And very soon, they could be the responsibility of the federal government.
The children of Canadian members of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant form part of a potentially explosive dilemma confronting federal officials. As ISIL teeters on the brink of military defeat, what should the government do when and if Canadian members of ISIL are captured?
Some experts say Ottawa has no choice but to try to repatriate and prosecute in Canada any detained members, ensuring they aren’t tortured or otherwise mistreated by local forces. As for those ISIL children, if they have one Canadian parent, they would be citizens and, lawyers say, deserve help.
“The government has absolutely no choice but to protect the Charter rights of these Canadians,” said Lorne Dawson, a University of Waterloo professor who has extensively studied radicalized youth.