In this EU-funded project, ICCT and its PREPARE partners, including research organisations and law enforcement entities, take a human-rights, rule-of-law, and gender-informed approach to make contemporary knowledge, training, and tools accessible to practitioners working with the children of far right and Islamist parents.
The PREPARE project team at ICCT has conducted extensive desk-based research on the unique stigmas, vulnerabilities, and protective factors children may develop in family environments where they are exposed to violent extremism, and conducted a series of interviews with experts, practitioners and family members. The PREPARE project team brought together a range of experts and front-line practitioners in a series of workshops to draw out their insights on the vulnerabilities and risk factors of children from violent extremist-affiliated families. Research findings, along with these insights, were used to inform the design of a new, unique Child Vulnerability and Intervention Tool, as well as tailor a Train-The-Trainer Training Programme, and a "Practitioners’ Guide to Working with Children in VE-Affiliated Families: Protecting the Rights of the Child."
These cutting-edge resources will support frontline practitioners in six European countries (the Netherlands, Spain, France, Sweden, Germany & Kosovo) working directly with these children and their families.
About the project
The EU faces ongoing concerns from radicalisation and terrorist violence posed by Islamist (including returnees) and far-right extremists. Yet there remains a significant knowledge gap related to state-led interventions to manage, support, and (as required) rehabilitate, and reintegrate children whose parents are affiliated with violent extremist organisations.
The societal bias, sensationalism, and exceptionalism often associated with violent extremism compounds risks of stigma and securitisation of these children. Steps, where required, should be taken towards their rehabilitation and reintegration as measures to address their vulnerabilities. Viewing children as vulnerable (and sometimes traumatised), rather than as ‘ticking time bombs’, will ensure that approaches prioritise their rights and well-being, further enhancing their resilience.
This perspective led to the start of a new, EU-funded project: Promoting collaborative policies of inclusion relating to children of far right and Islamist parents in Western Europe (PREPARE). PREPARE was guided by a human-rights, rule-of-law and gender informed approach. PREPARE helped make contemporary knowledge, training, and tools accessible to practitioners working with children of violent extremists. The PREPARE project focused on six case studies: Sweden, The Netherlands, France, Germany, Spain and Kosovo.
This project identified the vulnerabilities and stigmas children may face when their parents are part of violent extremist networks, and provided resources to ensure relevant front-line actors are ready to act in an informed, well-prepared, and collaborative way that centres on the needs of the child.
The project further supported the spread of understanding through:
The development of a new, unique Child Vulnerability and Intervention Tool;
The Train-The-Trainer Training Programme and training activities, to assist professionals in delivering support;
Targeted workshops focused on identifying and supporting the vulnerabilities of children and tailor tools;
Knowledge dissemination through leveraging networks and publications, promoting the preparedness and stakeholder collaboration of those working directly with these children and families.