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Their Countries of Origin Must Bring Them Home

“They won’t shoot us, my darling. Mummy is right here with you, don’t worry.” The German mother’s words, spoken in almost a whisper, did not stop her young son’s whimpers. Desperate text and voice messages have…
A girl stands in the annex of al-Hol camp in northeast Syria, where more than 11,000 women and children from nearly 50 nationalities are confined as family members of Islamic State (also known as ISIS) suspects. The Kurdish-led coalition controlling north
News
Western European intransigence on ensuring that citizens detained abroad as ISIL suspects or their family members can return home made world headlines recently when an Iraqi court sentenced nine French citizens to death following trials…
A woman walks with a child in Roj camp, which holds foreign wives and children of Islamic State (ISIS) members, in northeast Syria, September 2018. © 2018 Delil Souleiman/AFP/Getty Images
News
Sometimes complex policy issues are best captured in a simple question. If ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is captured alive tomorrow, who should prosecute him, where and for what crimes? When I pose this question to policymakers – in Western…
News
In the last few weeks, hundreds of Syrian families learned that their loved ones who had disappeared in government detention facilities had died. Many said that they found out as they requested routine records from the Syrian…
cover syria report
News
On March 20 of last year, an aircraft of the US-led coalition struck a boarding school in Mansourah, near Raqqa, Syria. The building was completely destroyed. What was hit and who died in this strike has been a subject of…
Entrance to the Badia school that was struck by coalition aircraft on March 20, 2017.
News
After four years of the Islamic State’s control, the new rulers of the devastated city of Raqqa have a long and overwhelming to-do list. One of the urgent tasks is to reestablish a functioning judicial system that can provide justice for victims,…
The ruins of a market and bakery in Tabqa after an airstrike, in all likelihood carried out by US-led coalition forces, on March 22, 2017.
News
The military battle for Raqqa city appears to be over. The Syria Democratic Forces (SDF), with support from the US-led coalition, seized the Raqqa National Hospital, one of the last bastions of the Islamic State (ISIS) in the city earlier today. Coalition…
Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters on their way to Raqqa, Syria June 6, 2017© 2017 Reuters
News
Millions of dollars in aid money pledged to get Syrian refugee children in school last year did not reach them, arrived late, or could not be traced due to poor reporting practices. In a report released today, “Following the Money: Lack of…
Syrian children and schools in Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan.
News

Time for Judicial Triage

The Raqqa Civilian Council building was full of people with complaints when I visited in July. The council, based in the Syrian town of `Ayn Issa, was set up in April to govern the areas in Raqqa province that US-backed Syrian…
Author interviewing local Tabqa residents after ISIS had been pushed out of city (July 2017).
News

For all his promises — and a Nobel Peace Prize — the Obama presidency delivered more hope than change

As Donald Trump prepares to take office, many fear a new hostility to human rights on the part of the United States. From his divisive rhetoric about minorities to his embrace of autocrats abroad, there is plenty to worry about.  Trump…
U.S. President Barack Obama waves at the conclusion of his final State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in Washington January 12, 2016.
News
Amin, 18, became a refugee when his family fled Syria for Lebanon five years ago. He has not set foot in school since. With his father unable to get legal status or work, responsibility for supporting the family of seven fell to Amin. A seventh grader…
Fahd, 15, originally from Syria, is not in school. Instead, he works in construction in the Bekaa Valley.
News
Europeans who want to see a better future for Syrian refugee children can be proud: the European Union has given hundreds of millions of euros to help them go to school in the beleaguered countries near Syria. But good luck tracking where that…
Wa’el, 13, and Fouad, 7, originally from Idlib, study outside their home in Jounieh. Their mother, Kawthar, 33, struggled to enroll them in school, and eventually withdrew them due to concerns about the quality of education and transportation costs of US$
News

What to Do About Kids Born Under ISIS

Imagine that you were born in the self-proclaimed “caliphate” of the Islamic State (also known as ISIS). Your father may have been one of thousands of foreign fighters who traveled to Iraq or Syria to wage jihad or simply a civilian…
2016_TCT_Children_Caliphate_1
News
As world leaders gather for President Obama’s Leaders’ Summit on Refugees on September 20, they should urgently address how to get the more than 3.5 million refugee children around the world who aren’t getting an education back in school.   All…
2016-9-crd-syrian education-1