UNODC supports South and South-East Asian countries to prevent and counter violent extremism leading to terrorism

The threat of violent extremism on the terrorism landscape remains prevalent and it must be addressed vigilantly by the international community.

UNODC is well-placed to offer this support to requesting Member States as UNODC remains one of the leading entities within the UN family to support countries’ efforts in preventing and countering violent extremism leading to terrorism.

In that respect, UNODC's Terrorism Prevention Branch delivered a cross-regional workshop on promoting regional measures and cooperation in preventing youth involvement in violent extremism and terrorism through effective criminal justice approaches and legal frameworks in South and South-East Asia. The event was held in Colombo on 15-17 October 2019. It was organized in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka and funded by the Government of Japan.

The three-day event brought together representatives from South and South-East Asian countries, namely Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, the Philippines and Sri Lanka. During the workshop, participants addressed several topics on PVE and youth involvement in violent extremism and terrorism, including utilizing the voices of youth, victims of terrorism, families, ex-offenders and returned FTFs for counter-messaging purposes; national measures, experiences and the legal framework on PVE and terrorism; human rights in countering and preventing terrorism and violent extremism; preventing radicalization of youth to violent extremism and terrorism in high-risk environments; potential disengagement interventions, as well as engaging with private sector and civil society actors in the national framework on PVE, involving youth.

During the course of the event, participants engaged in several practical case exercises and group discussions based on real-life case scenarios. Participants shared their national experiences, challenges and good practices in addressing the prevention and intervention of youth involvement in violent extremism and terrorism. Ultimately, the workshop aimed to promote effective regional networks and partnerships between pertinent stakeholders from a whole-of-society perspective.