- Publication date
- 20 December 2021
- Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs
In some contexts, such as the return of foreign terrorist fighters and their families from Syria and Iraq, there are not only those suspected of terrorism but also people associated with terrorist groups, many of them victims of abduction, coercion and exploitation.
For women returning to Europe from Syria and Iraq, their experiences of, and association with, terrorist groups vary greatly. Recognising that an approach limited to security and punishment is inadequate to deal with those situations, the UN Security Council and General Assembly have called on States to develop and implement “comprehensive and tailored strategies” for the screening, prosecution, rehabilitation and reintegration (SPRR) of persons associated or affiliated with designated terrorist organisations, and their families.
Across Europe there is a normative legal commitment to gender-sensitive responses and gender mainstreaming SPRR, but in practice this has been harder to achieve. This paper focuses specifically on the rehabilitation and reintegration (R&R) component of SPRR.
The paper highlights the gendered experiences of women in Daesh, then focuses on the gender needs of women returnees. The second part of the paper identifies R&R involvement in various professions supporting women returnees from Daesh to the European Union (EU).
The paper then provides some recommendations for professionals working towards the rehabilitation and reintegration of returnees.