A whole-of-society approach to countering violent extremism

Countering violent extremism through effective criminal justice systems requires a whole-of-society approach. This demands different practicalities in different countries, yet the basic principle is applicable to all. A global framework to approach this challenge has been provided by the United Nations Secretary-General's Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism to the General Assembly. 

Conscious of this challenge and recent important developments, as well as the ongoing threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) and their cross-border travel, UNODC's Terrorism Prevention Branch held a cross-regional workshop for South and South East Asian countries. The event focused on preventing and countering violent extremism leading to terrorism through the rules of law based criminal justice approach and effective partnership with civil society actors and community, and was held in Tokyo from 11 to 14 December 2017. The workshop was hosted by the Government of Japan and consisted of 35 participants, including representatives from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Maldives and the Philippines.

Judges, prosecutors and representatives from relevant national institutions shared their experiences on national frameworks for countering violent extremism leading to terrorism. The participants also had the opportunity to learn from presentations from a number of Japanese experts. They also received training from international experts from Malaysia, the Netherlands, the Philippines and Singapore. 

The workshop was organized under the Global Project on Strengthening the Capacity of South and South East Asian Countries to Prevent and Counter Violent Extremism and FTFs through Effective Criminal Justice Responses. This project runs until the end of March 2018 and is funded by the Government of Japan.