Prosecution, Rehabilitation, and Reintegration of Returning Foreign Fighters and their Families
Central Asian citizens comprise the third largest group of individuals to have travelled to Syria during the conflict with the so-called “Islamic State” (IS), outnumbered only by citizens of the Middle East and North Africa. Of the approximate 5,650 individuals who travelled from Central Asia to Syria and Iraq to support IS and its affiliate groups, numbers were highest from Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Since the fall of the IS stronghold in Baghouz in 2019, Uzbekistan has repatriated 531 individuals (24 men, 121 women, 379 children, and 7 foreign nationals) from conflict zones in northeast Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, at last count. Due to this high influx, prosecution, rehabilitation, and reintegration (PRR) of returnees affected by the foreign fighter phenomenon is high on the state’s agenda.
With the support of the German Federal Foreign Office, the Max Planck Foundation aims to assist relevant Uzbek actors responsible for or otherwise concerned with the prosecution, rehabilitation, and reintegration of returning foreign fighters and their families. In 2023, Foundation staff will analyse the state’s current PRR laws, policies, and practices and map local stakeholders to gain a comprehensive picture of the current PRR situation. Foundation staff then intends to meet with relevant ministries and actors to jointly produce and decide upon a country-specific roadmap outlining the goals and priorities for the augmentation of Uzbek PRR practices in line with international law. In 2024, Foundation staff will endeavour to work alongside Uzbek state ministries to design, prepare, and implement in-country technical legal activities tailored to the previously identified needs.
January 2023 – December 2024