Child and adolescent psychologist Clare Rowe says the reintegration of children of Islamic State fighters from Syrian camps is a “complex and difficult issue”.
The National Security Committee has finalised plans to bring home 16 women and 42 children after risk assessment from ASIO agents cleared the families who have been detained since the fall of the Islamic State caliphate in 2019.
“Most Australians can’t bear the thought of these children staying in camps,” Ms Rowe told Englishheadline Australia.
“As a developmental expert, I know that most of your world view and core values and your developmental processes that are extremely important in the brain, occur in the first few years of life.
“These children are being brought up in a very dangerous bubble.”
Ms Rowe said the reports coming out of the camps indicate that Islamic State is “rife” – exposed to “frequent murders” and “poor food, water, no education, no healthcare”.
“It breaks your heart, as Peter Dutton said, to hear of children who are eligible for Australian citizenship,” she said.
“However, these children … have been brought up in this bubble and it will need to be a very sophisticated, thought-out process of how we reintegrate them back into Australian life.”