About us

The Rights Forum is a Netherlands-based NGO, founded by former Dutch Prime Minister Andreas van Agt. Our foundation was established on 10 December 2009, the International Day of Human Rights.

We promote a right-based policy of the Dutch government and the European Union with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A selection of our activities:

EU Report on Settler Violence
On 5 April 2012, we published an internal EU report about settler violence. As the only country of the EU, the Netherlands blocked this report by means of a “general reserve”. Publication of the report was considered in the interests of an open and thorough public debate about the consequences of Dutch Middle East policy.

► To the report


In 2010 and 2011 The Rights Forum conducted fact-finding missions to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.

2011 Fact-finding mission to Gaza
A delegation of The Rights Forum visited the occupied Gaza Strip from 3 to 7 October 2011. The objective of the trip was to establish facts and circumstances that constitute serious violations of the human rights of the people of Gaza, that damage the humanitarian situation and the economy in Gaza and that pose a threat to the prospects of a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians. 

The Rights Forum visited Gaza as an independent delegation. The visit was facilitated by the UN organisations UNRWA and OCHA and the Palestinian human rights organization al-Mezan. 

While in the Gaza Strip, the delegation had talks with senior officials of the UN organisations UNRWA, OCHA, OHCHR and UNDP, experts from human rights and development organisations, academics and representatives of the private sector.

► Findings and conclusions of the delegation

2010 Fact-finding mission to Israel and West Bank
From 23 to 29 May 2010, a delegation of members of the board and the advisory board of The Rights Forum visited Israel, East Jerusalem and the West Bank. The purpose of the mission was to gather information on developments in the peace process and the human rights situation. In this context, the delegation met with Israeli and Palestinian human rights organizations and visited places where severe violations of international law are being committed. In addition, the delegation received presentations from the UN organization OCHA and a leading Israeli human rights lawyer and met with Avraham Burg, former chairman of the Knesset, the Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organisation.

► Findings and conclusions of the delegation


Members of the board and advisory council of The Rights Forum have signed and supported statements by former leaders to European governments.

Letter by former Leaders to European Ministers of Foreign Affairs calling for implementation of EU-guidelines
Press release, September 18, 2013

Letter by former Leaders to European governments calling for recognition of Palestinian state
Press release, August 11, 2011

Letter by former European Leaders on the Middle East Peace Process
Press release, December 10, 2010