After “Hawija”: The way forward for the Dutch Ministry of Defence

Following the Dutch government’s initial reluctancy to admit its involvement in the bombardment of an ISIS car bomb factory in the Iraqi town of Hawija in 2015, a group of civil society organisations, including Amnesty International, Pax and Airwars, have engaged in talks with the Dutch ministry of Defence (DoD) to review the latters’ reporting of and responding to civilian harm resulting from its military actions. The discussions held during the so called “Roadmap Session” centred around the need for more transparency, accountability, the protection of civilians and the evaluation of civilian harm in Dutch military operations.

This report contains a selection of 10 recommendations made by the consortium of NGOs to the DoD. Many of these recommendations were later incorporated into the Minister of Defence’s letter to Parliament, with which she announced several changes to Dutch civilian harm policy.
On 14 February 2023, the consortium and MoD jointly kicked off the second phase of this Roadmap process: through a series of expert exchanges, the consortium members will advise the MoD on the implementation of the policy changes that were announced last year, ultimately contributing to better protection of civilians in future conflicts and military interventions.

To read the report’s recommendations, click here.