05.02.2018 - Social and Human Sciences Sector

New project to tackle violent extremism in Jordan, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia


A new two-year project on “Prevention of Violent Extremism through Youth Empowerment in Jordan, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia was launched by UNESCO on 1 February 2018. Funded by the United Nations Counter-terrorism Centre (UNCCT) and Canada, this US$ 2 million project is a vital move towards engaging youth in the prevention of violent extremism, an issue that disproportionately affects young people throughout the region.

The project starts from the principle that any lasting solution must put youth at the forefront of countering violent extremism. It will adopt an inclusive, multi-dimensional approach by combining issues such as youth, education, culture, and communication and information. More than 8000 young women and men and key practitioners will be trained through activities such as trainings on conflict-sensitive reporting; capacity building programmes for religious authorities to develop prevention of violent extremism (PVE) initiatives; countering online hate speech; and, creating new media spaces to disseminate alternative narratives by and for youth.

UNESCO will work closely with partners such as Ministries of Youth, Education,  Labour and ICT’s but also with civil society organizations such as youth, educational and cultural networks, local religious leaders, universities, etc. Partnership with private-sector companies is also on the agenda, particularly with the tech industry.

The primary outcome of this project is to create an environment where young women and men are empowered, heard and engaged as change-makers in their communities. This project also aims at mainstreaming PVE through formal, non-formal and informal education. Finally, this project intends to mobilize media professionals and online youth communities to combat radicalization and online hate speech through trainings and the development of national and regional online campaigns.

"UNESCO is among the most active in promoting dialogue among cultures and fighting violent extremism"  said Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO. This project shows the extent of UNESCO’s engagement in the UN's Youth, Peace and Security agenda.

In this context, UNESCO is uniquely positioned to utilize its expertise and vast experience working with and for youth at the national, regional and international levels.


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