Recommendation 3

Apply a case-by-case approach and address specific categories of returnees.

In view of Good Practice 19 of the GCTF’s The Hague-Marrakech Memorandum13, States are encouraged to develop targeted and tailored engagement approaches for RFTFs in accordance with their national laws. Deciding which measure should be applied to a RFTF should be made on a case-by-case basis and weigh the following factors: the risk the individual poses with respect to the commission of a terrorist attack; the gravity and seriousness of the crime; the available evidence; motivational factors; the age of the returnee; the support network of family and friends; the impact on victims; and the public interest. The application of individual risk assessment is a helpful tool to reach such a balanced decision.

Taking a case-by-case approach will allow States to address specific issues RFTFs are dealing with, which may be particularly relevant for minors, women, and those with mental health problems. In some countries, a RFTF that is dealing with mental health issues could be placed in custodial care or could be hospitalized. With respect to returning minors, States should consider – if appropriate – to apply child protection measures in addition, or as an alternative to, prosecution and sentencing. These measures should promote the rehabilitation and reintegration of the minor into society and could include counseling, education, or other forms of support. In some cases, a minor RFTF with (mental) health issues could be placed in a closed child care institution by a juvenile court.

Furthermore, children that have been taken involuntarily to destination countries or are born in these countries have been exposed to violent extremism on a regular basis and are likely to require specific support and care upon return. Furthermore, States should take into consideration family members of a RFTF that are affected and in need of assistance.

13. Ibid.