Judges in the Hague ruled Monday that the Netherlands is obligated to “make all possible efforts” to repatriate the 56 Dutch children whose parents joined Islamic extremist groups in Syria. The parents – including the 23 mothers who filed the proceedings – are not entitled to be repatriated from the Syrian detention camps, according to NOS, because they made the choice to travel to IS territory.

The Dutch government has long refused to repatriate IS affiliates but the judge justified the decision to order the recovery of the young Dutch citizens because “the children in the overcrowded camps al-Roj and al-Hol live in an acute emergency situation, without their own choosing.” He says, “The children cannot be held responsible for the actions of their parents, however serious these may be.”

The judge also added that the government should accept help from America with the repatriations as well as the willingness of the Syrian Kurds to allow the children – and possibly their mothers – to leave the camps.

This issue has divided government parties in the Netherlands. According to NOS, VVD and CDA emphasize the court ruling could invite more IS people into the Netherlands, “with all the associated risks.” D66 and ChristenUnie point out risks with having children of IS’ers in Syria radicalized.

Ministers Grapperhaus and Blok responded Tuesday announcing the cabinet’s intention to repeal the decision.

Featured Image: Marci Rodgers