Children under the age of 10 years born in Syria to Belgian parents who went there to fight with terror groups will automatically receive laissez-passers to come to Belgium, Justice Minister Koen Geens and Foreign Minister Didier Reynders said on Friday. The issue of the Belgian nationality of the children, who number 87 according to figures available to the ministers, will be settled as soon as they return.
The situation of children over the age of 10 years will be settled on a case-by-case basis. Factors to be considered in such cases will include the lives they lived in Syria, and in particular, whether they participated in jihadist training camps.
Most of the children concerned were born in Syria. They have no documents which enable their nationality to be verified. DNA tests will therefore used to establish their parentage.