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PACE Rapporteur: national programmes for fighting the radicalisation of young people should be stepped up

PACE rapporteur Sevinj Fataliyeva (Azerbaijan, EC) has called on European governments to develop more effective policies against political and religious radicalisation amongst young or marginalised people with foreign backgrounds.

Ms Fataliyeva, the Assembly’s rapporteur on “Preventing the radicalisation of children and young people by fighting the root causes”, was speaking after this week’s train attack in Germany, as well as the tragic events in Nice and other recent terrorist acts.

“Once again we see that some young people and young adults are attracted by radical ideas to the point of sacrificing their own lives when facing social exclusion or personal failures,” she said.

“Nothing can excuse these horrific terrorist attacks – European governments must do all in their power to resolutely combat terrorism through legislation, to bring to justice the perpetrators and to keep our citizens safe.”

“But we must do more. Our Assembly – parliamentarians from 47 nations who represent all the peoples of Europe – recently spelled out a clear manifesto for tackling radicalisation in the young. We called on our governments to shape policies which tackle the root causes of extremism.”

“That means instilling from an early age peaceful and positive values at home, school and places of worship. It means tackling hate-speech, ensuring freedom of religion and combating Islamophobia. It means developing positive counter-narratives, encouraging critical thinking and ensuring social inclusion. But above all, it means listening to young people and finding ways to offer them a sense of purpose.”

Ms Fataliyeva recalled that “the President of the Assembly has encouraged a response to terror which emphasises the twin goals of #NoHateNoFear. We need to inspire young people with a society where respect for others – and the courage to uphold it – are the norm.”