Under the Strengthening Resilience to Violence and Extremism (STRIVE) programme, the EU has launched a number of Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (P/CVE) specific actions around the world aimed to facilitate innovative P/CVE projects in collaboration with local communities and to strengthen conditions conducive to development, and resilience towards violent extremism. STRIVE actions call for efforts in this area to be evidence-based, tailored according to the local context, and adopting a multi-disciplinary approach. These aspects have been considered in the design of STRIVE Juvenile. Similar to other EU STRIVE initiatives, STRIVE Juvenile will also seek to develop further knowledge throughout implementation to facilitate learning of this complex and challenging domain, and to ensure that the taken steps are coherent with other endeavours and interventions.
From a substantive stand-point, UNODC and its Global Programme to End Violence Against Children past five years of technical assistance in the area of prevention and response to violence against children recruited and exploited by terrorist and violent extremist groups are enshrined in UNODC’s publications and policy-guidance, including the 2017 UNODC Handbook, its three complementary Training Manuals and the UNODC Roadmap on the Treatment of Children Associated with Terrorist and Violent Extremist Groups.
From an operational standpoint, UNODC’s learning process has crucially informed the development of the eligibility criteria for the selection of partner countries (Indonesias, Iraq and Nigeria) in order to enhance effectiveness and sustainability of the foreseen action. In addition, building on the Office’s comparative advantage of holding a dual mandate in counter-terrorism and violence against children, UNODC will pursue a multidisciplinarity approach as a key feature of the project's design and implementation and will promote evidence-based policy making, child-sensitive and gender-sensitive interventions.
Given its dual mandate and its experience under its Global Programme to End Violence Against Children in promoting common approach and coherent strategies to better serve and protect children against violent extremism agendas, UNODC is uniquely positioned to support partner countries in their efforts to provide comprehensive responses to the complex challenges raised by children’s recruitment and exploitation by terrorist and violent extremist groups.
As executing agency, the Office has designed and will implement STRIVE Juvenile targeted, innovative, and demand-driven interventions, including effective strategy and policy development, legislative review and harmonization, capability development, and regional and trans-regional cooperation, which aim to ultimately achieve:
1) Improved government strategies, policies and mechanisms related to child recruitment and exploitation by terrorist groups through:
2) Increased resilience of vulnerable children against terrorist groups agendas through:
UNODC will incorporate human rights and advocate for a child-, gender-sensitive/gender-mainstreaming approach in all capacity building activities as an integral part of the UNODC approach addressing the treatment of children associated with terrorist and violent extremist groups. At the core of this approach, there is the principle that preserving public safety and protecting child rights are two complementary objectives to be pursued concomitantly with the aim of achieving peace and security.
STRIVE Juvenile Nigeria 1st RoundTable & Steering Committee Meeting led by the Office of the National Security Adviser... read more
Launch of STRIVE Juvenile in Iraq to combat terrorist and violent extremism recruitment and exploitation of children... read more
1st STRIVE Juvenile Project Coordination Meeting in Indonesia led by the National Counter-Terrorism Agency (BNPT) and co-chaired by the EU and UNODC... read more
Presentation of STRIVE Juvenile during the 30th CCPCJ Special Event on the 'UNODC Roadmap', which gathers high-level speakers from partner countries... read moreNewsroom
Enhance global awareness over the phenomenon - Activities aim to generate a body of knowledge and analysis of the phenomenon of child recruitment and exploitation by terrorist and violent extremist groups, as well as promote evidence-based and participative policy-making and programme implementation.
- Activity 1: Develop data collection mechanisms, including surveys and identify sex-disaggregated SMART indicators for evaluation of the legal and policy framework and practices related to child recruitment and exploitation.
- Activity 2: Conduct research and studies on child recruitment and related legal and policy-framework in the selected partner countries.
- Activity 3: Provide assistance to local authorities and communities in carrying out outreach activities towards the population.
- Activity 4: Organize seminars and conferences to present and disseminate the findings of research studies concerning this phenomenon and the governmental responses.
Review of legal and policy framework - Ensure compliance with international law and design strategies and measures that effectively prevent and respond to child recruitment and exploitation by terrorist and violent extremist groups. Technical assistance and expertize will also be provided to ensure that the rights of children, whether as victims and witnesses, or as alleged offenders, are duly taken into account.
- Activity 1: Review of legal and policy framework in partner countries is undertaken to assess compliance with international law (including through the organization of national and local consultations promoting a participatory approach).
Activity 2: Elaboration of recommendations for revision/strengthening of legal and policy framework in the area of prevention of child recruitment; rehabilitation and reintegration of children recruited and exploited by terrorist and violent extremist groups; and justice for children in the context of counter-terrorism.
- Activity 3: Development assistance on policies, standards, procedures and guidelines, e.g. for judicial actors on conducting proceedings involving children alleged of having committed terrorism-related offences.
- Activity 4: Support the development of protection measures for children in contact with the law, as victims, witnesses, and/or alleged offenders.
Increase capacity of professionals on strategies and measures - Train and build capacity for highly skilled professionals (e.g. judicial authorities, social workers, intelligence service actors, personnel from detention facilities for children, etc.) in a way that enhances national ownership towards training efforts and partnerships with national training institutions. From the development and strategic planning of prevention of child recruitment to the adequate treatment of children with a view to promoting their rehabilitation and reintegration, as well as the detection, investigation, and punishment of child recruiters in full respect of rule of law principles and child rights standards, the project will focus on strengthening the capacity of practitioners through the development of training curricula, training manuals, training of trainers and the design of cost-effective methods and tools for conducting training activities.
- Activity 1: Development of training tools fitting national priorities and context in partner countries in partnership with national training institutions.
- Activity 2: Delivery of 'training-of-trainers' sessions to empower local professionals/ trainers and ensure multiplier effect of training initiatives.
- Activity 3: Delivery of training workshops adapted to national priorities and context in partner countries.
Increase capacity of children and their environment to resist recruitment attempts and to successfully reintegrate into society - Children can become agents of change within their own lives and communities. Resilience of children is favoured by a protective environment framework, which requires that professionals from different sectors work effectively together in a way that ensures the appropriate protection of children and supports prevention of secondary victimization. This requires the development/strengthening of appropriate coordination and cooperation mechanisms. Appropriate actions in this area will depend on national and local contexts and priorities and could include networks of professionals; multidisciplinary units; referral mechanisms; focal point reference systems; and platforms for dialogue and cooperation between governmental and non-governmental actors.
- Activity 1: Assistance to rehabilitative and reintegrative family- and community-based activities targeting children recruited and exploited by terrorist groups, including child returnees.
- Activity 2: Support to alternative conflict resolution and restorative practices involving, where appropriate, children, their families and local community members.
- Activity 3: Development of mentorship programmes in partnership with local communities.
- Activity 4: Assistance for the creation/improvement of multi-agency units dealing with the issue of child recruitment and exploitation by terrorist groups.
- Activity 5: Provision of support to referral mechanisms.
- Activity 6: Provision of expertise for the elaboration of information sharing protocols across different national agencies and bodies.
- Activity 7: Programmes of psychosocial support to professionals dealing with children formerly associated with these groups.