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SWITZERLAND: UN Expert Demands Britain Repatriates Vulnerable Shamima Begum As She Was A Victim Of Sexual Exploitation

A group of United Nations experts has urged Britain to repatriate a woman stripped of her citizenship after leaving the country aged 15 to marry a Daesh fighter.

Shamima Begum, now 24 and living in a refugee camp in northern Syria, lost an appeal last month against the decision to strip her of her British citizenship.
The UN special rapporteurs voiced deep concern at the February 23 ruling, and urged Britain to provide Begum with protection  including repatriation   and review the decision to revoke her citizenship.
“Begum remains stripped of her citizenship, vulnerable, and denied assistance and protection as a possible victim of trafficking,” the experts said.
“Protections owed to victims of trafficking and those at risk of trafficking, especially children, must be respected to be meaningful,” they said.

In a statement, they argued: ‘There is a credible suspicion that Ms Begum was recruited, transferred and then harboured for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Human trafficking is an international crime, a form of modern slavery.”

Special rapporteurs are mandated by the UN Human Rights Council but are independent experts and do not speak for the United Nations.

Last month the Court of Appeal rejected all five arguments presented by Begum ruling that the risk to national security took precedence over whether she had been a potential victim of trafficking.

Begum could still take her case to the UK Supreme Court.

The 24-year-old, whose family is of Bangladeshi origin, left her east London home for Syria with two school friends in 2015. While there, she married a fighter with the IS jihadist group and had three children, none of whom survived.

In 2019, Begum had argued she was left de facto stateless when Britain’s then interior minister Sajid Javid revoked her citizenship on national security grounds.

She said at the time she regretted everything she did in Syria and begged for a second chance in the UK, claiming she was “brainwashed”.