Spring Meeting 2018

The Children of the Caliphate and International Law


  • dr. Bibi van Ginkel, LLM
    Senior research fellow, Netherlands Institute for International Relations ‘Clingendael’ and research fellow, International Centre for Counter-Terrorism, The Hague (ICCT)
  • drs. Mattie van der Molen
    Behaviourist, Dutch Council for Child Protection

Thursday 13 June 2019 at 19:00 hrs.
Room 3.60, wijnhavengebouw,
Campus The Hague, Leiden University
Turfmarkt 99, 2511 DP The Hague

With the crumbling of IS’ Caliphate new challenges have come to the surface. One such challenge that has been discussed vigorously over the past weeks and months, is what to do with the ‘Children of the Caliphate’, that is to say: the children of parents who joined IS in Iraq and Syria. What does international law say about the obligations of states in this matter and how should we assess certain governmental practices, such as those of the Netherlands, which currently does not actively repatriate Dutch children back to the Netherlands, taking into account international law, as well as other perspectives?

The focus of the evening was on:
• factual circumstances (numbers of children involved, locations where they reside, access to embassies or consulates and safety conditions – also for personnel of embassies or consulates, who might wish to go and find the children);
• the legal position, both under national and international law; and
• potential risks of the current government policy, such as the effects of exclusion, brain washing and possible traumas.