Norway’s chapter of Save the Children (Redd Barna) hopes the repatriation last week of an orphan from a refugee camp in Syria to Norway signals the start of more children of Norwegian IS warriors and their mothers being rescued as well.
“For us it’s completely unacceptable that Norwegian authorities are letting Norwegian children languish in terrible conditions, and be punished for things they haven’t done,” Gunvor Knag Fylkesnes of Redd Barna told news bureau NTB.
DNA test results confirmed that the child now in Norway had a Norwegian father, and is thus viewed as a Norwegian citizen. Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt said the child is a pre-schooler but she wouldn’t reveal any information that would identify him or her. Nor would she say whether the child will be placed with any relatives in Norway.
Huitfeldt said the child “will get the care and follow-up needed” from Norway’s child protective services and other authorities.She stressed that it was important the child be protected and provided with as much assurance of safety and security as possible: “That’s the best foundation to form (his or her) own life here,” she said.
Norwegian authorities had been working since last spring to establish the child’s parentage. Political debate has swirled for several years over the fate of children born in Syria to Norwegians who joined the IS terror organization. Many support bringing the children to Norway, but not their mothers or fathers who chose to travel to the Middle East to join IS.