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Migration and Home Affairs

RAN VoT Conducting direct interactions between victims of terrorism and detainees: a guideline, online meeting, 24 November 2020

Discussions on facilitating direct interactions between victims of terrorism and detainees1 are aimed primarily at the successful disengagement, rehabilitation and reintegration (DRR) of terrorist detainees. Often, a secondary aim of such interactions is to prevent radicalisation towards violent extremism among the general prison population. A previous RAN Victims of Terrorism (VoT) Working Group meeting, held on 29 September 2020, explored the procedural aspects of such direct interactions between victims of terrorism and detainees.

The follow-up meeting, held on 24 November 2020, brought together victims, trainers, subject matter experts and practitioners, to formulate guidelines on how to conduct the dialogues. The practical issues and related processes that were discussed covered three broad categories: (1) how to initiate and sustain interactions, (2) who is best placed to participate in the interactions, and (3) the subject matter of the interactions. These recommendations are discussed further below.

The scope of this guideline is limited to the DRR of terrorist detainees. A critical underlying assumption regarding any victims involved in the direct interactions is that they have moved past their personal traumas. In addition, any transformation of terrorist detainees should be seen as aspirational, rather than expected. Finally, participants stressed that direct interactions between victims and terrorist detainees should never be considered a silver bullet. Instead, these dialogues should always form part of a larger strategic approach. Read more

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