Britain to block teenagers' passports to prevent militancy

Britain will launch new strategy allowing parents to cancel their children’s passports, fearing their teenage children might travel to Syria or Iraq to join ISIS

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

British PM David Cameron's plan to stop young Britons travelling to Syria includes allowing parents to have passports removed from 16 and 17-year-olds.

British Prime Minister David Cameron will launch a new strategy on Monday allowing British parents, who are worried that their children might travel to the Middle East under the influence of militants, to apply to have their children’s passports removed.

"The government's new 'Counter-Extremism Strategy' is a clear signal of the choice we have made to take on this poisonous ideology with resolve, determination and the goal of building a greater Britain,” he said.

"And a key part of this new approach is going further to protect children and vulnerable people from the risk of radicalisation by empowering parents and public institutions with all the advice, tools and practical support they need," says Cameron adding that anyone with a conviction for "terrorist offences" or "extremist activity" will be automatically banned from working with children and vulnerable people.

Measures in the new strategy plan give the authority to British parents to have passports of their 16 and 17-year-olds removed from them.

Cameron is expected to say, "We know that extremism is really a symptom; ideology is the root cause but the stakes are rising and that demands a new approach. So we have a choice, do we choose to turn a blind eye or do we choose to get out there and make the case for our British values," according to released remarks.

British police say that not enough is being done to fight against militant groups as they have foiled several attacks in Britain while hundreds of Britons are also believed to have traveled to Syria and Iraq to join ISIS.

According to police records, a 15-year-old boy who plotted an ISIS-inspired "massacre" on an Anzac Day parade in Australia in October is thought to be Britain's youngest person convicted of terrorism and sentenced to a minimum of five years.

Cameron is expected to describe the situation as one of Britain's biggest social problems and the struggle of his generation.

The latest police figures in Britain show there are currently 338 counter-terrorism-related arrests, 157 of which were linked to Syria and 56 were of people aged under 20.

TRTWorld and agencies