detained in Kurdish-controlled camps in northeast Syria were  subjected to sexual and other forms of exploitation or transported to Syria as children, the report from the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Trafficked Britons in Syria found.

The APPG's six-month inquiry, which was aided by an investigation from the NGO Reprieve, said that women and children were coerced into travelling to Syria and kept and moved within the war-torn country under coercion.

The report added that there had been systemic failures by the UK government and multiple "missed opportunities" to protect vulnerable people from being groomed by IS.

The inquiry also said that the refusal to repatriate British families aggravates the risk of re-trafficking, by forcing women to consider other means of escape such as putting their lives in the hands of smugglers who could subject them to further exploitation.

Around 20 British families currently remain detained in camps in Syria, according to the report.