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Civil Society Countering Violent Extremism in Albania

Project facts

  • Funder: European Commission (EuropeAid Civil Society countering violent extremism)
  • Partners: Albanian Helsinki Committee (Albania, leading partner), Norwegian Helsinki Committee (Norway), Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia (Serbia), Together for Life, Netherlands Helsinki Committee (The Netherlands)
  • Project period: 20 January 2017 – 20 September 2018
  • Budget: €334.845
  • Programme manager NHC: Mrs Emma Kesgin-Oosten

Violent extremism has evolved and taken new forms and capabilities. The phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters who have travelled to – and have started to return from – Iraq and Syria has given impetus and priority to the issue of how to manage violent extremist offenders (VEOs) and prevent radicalisation to violence in prisons. In cooperation with the Netherlands Helsinki Committee and other Civil Society Organisations, the Albanian Helsinki Committee has devised a project to target the areas of risk groups for radicalisation and recruitment to violent extremist groups.

This programme focusses on preventing the spreading of violent extremism among vulnerable groups that are easy target for radicalization. The overall objective is to empower the civil society organisations, non governmental bodies and public security institutions on countering violent extremisms and radicalization in Albania. Specific objectives of the programme are:

  1. Strengthening the capacities of the local CSOs and other independent experts on preventing and countering radicalisation and recruitment to violent extremism.
  2. Providing the formal education sector with skills and competences to provide civic education that inspire a culture of non-violence and human rights, and increasing the capacities of the civil society to interact with these institutions
  3. Assisting the penitentiary system in providing effective and human rights sensitive measures to prevent radicalisation and recruitment to violent extremism among risk groups in prisons and as part of re-integration processes of foreign terrorist fighters and other persons convicted of extremism.

The focus will be on training to build the professional capacities of local civil society actors. The programme works towards enhancing  civic education of the formal education sector and different public and private universities. Another part of the programme is capacity building of the Albanian prison system employees to tackle radicalisation in the prison system while  upholding international human rights standards. In addition, the programme will develop best practices for promoting dialogue and understanding, preventing terrorist acts, and reducing the threat of incitement motivated by extremism and intolerance.