The number of violent incidents perpetrated by individuals and groups on the basis of ideologies rooted in xenophobia, racism and other forms of intolerance, or in the name of religion or belief has risen in recent years. Individuals and groups embracing these ideologies have been able to maximize their outreach and influence on social media platforms and other online tools, mobilizing unprecedented numbers of supporters. The international community’s concern about this growing phenomenon was reflected in the UN General Assembly resolution 75/291 of 30 June 2021, which called on Member States to take appropriate measures to address the new and emerging threats posed by the rise in terrorist attacks on the basis of xenophobia, racism and other forms of intolerance, or in the name of religion or belief, as well as help them build capacity to counter the threat.
To help Member States better understand and ultimately address this phenomenon, UNODC developed the Manual on Prevention of and Responses to Terrorist Attacks on the Basis of Xenophobia, Racism and Other Forms of Intolerance, or in the Name of Religion or Belief (XRIRB). The publication was launched on 19 July 2022 at the Vienna International Centre. Alongside 140 virtual participants, the event gathered a wide range of expert speakers and Member States representatives from Australia, Canada, Germany, the United States of America, UNOCT and CTED. Further, insight on how these countries address the XRIRB phenomenon was also offered.
The Manual provides an analysis of the national legal frameworks of six Member States affected by this phenomenon, namely, Australia, Canada, Germany, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Further, it includes policy recommendations which should "form the basis for policymakers and criminal justice practitioners in strengthening national systems and legislation and providing a more effective response", as stated by Mr. Masood Karimipour, Chief of UNODC's Terrorism Prevention Branch during the launch event.
While significant time and resources need to be invested in responding to this phenomenon, all speakers affirmed the importance of the tool which aids in bringing the international community one step closer to better understanding and countering XRIRB.
The development of the Manual was made possible with the support of the Federal Republic of Germany.