The two women are stuck in a Kurdish refugee camp in northern Syria where they are staying with their six children, who are aged six or under. The women travelled to the conflict zone five years ago to be with their husbands, who have since perished.
Earlier this year they told VRT's Rudi Vranckx of their eagerness to return to Belgium. They claim they are living in atrocious conditions and lack water, food and medicines. The women insist Belgium should ensure they are able to bring their children back to the country. During earlier court action judges ruled any return was not up to the Belgian authorities to organise. But the mothers then initiated new court action after their children had been examined by a Flemish child psychologist, who noted the children were children like any other and that it was ludicrous to believe they were "murderous machines".
A judge has now ordered the Belgian authorities to undertake the necessary diplomatic contacts and fulfil the administrative work needed to bring back mothers and children. Travel documents must be provided and the mothers’ trip has to be made secure. Belgium will have to act swiftly. If the children and women are not back within 40 days, a 5,000 euro a day fine perc child will be due. The children will be taken care of by family. The women will be detained. The judge also ruled that separating children from mothers would be a violation of their human rights and as a result the mothers need to be brought back to Belgium.