Returning Families in MENA & the Mediterranean

Returning Families in MENA & the Mediterranean

22 June 2022

A number of countries have begun to develop and implement plans to repatriate their citizens from conflict zones, generating an imperative for contextually appropriate responses for international and national policymakers, local governments, and community organizations and service providers.

Building upon the Good Practices on Addressing the Challenge of Returning Families of Foreign Terrorist Fighters, the GCTF FTF Working Group Co-Chairs, Jordan and the United States, held a virtual regional workshop to promote the integration of policy and practice related to returning families of foreign terrorist fighters in the Mediterranean, North Africa, and the Middle East. This workshop brought together national and local governments, international organizations, local-level stakeholders, community groups, subject matter experts, and academia.

From Intake Procedures to Criminal Justice Responses and Community Reconciliation
The workshop highlighted that returning family members of foreign terrorist fighters often represent a complex combination of victim, perpetrator, and witness—requiring complex and multi-stakeholder approaches that are trauma-informed and require age, gender, and culturally-sensitive responses.

Participants emphasized the need to build and strengthen the capacity of local stakeholders to understand, support, and operationalize good practices across a range of areas, including intake and assessment actions, criminal justice responses, rehabilitation and reintegration interventions, and reconciliation between affected communities and the returning families. Discussions also focused on the challenges linked to returning family members, particularly the dimensions of trauma-informed care, mental health, psychological support, and respect for the rights of women and children.

The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) is the implementing partner for this GCTF activity.

Related GCTF Resources: