The Australian Government has repatriated four Australian women and their 13 Australian children to NSW from an Internally Displaced Persons Camp in Syria, Home Affairs Minister, Clare O’Neil confirmed today.
“At all times the focus has been the safety and security of all Australians as well as the safety of those involved in the operation,” the Minister said.
“Informed by national security advice, the Government has carefully considered the range of security, community and welfare factors in making the decision to repatriate.”
She said the decision to repatriate the women and children was informed by individual assessments following detailed work by national security agencies.
The Government’s decision follows similar repatriations carried out by the previous Morrison Government in 2019, as well as the United States, Italy, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, the United Kingdom and, most recently, Canada.
Minister O’Neil said allegations of unlawful activity will continue to be investigated by the NSW Joint Counter Terrorism Team, comprised of the Australian Federal Police, Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, NSW Police and the NSW Crime Commission.
“Any identified offences may lead to law enforcement action being taken,” she said.
“The New South Wales Government is providing extensive support services to assist these women and their children with reintegration alongside law enforcement engagement with these families.”