On Thursday, MEPs will discuss the possible return of children of foreign to their European home countries with human rights and terrorism experts.

MEPs of the Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE), the Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI) and the Subcommittee on Security and Defence (SEDE) will take stock of the situation of the children of foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq in a joint debate on Thursday afternoon.

The list of speakers includes representatives from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, EU Counter Terrorism Coordinator’s Office, Belgium’s threat analysis centre and Save the Children.

According to UNICEF, there are close to 29,000 foreign children in camps, detention centres or orphanages in Syria, most of them under the age of 12. Some 20,000 children are from Iraq while more than 9,000 are from around 60 other countries, including from several EU countries. An additional 1,000 children of foreign fighters are believed to be in Iraq.