Handbook: Children Affected by the Foreign-Fighter Phenomenon: Ensuring a Child Rights-Based Approach

July 7, 2020

Acknowledging the challenges posed by the foreign fighter phenomenon and the urgent need to address the needs and protect the rights of children affected by it, some Member States have requested practical guidance on how to take appropriate measures towards such children while also fulfilling their obligations under international human rights, humanitarian and refugee law.

The Handbook aims to assist States in taking a human rights-based approach, with a special focus on child rights, to several issues concerning children affected by the foreign fighter phenomenon. In particular, the Handbook aims to assist practitioners in finding more effective and sustainable solutions to the challenges such children face by ensuring respect for international normative standards. The Handbook aims to do so by summarizing applicable international human rights law, especially child rights standards, and humanitarian law and explaining how applying such law practically also supports the Member States to improve security and long-term recovery of children.

The Handbook further includes recommendations for approaches that represent good practice, while introducing some national practices and other relevant publications and materials. The target audience of the Handbook is primarily legal professionals, policymakers, security experts and practitioners who may benefit from further specific guidance on ensuring full protection and promotion of the rights of the child in the context of their work.