The IJJO and the Foundation 180 gathered in The Hague for the second study visit of the project ‘PRALT - The prevention of juvenile radicalisation: Promoting the use of alternatives to detention through judicial training’. The study-visit and training session in the Netherlands regarded deradicalisation processes through alternatives to detention, including community and family based approaches to disengagement.
The first day of the visit was hosted by the Netherlands Helsinki Committee (NHC), represented by Pepijn Gerrits. The NHC, member of the European Council for Juvenile Justice, is an organisation promoting human rights and strengthening the rule of law and democracy in all countries of Europe.
Cédric Foussard, the IJJO’s International Affairs director, and Adélaïde Vanhove, the IJJO’s Policy Officer on European Affairs, opened the meeting and the field visit by stressing the importance of considering the use of community based alternative programmes for all young offenders, including those implicated in violent extremism.
During the first part of the meeting, Amal Nassar, an independent expert specialized on the issue of radicalization from Leiden University, presented her research. Her work analyses the responses from the Committee on the Rights of the Child on issues related to children involved in terrorism-related crimes, and in comparison with the project’s partners’ national reports.
A presentation on the draft of the 'PRALT' project’s Manual (Vol. 2 and 3) was then made by consultants Lili-Anne de Jongh and Marzena Kordaczuk, advisers in the Prevention Department of the National Police Headquarters of Poland, and members of the Radicalization Awareness Network.
Their presentation was followed by a discussion with the partners on their national reports for the project, and the solutions their countries tried to implement in order to prevent radicalization and overcome the difficulties faced. One of the themes discussed was the best way to address the increasing number of returnees from conflict zones.
The second day of the meeting was dedicated to understanding Dutch practices that promote deradicalisation, disengagement, rehabilitation and reintegration between youth in European states. The group learned about the Diamond Training project, which consists of an intervention that aims to increase resilience among vulnerable youth, countering radicalisation while strengthening links to the community.
They also learned about, as well as visited, the prevention of radicalization units from the Netherlands Police and the Municipality of The Hague. Afterwards, the project partners and police representatives had a fruitful conversation on disengagement, held in a local mosque in The Hague.
On the third day, the IJJO joined forces with the Confederation of the European Probation (CEP) and the European Forum for Urban Security (EFUS) on a European seminar focused on the prevention of radicalisation in the context of probation and prison.
On the whole, the second study visit was a successful opportunity for members to share disengagement practices, while learning about the Dutch approach.