South and South-East Asia: Preventing and countering violent extremism as and when conducive to terrorism

In June and July 2018, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime's Terrorism Prevention Branch (UNODC/TPB) implemented two cross-regional workshops for South and South-East Asian countries on preventing and countering violent extremism leading to terrorism (P/CVE), funded by the government of Japan.

UNODC/TPB held the first of the two workshops on preventing violent extremism leading to terrorism through rule of law-based criminal justice approaches and a promotion of lawfulness in Tokyo on 25-28 June 2018. The event was hosted at Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The workshop gathered participants from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Maldives, Pakistan, Philippines and Sri Lanka, who work in roles related to counter-terrorism investigation, prosecution, the judiciary, corrections, and education.

The workshop programme featured lecture and discussion sessions concerning P/CVE issues, with case studies coming from Japan's experience of the Aum Shinrikyo sarin gas attack; disengagement and reintegration of members of organized crime groups; and community policing through the neighbourhood police box system. In addition, study visits to a primary-junior high school, probation facilities, and juvenile prisons illustrated how programmes were designed to instil attitudes of personal and social responsibility with the ultimate goal of building a culture of respect for the rule of law.

UNODC/TPB co-organized the second workshop on strengthening the national and regional legal frameworks and networks for preventing and countering violent extremism leading to terrorism in Kuala Lumpur on 10-12 July 2018, with the Southeast Asia Regional Centre for Counter-Terrorism. Experts from government, civil society, and the private sector promoted the "whole of society and whole of government" perspective in addressing violent extremism as and when conducive to terrorism. Relying on the discussions and outcomes of this workshop, UNODC/TPB will design and implement a coordination network to link PVE focal points in the South Asia and South-East Asia regions.