UNODC Programme for Central Asia contributes to prevention of violent extremism in prisons

Violent extremism is a complex phenomenon and in different places of the world is triggered by a unique set of interlinked global, regional and national factors. Choices to join extremist organizations are often individual, however multiple push and pull of factors heavily influence these decisions. The response to extremism threats calls for comprehensive approach, with the scaled-up and effective cooperation between national, regional and international-level actors in framing response strategies that reflect human rights-based measures to address socio-economic, legal and institutional factors contributing to the spread of violent narratives and ideologies.

Conference on "Countering Terrorism and Preventing Violent Extremism" organized by the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan jointly with the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the European Union gathered more than 400 participants from 50 countries and 30 international organizations in Dushanbe on 3-4 May 2018. Foreign ministers, high-level representatives of agencies, diplomatic corps and development partners, civil society, research and scientific institutions attended the event.

H.E. Mr. Emomali Rahmon, the President of the Republic of Tajikistan addressed the Conference and emphasized that "poverty, unemployment, low level of literacy and social protection of population are among the factors urging people to go into violent ideas to seek for social justice". He also added that "it is impossible to win the terrorism and extremism through military actions only. In this process, it is very important to constantly focus on the social aspects of the growth of this phenomenon."

The main objectives of the conference included:

  • creating a common understanding of current challenges and obstacles in the implementation of the UNGCTS in the region and globally;
  • exploring opportunities for strengthening partnership and cooperation at national, regional and international levels on combatting terrorism and violent extremism;
  • sharing opportunities and challenges of Tajikistan's National Counter-Terrorism Strategy implementation;
  • identifying trends and challenges of radicalization and the role of youth, ideology and information in preventing and combating violent extremism leading to terrorism;
  • exchanging experiences in countering terrorism and preventing violent extremism with a focus on Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTF) threat prevention;
  • stock-taking of domestic and regional mechanisms to counter terrorism and prevent violent extremism and radicalization that lead to terrorism;
  • and strengthening cooperation against cyber-terrorism and developing directives/guidelines for countering violent extremism in cyber-space.

Field experiences of the UN system and EU in providing support to prevention of violent extremism were discussed in the separate side-events.

The UN-led event served as a platform to share the UN experience, products and tools to support countries in preventing violent extremism. Thus, the UN experts shared evidences from the global research on PVE, and presented UN tools, knowledge products, approaches and programmes that support prevention of violent extremism.

Ms. Vera Tkachenko, International Manager of the UNODC Programme for Central Asia in the field of crime prevention, criminal justice and integrity presented UNODC Handbook on the Management of Violent Extremist Prisoners and the Prevention of Radicalization to Violence in Prisons, which constitutes the first technical guidance tool to address the manifestation of radicalization to violence and violent extremism in prison settings at the level of the United Nations. She emphasized that UNODC promotes an approach aimed at strengthening key components of prison management, including in the fields of prison staff training, risk management and rehabilitation efforts and cautioned against generalised assumptions regarding a very complex topic, as well as against "quick fix solutions" when it comes to the management of violent extremist prisoners. In this regard, she highlighted the need to closely embed any intervention targeting violent extremist prisoners in broader prison reform efforts.

The conference was concluded with the Declaration.

For more information

Please, contact Ms. Nafisa Abdullaeva, National Project Officer

E-mail: nafisa.abdullaeva[at]

Tel.: (+998 71) 120 80 50