The Netherlands is not legally required to assist in the repatriation of children born into the families of its citizens that left to join the so-called Islamic State (IS) in Syria, an appeals court has ruled.
The ruling in The Hague on Friday overturned a previous decision from a lower court made earlier this month on a case regarding the futures of 56 children.
All 56 of the children involved in the case hold Dutch nationality and are under the age of 12.
They currently reside in camps in Syria in conditions that have been described as “inhumane” and “appalling” by the UN.
In its appeal against the initial ruling this month, the Dutch government said it was concerned for foreign policy and international cooperation.
It added that it was also concerned about the national security risks involved in repatriation and said it was not safe for officials to enter the camps and find those involved in the case.
Statistics from October reveal 55 IS members who travelled from the Netherlands are currently still in Syria.
There are said to also be 90 children who were either born to Dutch parents or have lived in the Netherlands themselves.