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War & Peace: Bringing Home Europe’s ISIS-affiliated Women and Children
War & Peace: Bringing Home Europe’s ISIS-affiliated Women and Children
Podcast / Europe & Central Asia

War & Peace: Bringing Home Europe’s ISIS-affiliated Women and Children

This week on War & Peace, Olga Oliker and Hugh Pope talk to Azadeh Moaveni, Crisis Group's Gender Director, about the foreign national women and children stuck in Syria. They discuss Western governments efforts to repatriate their citizens and the potential domestic political pushback. 

Season 1 Episode 13: Bringing Home Europe’s ISIS-affiliated Women and Children

Over 13,500 foreign nationals who went to fight for ISIS are currently detained in Syria, among them women and children living in abhorrent humanitarian conditions. Western governments have largely failed to repatriate their citizens, afraid of the potential domestic political pushback. 

For Crisis Group’s Gender Director Azadeh Moaveni, these governments should start by bringing home the children and women formerly associated with the group. She urges European leaders to do more to shift public rhetoric from being hostile and dehumanising, explaining to Olga and Hugh how this group is far from monolithic. For her, working on gender in conflict means ensuring that women are not just seen as passive victims or inherent peacebuilders, that their full agency is explored, and that the structural conditions that first encouraged them to join militant groups are understood. 

Click here to listen on Apple PodcastsSpotify or Europod.

For more on this, see our report: Women and Children First: Repatriating the Westerners Affiliated with ISIS