At least five Belgian new-borns have died in refugee camps in Syria and Iraq since the fall of the ISIS stronghold, according to Child Focus. The information was published by De Morgen and Het Laatste Nieuws on Monday.
According to Child Focus Director General Heidi De Pauw, living conditions in Al-Hol and Al-Roj camps are the reason for the deaths. “Some were unwell upon arrival in the camp and died for lack of care. Recently, another new-born died. The other children died of malnutrition or untreated injuries,” she explained.
De Pauw has visited the camps in question several times, accompanied by Child Psychologist Gerrit Loots (VUB, Vrije Universiteit Brussel). As far as De Pauw is concerned, there is no doubt that these Belgian children must be repatriated as soon as possible. “I will continue to plead for this. These children cannot wait.”
Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes (MR, Reformed Movement) did not wish to respond to this information. She referred the matter to Minister for Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders (MR), but he has not responded to De Morgen.
The Brussels Times