Engaging Civil Society Actors in the Rehabilitation & Reintegration of Violent Extremist Offenders and Returning Foreign Terrorist Fighters
(Pour le synopsis en français cliquez ici)
Promoting the rehabilitation and reintegration of violent extremist offenders (VEOs) is a critical component of addressing the full lifecycle of violent extremist radicalisation and recruitment. Amid growing numbers of returning foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) and the active prosecution of suspected terrorists in general, the need to support the rehabilitation and reintegration of VEOs after imprisonment in order to optimise the chance that societies accept reintegratees and minimise the risk of recidivism has gained further significance and international traction. In recognition of the invaluable contributions that civil society organisations (CSOs) and community actors offer to programs aimed at preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE), as reinforced in the UN Secretary-General’s “Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism” of December 2015, it is vital that government agencies and frontline practitioners engage these stakeholders in the effective rehabilitation and reintegration efforts of VEOs and FTFs.
Non-governmental organisations, actors at the community level (such as religious leaders, family members, social workers, victims organised in groups, students, teachers, etc.), the private sector, and the media can and should play key roles in different stages of the rehabilitation and reintegration of VEOs and FTFs. Despite early efforts to include such actors into comprehensive and holistic rehabilitation and reintegration processes, the experience and capacity of such actors, as well as governments’ willingness to integrate this group of stakeholders, varies across and between different countries and sub-regions.
About this Project
This 24-month initiative is implemented in conjunction with the Global Center on Cooperative Security (Global Center) and several sub-regional partners. It is aimed at strengthening the networks, capacity, and readiness of CSOs and community leaders to support the rehabilitation and reintegration of terrorism offenders who have been released from custody, as well as returned FTFs, including via cooperation with governmental actors such as law enforcement and prison services. Funded by the U.S. Department of State, the project will focus on three sub-regions: The Sahel-Maghreb, the Greater Horn of Africa, and Southeast Asia.
The initiative consists of two core components. The first focuses on three concurrent sub-regional processes that bring together key government, law enforcement, and civil society stakeholders to:
- Conduct national and sub-regional assessments of relevant existing policies, programs, and actors, as well as gaps and obstacles in relation to the role of civil society actors in the rehabilitation and reintegration of VEOs and returning FTFs; and
- Develop an action agenda with concrete programming ideas and policy recommendations tailored to each sub-region, building on both local and international good practices including the Global Counterterrorism Forum’s “Rome Memorandum on Good Practices for Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Violent Extremist Offenders” and the work of its Detention and Reintegration Working Group.
The development of the action agenda will run parallel to the second key component of this initiative: a series of pilot activities across the three sub-regions that aim to inform the action agenda in the early stages of the project, and to further disseminate and implement several of its recommendations in the later stages. Several calls for proposals will be published to invite non-governmental actors from specific regions to apply for small grants to enhance their capacity and technical expertise in rehabilitating and reintegrating VEOs and FTFs, the implementation of which will be closely supported and monitored by the project partners.
The development of the action agenda will run parallel to the second key component of this initiative: a series of pilot activities across the three sub-regions that aim to inform the action agenda in the early stages of the project, and to further disseminate and implement several of its recommendations in the later stages. Through the provision of small grants, a range of local organisations will be supported to enhance their capacity and technical expertise in order to translate the recommendations into concrete actions.
For more information and to apply, please download the Calls for Proposals:
For South East Asia, please read the Call for Proposals in English (South East Asia Call).
For the Horn of Africa region, please read the Call for Proposals in English (Horn of Africa Call).
- Reintegrating Violent Extremist Offenders: Policy Questions and Lessons Learned
- Pathways of Foreign Fighters: Policy Options and Their (Un)Intended Consequences
- Engaging Civil Society in Countering Violent Extremism