Tadamun works together with Defense for Children International Palestine (DCIP) and other partners for a safe and just future for Palestinian children.

Tadamun means solidarity in Arabic.

Tadamun Foundation is based in Leiden, Holland and was created to support the work and the mission of DCIP.

Professor Karin Arts is the chair of the board. The other board members of the Tadamun Foundation are Jeff Handmaker (secretary), Harry Derksen (treasurer), Benoit van Keirsbilck, Khaled Quzmar, Rifat Kassis and Aloys van Rest. Mieke Zagt is the director of Tadamun.

Children in situations of armed conflict are vulnerable and often the victims of situations in which they are not responsible. In 2014, Palestine became party to the International Convention on the Rights of the Children. Despite the fact that many provisions of this Convention are binding upon Israel, many Palestinian children live in fear and experience numerous violations of their rights.

Within the West Bank, the Israeli military is both lord and master and frequently arrests suspected persons, including children, usually on the basis of secret evidence. The Palestinian Authority looks on, fully aware that it can do very little to stop this. More than half of the children arrested by the Israeli military experience various forms of cruel and inhuman treatment, including blindfolds, sleep deprivation and shackling. The treatment by the Palestinian police of juvenile arrested persons is also not always in accordance with the law.

It is not unusual for arrested Palestinian children to be transferred to a prison inside Israel. This is illegal according to international humanitarian law. The children do not speak Hebrew and their parents face great difficulties in visiting their children, if they are able to at all. It is well known to lawyers, doctors and human rights organisations that suspected persons are treated badly during Israeli interrogations, involving both physical abuses and psychological pressure. Therefore, the presence of parents and their ability to be heard and/or their lawyer to be heard, as well as the recording of such interrogations is very important. But parents rarely gain permission to travel to travel outside of the West Bank and are therefore compelled to leave behind their children to face their situation alone. Defense for Children employs experienced and capable lawyers who are able to advise children and their parents, and to inform them of their situation.

DCIP also documents these practices and brings matters to the attention of the authorities.

Rifat Kassis, founder of Defense for Children International Palestine stated in an interview with Adri Nieuwhof, at the time of the war in Gaza in 2012: “As I often reflect during my work with DCI-Palestine, these practises do not just affect Palestinian children. Rather, they also affect the Israeli soldiers themselves, as well as Israeli society at large: at the end of the day, these soldiers will return home and deal with their own children or their own siblings as changed men and women”.

In 2013, a group of Dutch experts travelled to the Palestinian territories in order to deepen their understanding of the problems faced by Palestinian children in Israeli military detention. Karin Arts, chair of the Tadamun Foundation, formed part of this delegation. Here you can find the expert group’s report of 2014, which contains recommendations addressed to the Israeli government aimed at respecting children’s rights.

In February 2015, Unicef established that the poor treatment of Palestinian children in Israeli detention was both widespread and systematic, despite changes made in the Israeli law.

An occupation cannot offer a frame for justice, says Khaled Quzmar.

Mieke Zagt, Director of Tadamun, spoke with Khaled Quzmar, Director of Defence for Children International-Palestine (DCIP) based on the DCIP Report “No Way to Treat a Child”(2016).The occupation of the Palestinian territories has lasted for decades; generations have grown up under Israeli occupation. Defence for Children International-Palestine (DCIP) notes that more and more Palestinian children are becoming victims. Please read the Interview Khaled Quzmar here.

Who profits from the occupation?

In addition to the Israeli government, which has overseen the occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and Golan territories since 1967, there are many other actors that maintain the occupation. These include companies and others who profit from the situation. There are also people who are complicit in Israel’s violations, either by extending direct assistance or privileges, including access to cheap land and water resources.

Join us

Will you join on a journey for children’s rights?

Will you share your ideas about a creative campaign for Palestinian children’s rights? Tadamun seeks creative persons, IT experts, engineers, young professionals, journalists, artists, future philosophers, biologists, lawyers and mathematicians with political leanings, nurses, photographers, fire(wo)men, all talents are welcome! People who are willing to think with us on different means and ways of supporting Palestinian children and stimulating awareness to a broader public, you are all welcome!

Send an email with your ideas for a campaign to info@tadamun.nl or use the registration form below.

We will select the best ideas and invite selected persons for an orientation session.

brief_mohammed-smallFrom the Subjective Atlas 2007, pages 128 and 129, Letter of Mohammed to his mother.

My dear parents, peace be upon you, I am well. Do not worry about me. I have lost a little weight in prison, but I am in good health. The prison is another world. I miss you a lot and I know how hard it is to hold a strike against visitations. We are working towards better conditions for visitations; we will make great efforts to be allowed to touch your fingers through the windows.

Mom, I want to tell you something but please do not say that your son has gone crazy. Seven days ago, I befriended two cockroaches. I play with them and spend my time in between reading or watching them. I have kept them in a small box and everyday I feed them a pinch of sugar. One is black and the other is brown. I might wed them when they grow up. I let them out of the box a few hours every day.

My greetings to all, Mom
Your son Mohammed

Support Tadamun with a donation

Donations will directly support the work of DCI Palestine, and its work on Palestinian children’s rights through legal assistance, human rights reporting and the development and implementation of advocacy campaigns, and in order to given Palestinian children a voice.


Do you want to be a Tadamun volunteer?

Send your motivation and CV to: info@tadamun.nl

If you are selected, we will invite you for an in-house or on-line course in children’s rights. On the basis of this training and your campaign ideas from the create-trip, we will get to work for Palestinian children’s rights.