- Publication date
- 22 December 2021
- Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs
Since the beginning of the conflict in Iraq and Syria , approximately 5 000 individuals from the European Union (EU) have travelled to join fighting groups in these countries.
Depending on the EU Member State (MS), between 20 % and 50 % of all these ‘travellers’ are reported to have returned. There are also hundreds of Europeans currently being held in detention camps in northeast Syria. A number of European countries considered the threat emanating from returnees to be significant.
The process of their repatriation, rehabilitation and reintegration poses a challenge to many European countries. The RAN Rehabilitation Working Group meeting that took place on 16 September 2021 brought together practitioners from different European countries.
The aim of the meeting was to develop a comprehensive understanding of the status of rehabilitation work with returnees and to discuss potential ways forward on improving the rehabilitation and reintegration process for returning FTFs and their family members.
Highlights and key recommendations of the meeting included the following:
- Early intervention and the establishment of a smooth and consistent prison-exit continuum (prison – probation – reintegration) in rehabilitation.
- The use of a different approach for different generations/waves of returning FTFs and their family members.
- A trauma management and trauma-informed approach by all professionals.
- Long-term mental-health support for both returnees and their family members.
- (Local) Communication strategy that counter and prevent stigma and exclusion.