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RAN PREVENT

RAN PREVENT is the working group on early interventions to prevent violent extremism.

Objective

RAN PREVENT brings together front line practitioners working ‘on the ground’ with vulnerable people (under the age of 26) who can get involved in extremist behaviour and political violence.

Tasks

The tasks of the RAN PREVENT working group are:

  • A document with good practice and interventions;
  • An e-learning facility where relevant actors can gather information, ask questions and start discussions;
  • One conference to disseminate learning;
  • 5 Workshops with practitioners, between September 2012 and December 2013;
  • A compilation of the most serious extremist violent actions in the participating countries and collecting the best available data possible on violent extremism among the youth.

Strategy

Aim to discover any successful standard processes in working with vulnerable groups and see if these can be used in other European countries as well.

Working Group updates

  • On 13-14 February 2014 in Prague, RAN PREVENT organised a meeting on hate crime, violent groups and prevention of violent extremism on a local level titled ‘From hate to violence’. There was a special focus on developments in the Central-Eastern Europe. Important insights from the meeting were the apparent lack of data on hate speech and hate crime (especially on the perpetrator side) in Europe and its evidence-based link to violent extremism. Also, throughout Europe, it can be observed that the extreme is becoming the mainstream through the use and ‘silent’ acceptance of hate speech and hate crime. Recognizing and countering hate speech and hate crime as well as enhancing the development of critical thinking and democratic values are key elements in preventing violent extremism.
  • On 19-20 November 2013, RAN PREVENT organised a small-scale study visit to the newest Member State – Croatia, to discuss prevention of radicalisation in postconflict areas. The meeting was attended by some 11 participants from the Balkans, Northern-Ireland and Spain. Discussion focused on the specifics of post-conflict areas with regard to preventing radicalisation and violent extremism. An important point was raised that it is the violence that has stopped in these regions, not necessarily the conflict. Therefore, when it comes to prevention, attention needs to be paid to the sources of continuous conflict (trauma’s, grievances, vulnerable societies etc.) and how these are passed on through generations. Dialogue and reconciliation work with trained and credible mediators, positive leadership, strong Civil Society that feeds bottom-up initiatives and sensitization to mental health care/trauma work came forward as important instruments to prevent future violence and extremism in post-violent conflict areas.

Older updates

  • On 16-17 September RAN INT/EXT held a meeting in cooperation with RAN PREVENT on community engagement and working with families in relation to foreign fighters to Syria. The meeting took place in Antwerp and was attended by some 48 practitioners. The focus of the meeting was to share experiences between practitioners who engage with (diaspora) communities and/or work with families of radicalised individuals or foreign fighters with the aim of extracting lessons on both the practitioner and policy level. Some of the key factors in good practices that came forward were:
    • Match objectives with interventions tailored to the specific context;
    • Building trust is essential, work with existing networks/ relationships;
    • Use facilitators/ key figures that speak the language (literally and metaphorically) for outreach purposes;
    • Developing community engagement through coordinated multi-agency efforts. These and more conclusions of the meeting are brought together in the Declaration of Good Practices with Foreign Fighters for Prevention, Outreach, Rehabilitation and Reintegration.
  • On 13-14 June 2013, RAN PREVENT met in Berlin to discuss how to win the ‘hearts and minds’ of people at risk of being radicalised, with a special focus on Islamist extremism and far right extremism. The meeting was attended by some 20 practitioners. An exploration of the ‘spectrum of intervention’ consisted of introducing and discussing theoretical models in this field. It was concluded that there are no undisputed comprehensive models from a practitioner view, but they do help to understand and talk about radicalisation processes. Multiple practitioners and formers presented their initiatives to prevent radicalisation such as:
    • Upstanding Neighbourhoods: peer education approach as a method of providing a given neighbourhood with the tools to challenge extremist ideology.
    • Cypher A.D. 7: counter narrative film to influence young Muslims.
    • VAJA: Acceptance-based youth work with right wing orientated groups.
    • Haver: to promote social cohesion and minimising anti-Semitism through training and education programmes
  • One of the important aspects within the discussions was the relationship between government and community actors/NGO’s and the necessity of trust to make this relationship effective to prevent radicalisation.
  • On 11-12 April 2013, RAN PREVENT held its working group meeting in Athens, with some 40 attendees. A group of Greek professionals was invited to share their perspectives and experiences on preventing violent extremism in Greece. The role of educational projects throughout the EU was also discussed, and some promising practices were presented, such as BookFace (a Facebook duplicate specifically made to help teachers at secondary schools start discussions on violent extremism).
  • RAN PREVENT had its first meeting on 13-14 September 2012 in Budapest. Some 20 attendees exchanged promising practices. The significant contribution of former radicals to prevent others from radicalising was explored. There was discussion on the need of cooperation between practitioners with expertise on prevention on the one hand, and key persons/practitioners in communities at risk on the other hand.
  • RAN PREVENT policy recommendations   [289 KB] for the High Level Conference on January 29th 2013

Contact

Working Group leaders:

  • Kelly Simcock (United Kingdom)
  • Péter Krekó (Hungary)

Secretariat:

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