Strengthening Juvenile Justice Systems in the counter-terrorism context

Community of practice


Friday, 16 March, 2018

On 21st February, Human Rights Watch published a report which denounces violations committed by Somali authorities against the rights of children with alleged ties to the Islamist armed group Al-Shabaab, including unlawful detention and prosecution as adults in military courts.

In 2016, 386 children were arrested by the security forces during operations targeting Al-Shabaab. While the government had promised to hand over captured children in security operations to the United Nations Child Protection Agency (UNICEF) for rehabilitation, it has not complied consistently, and several...

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Monday, 26 February, 2018

On 12th February the United Nations University (UNU), a UN think tank, published ‘Cradled by Conflict: Child Involvement with Armed Groups in Contemporary Conflict’, a new report based on original field research on three conflict case studies. This report argues that counter-terror efforts based on widely-held assumptions about the ideological motivations of children and youth recruited into extremist groups are unlikely to be effective, and could backfire.

“In many cases, ideology does not appear predominately responsible for driving children into armed groups, even those that are...

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Tuesday, 30 January, 2018

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) launched a new handbook on 26th January which seeks to provide coherent and consistent guidance to national authorities on the treatment of children recruited and exploited by terrorist and violent extremist groups, with emphasis on the role of the justice system. This handbook is the first United Nations publication on the topic. 

On launching the publication, the UNODC's Director of the Division for Treaty Affairs, John Brandolino, said, “The world has been forced to face the reality that terrorists and violent extremist groups...

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Report: Detention, rehabilitation, and reintegration of juveniles convicted of violent extremism offenses
Thursday, 16 November, 2017

The recently published report ‘Correcting the Course’ aims to enhance the contemporary knowledge base on the management of juvenile violent extremist offenders (JVEOs) in custody, as well as the design and implementation of effective interventions for risk reduction and rehabilitation of children. This publication was commissioned by the Australian government to the Global Center on Cooperative Security and the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT).  

The report is divided into five parts. Part one outlines several guiding principles which provide a framework for...

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UNDP study examines the factors driving young Africans towards violent extremism
Tuesday, 7 November, 2017

Deprivation and marginalisation, underpinned by weak state governance, are the primary forces driving young Africans towards violent extremism, according to a comprehensive new study by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), presented in Brussels on the 23rd of October. The study distils the conditions and factors that shape the dynamics of the radicalisation process that leads some young Africans to join extremist groups.

Based on interviews with 495 voluntary recruits to extremist organisations such as Al-Shabaab and Boko Haram, the new study found that perceived state...

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New RAN manual tackles EU responses to the return of children involved in conflicts and exposed to terrorist violence
Friday, 1 September, 2017

The Radicalisation Awareness Network Centre of Excellence (RAN CoE) has recently published a manual with practitioners’ recommendations for EU Member States on how to handle the return of terrorist fighters to their home countries. The manual provides background knowledge on terrorist returnees and concrete examples of how the issue is already being handled across Europe. It includes sections dedicated to the cases of children who have been involved in conflicts and exposed to terrorist violence. 

Many of these children have suffered intense ideological indoctrination, have been...

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