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New report: COVID-19 has demonstrated the importance of community-led efforts to prevent violent extremism

Jakarta (Indonesia), 16 February 2021 - The Indonesia Programme Office of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has published a report that examines the impact of COVID-19 on violent extremism conducive to terrorism in Indonesia. It finds that the threat of terrorism has largely been contained during the pandemic, despite a number of exceptional challenges.

“COVID-19 has placed a strain on criminal justice institutions in Indonesia, including those dedicated to countering and prosecuting terrorism, stated Mr Collie Brown, Head of the UNODC Indonesia Programme Office. “Law enforcement, government agencies, civil society organisations and international partners have adapted using novel and innovative approaches. In many cases, these innovations have shown real promise to inform and improve future programming.”

While highlighting promising practices, the report emphasises the importance of conducting public health and recovery efforts in an inclusive, people-centred manner. The UN Secretary General’s Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism stresses that unsettled structural conditions, diminishing socioeconomic opportunities and rising inequalities tend to facilitate recruitment efforts by violent extremist organisations. The recovery to COVID-19 must be inclusive, human-centred and inclusive otherwise it will run the risk of creating such conditions in pockets of Indonesia.

The report is produced under the umbrella of the Guyub Project, a joint project by United Nations agencies in Indonesia. This Project primarily operates at the village and provincial level in East Java, with simultaneous, complimentary initiatives at the national level. The Guyub Project was launched in 2019 by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and UN Women. It is implemented through the Peace Hub, which brings together all UN agencies working on the prevention of violent extremism and counter-terrorism in Indonesia.

You can view the report in Bahasa Indonesian here:

You can view the report in English here

The Guyub Project runs until September 2021.

For more information about the Project, or the UN’s work on PVE in Indonesia, contact the Peace Hub at