‘Allies’ is an approach developed by the Dutch Police to build trust between the police, the municipality and communities. Representatives from the police, the municipality and the local communities meet five times a year. The representatives from the community are not professionals, but mainly citizens that are active within their local community. The participants have dinner together, discuss topics related to local security, such as radicalization, polarization, nuisance and poverty, and agree on concrete actions to be taken together.
In order to build trust the following lessons can be drawn from the ‘allies’ approach:
The methodology Bridging aims to improve the relationship and communication between parents and children with a Moroccan background. With the help of this methodology sons and their fathers and daughters and their mothers discuss topics related to parenting and religion. The approach consists of a separate meeting for youngsters, a separate meeting for parents and a meeting for youngsters and parents. In these meetings the following topics are discussed: communication about parenting, religion, social control, de position of women, the role of the mosque and values and norms of a democratic society. Different tools have been used during these discussion meetings, e.g. showing a short film, playing a quiz, watching a performance or having a debate. The ultimate aim is to prevent radicalization of youngsters with a Muslim background. By enabling parents to help youngsters in their search for identity and meaning youngsters can be made more resilient against extremist ideologies. Open and supporting communication is an important factor in preventing and countering radicalization. Bridging is designed for children from the age of 15.
Example of conversation during a discussion meeting:
Question: What would you do differently and similar to your father once you become a father?
Son: I would talk more, explain more and educate more during puberty.
Question: And if you child is still small, would you also get up in the middle of the night and change his diaper?
Son: Yes. You have to follow your child from 0 till 18. Give it more attention. Go with him to football.
Question: What would you do similar to your father?
Son: Religion, taking responsibility, working hard. Not doing bad things.
DIAMANT is a training provided by certified trainers with an educational background to youngsters with a Muslim background that are vulnerable to radicalization or delinquency. The training aims to increase the confidence of youngsters, to build a positive identity and make youngsters more resilient against extremism and criminality. The trainings are given to a group of youngsters. The youngsters receive individual coaching on the side. The training consist of three components. The first component focuses on developing a positive identity and accepting people that have other beliefs than the youngster. The second component focuses on increasing the ability of the youngster to think and make decisions independently. The third component focuses on the ability to solve conflicts and deal with negative emotions and feelings of being treated unjust. The trainers make use of multiple methods, such a role play and counter-narratives. The training is completed by organizing a group activity in which the participants bring their developed skills into practice. They for instance give a presentation to an audience or organize a group discussion with representatives from the municipality.
Example of an assignments:
This activity is a “change of the game” for dealing with right-wing demonstrations: Neo-Nazi demonstrations are accompanied by posters and banners, which thank the participants for their donations to an initiative, which supports those who would like to exit the right-wing environment. The Neo-Nazis become involuntary donors against their own cause –donations for the marchgo to a project, which works against extremist ideologies and which is defined before the action.
1) Centre for the defence against the islamist sectarian abuse(Centre de protection contre les dérivessectairesliées à l’Islam - C.P.D.S.I.): created inApril 2014by the C.I.P.Dand the French Home Office, theC.P.D.S.Ihas constituteda multidisciplinaryworking teamand collaborates with expert teams fromtheMIVILUDESandspecialists from several fields such as psychiatrists, crisis management experts, association networks, professionals from the anti-terrorism and territorial vigilance department, professionals form public and private education services, administration and judicial authorities.
The Centre’s position is focused on a psychosocial approach which consists in questioning the recruitment mechanisms and the background conditions in which this recruitment has been able to propel young people into radicalization.
Its research method is based on:
Most recently, the Centre has carried out the following activities:
–Design of the first study report on the new radical ideological recruitment speech
– Realisation of counternarration videosabout thedeconstruction of mental manipulation mechanisms ofradical Islam;
– Reception, assistance and social work with more than, 200 families who have some of the family unit displaced or deceased in conflict areas (e.g. Irak or Syria) all other the French territory;
– Training onwarning indicators andtheideological recruitment process addressed to the professionals from the public administration departmentsin the frame of the National Plan against Radicalisation and the green nº of the Home Officeplatform.
2)The Parents’ Consultation,Support and Assistance Network(Réseauxd’écoute, d’appui et d’accompagnement des parents – REAAP):created by the French government through the National Families Allowance Fund (CaisseNationale des Allocations Familiales – CNAF), it has been given the objective to reach 3 upon 10 families by 2017.
The REAAP main objective is to assist parents in practicing their parental role on the basis of their know-how and resources.
The mobilization of the REAAP around the prevention of radicalization can cover, for example, the following actions:
Fighting for peace trains community leaders within Muslim communities in organizing and leading small scale dialogue events on the topic of radicalization. These community leaders can be both formal and informal leaders. An example of such community leaders are for instance an imam or a volunteer working at a community center. A prerequisite is that these community leaders are trusted by the community. The training focuses both on transferring knowledge on the topic of radicalization, extremism and resilience as on sharing experiences between participants. After having received training community leaders organize small scale dialogue events for youngsters and/or parents within the Muslim communities. The goal of these events is to contribute to strengthening the resilience of the community against extremism. Topics that are discussed are for instance: feeling part of society, dealing with injustice or the communication between parents and children. Fighting for peace has experienced that by discussing these topics communities have become more open towards discussing the issue of radicalization and take an active stance in countering radicalization.
Examples of questions that are discussed are the following:
Force of Fathers is a project that aims to contribute to the positive development of children by strengthening and improving the father-child relationship. Sub-goals of the project are the prevention of radicalization, improving the connection of migrant families to society and increasing the social network of fathers. Participants in the project are fathers with a Moroccan or Somali background, but the intervention is also suitable for fathers with another migrant background. Force of Fathers consists of several meetings with a focus on parenting and fatherhood. Fathers talk with other fathers about fatherhood, the development of their children and the relationship with their children. During the meetings the fathers are informed about parenting and receive training in parenting skills. Topics as discrimination and radicalization are also being discussed during these meetings. In addition to the meetings with other fathers, fathers and children undertake activities together. They for instance play football together. A distinction is made between a group of fathers that have children that go to primary school and a group of fathers with children between 12 and 15 years old.
In the Fortress of Democracy youngsters between the ages 14 and 25 first watch an introductory movie on democracy and democratic values. Afterwards they work in pairs on assignments which they face while walking through the exhibition rooms. The interactive exhibition covers different social issues with the aim to challenge the beliefs and perspectives of youngsters. The youngsters are asked to note down their beliefs. At the end of the exhibition the youngsters receive feedback on the extent to which their beliefs are in correspondence with the constitution.
Youngsters see pictures of refugees from four different time periods (1914, 1944, 1994 and 2014). They are tasked with placing the corresponding luggage to the different types of refugees. While the youngsters are fulfilling this task they are confronted with ten arguments in favour and against sheltering refugees in their own neighbourhood. Youngsters are then asked to formulate their opinion on this issue.
Several videos deal with terms often used in current discussions of radicalisation, like islamism, salafism, jihad, caliphate, sunna. In the videos these terms are explained and discussed with young people.
This is an exercise which shows how to cope with hate comments on the Internet and turn them into online donations for refugee projects and exit projects for extremists.
The Helpline Radicalisation is an independent Helpline that offers advice and support to parents and family members that are concerned about a family member that is (possibly) radicalizing. The Helpline offers support by phone and in case additional support is needed it appoints a confidential mediator. The Helpline also organizes meetings to increase the awareness and knowledge on radicalization among communities. In addition the Helpline organizes peer meetings for family members of foreign terrorist fighters.
The Helpline lowers the threshold for parents or family members to seek help by remaining independent (the Helpline has no connection to any governmental institution) and by appointing confidential mediators with similar backgrounds as those who are looking for support. The confidential mediators are volunteers that support parents or family members in their search for a solution. The Helpline matches these mediators with the parent or family member on basis of a similar ethnic background, gender and place of residence. The aim is to build trust between the mediator and parent or family member as soon as possible.
The approach consists of a lesson to high school students on the news on Islamic State (IS). The lesson consists of the following:
Advice for the trainer:
Disadvantaged youth need self-esteem in order to find their place in society. The organisation of an exhibition with restored furniture – all restored and hand-crafted by the young people themselves – is an opportunity to show gained abilities and get appreciation of visitors.
Parenting against radicalisation is a training provided to mothers with a Muslim background. During the training mothers learn about the process of radicalization. They learn how to detect certain risk factors and how they can respond to these. The training consist of six sessions focusing on the following aspects: knowledge on the process of radicalization, raising awareness on the topic of radicalization and training skills needed to make children more resilient against radicalization. Mothers learn for instance how they can communicate openly with their children and how they can critically question the information children gather from the internet or from the streets. In order to enhance trust between the trainer and participants the trainings are provided in Arabic and are given by trainers with a Muslim background. Next to the trainings ‘Parenting against radicalization’ also invests in training parenting ambassadors: Muslim mothers that reach out to families that are difficult to reach. These mothers provide emotional support and help these families to find adequate help.
There are several formats of peer tutoring(from simplified to institutionalised) addressed to facilitate the adaptation of new youngsters arriving at a Centre. It can be applied both in formal, non-formal or informal education fields and in others Centres attending groups of young people (sport centres, Youth shelters, refugee’s asylum centres, etc.), or by changing the aim of the peer tutoring (guiding through the Centre, language immersion, cultural exchange...).
This method is composed normally by two main phases and an optional one (according to the duration of the programme).It is recommended to be carried out in the long term (during a scholar course for example) even it can also be adapted and implemented for a short period of time (at the beginning of the scholar course for example).
Phase 1: Presentation and Young tutor´s training
The Presentation and registrationis usually organisedat the end of the scholar course for the incorporation of the young tutors at the beginning of the next course.The first step consists inintroducingthe debate by focusing on the first arrival memoriesof the young tutors (what did they feel, see, who did they met and which difficulties did they had to face), followed by apresentation of the peer tutoring programme and the motivationof the young group to take part as tutors to help other young newcomers (some days of reflection are usually given before applying to the programme).
Afterwardsthey are informed on the tutor’s functions and receive the necessary information about the Centre. The first part of the training consists in working on tutors’motivation and expectation: Why do they want to be/act as young tutors? What a young tutor is? What are the functions a young tutor has to carry out?
Further on, young tutors are normally trainedonthe in specific goals of the programme (e.g. to know the Centre and its rules) as well as non-violence and equal opportunities (e.g. bullying, gender violence among others) (see Video from the Peer tutoring programme (TEI).To know more about this programme addressed to bullying, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1W2De8urAQo(in spanish).
Training complexity and young tutor's responsabilities can be adapted according to the available resources and needs of each centre.
Tutor's assignment can be random or according to the skills of each of them, depending on the groups' characteristics.
Phase 2: Welcome between Young tutors and newcomers. Once created the young tutors group, they are assigned to the newcomers. A pathway including ice breaker energizer exercises is often organised to show the structure of the centre to the newcomers and introduce them to the programme and general goals.
(optional) Phase 3: Following and closure.
During the programme, frequent meetings in group among professionals and young people are planned to clarify doubts and help peer tutors in organising peer-to-peer actions. Trainers can establish general goals in the medium-long term or several goals over a short period according to the programme’s general objectives and the level of participation of the teenagers. Apart from these sessions, inter-courses dynamics or group activities can be prepared. Young people can also be free to organise their own informal meetings during the course (e.g. courtyard or corridors and out of class time).
At the end of the programme,it is recommended to organise a closure event to thank people for participating in this programme and reward their effort and collaboration.
Radicx is a tool that can be used to assess in a structural way whether concerns on radicalisation of a youngster should be taken serious. It requires that professionals and other relevant parties that know the concerned youngster well share their observations and information on a youngster. The purpose is to gain a full picture of the possible risks, to determine which information is still missing and what next steps should be taken.
The tool consist of the following steps:
Step 1: Discussing the case
The first step consists of sharing the concerns. Professionals and other parties involved are asked to try to be as objective as possible by only looking at the facts and visible behaviour of the youngster. The tool recommends to discuss the concerns along the following lines:
Step 2: writing down the facts and observed behavior
All professionals and other relevant parties are asked to write down the facts and behavior they have observed.
Step 3: assessing the risk and supporting factors
The professionals and other relevant parties are asked to differentiate between risk and supporting factors on basis of what they have written down on the behavior and relationships/contacts of the youngster. For example: contact of a youngster with a mentor can be a supporting factor, while problems at home can form a risk factor.
The Roadshow Freedom of Press is a program that consist of three lessons on the freedom of press for students in high school and a debate between these students and representatives from the media. As part of the program students receive a newspaper of their choice at their home address for several weeks. Part of their homework is for instance to determine which news articles they would remove from the newspaper if they were a dictator. The program is closed off by a debate between the students and a representative from the media. In the debate students get the opportunity to ask critical questions, such as: you are offending my religion, why are you doing that? The debate is also an opportunity for students to be heard by the media.
Children and youngsters are confronted with pictures of war or violence on a daily basis in the media. From the age of 6 it is no longer possible to hide shocking news from children. It is therefore important to discuss with children and youngsters what they see, to nuance the news and to provide background information. The aim of this intervention is to strengthen the resilience of youngsters against violence in the media and to help them to put what they see in perspective. Below is an example of a lesson on shocking news for high school students.
Choose a recent confrontational picture from a newspaper or moving news footage which shows violence. Show the picture or news footage to the students and ask them to respond. What do students think of this picture? Do they have difficulty with it? Why? Discuss what considerations editors have in mind when deciding to publish or not publish a certain image. Spend 10 minutes on the introduction of the lesson.
Give the students the following assignments (40 minutes):
Peaceful school is a program that consists of a series of 38 lessons that are provided for 30 minutes every week in primary school. These lessons cover the following topics:
Example of part of a lesson:
Write the word ‘respect’ on a black board, explain what it means and provide examples of people that are respected (e.g. Nelson Mandela, etc). Ask the children the following questions: What people do you respect? Why? What are the deeds or features of this respected person? Why do you respect that? Let the children ask questions to each other. Pay attention if the children treat each other with respect and mention the importance of this.
This is an exercise which shows how to get in touch directly with right-wing extremists and to generate uncertainty in the right-wing scene. It is also an example how broad discussions can be stimulated specfically in social media.
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