2021 is an important year in the history of RAN. Ten years ago RAN was established by the EU Commission in response to the rising threat of terrorism and violent extremism in Europe. While the RAN network has flourished since then, the threat has continued to evolve. The work of RAN and its practitioners is therefore as important as ever.
2021 will not be without its challenges. The COVID pandemic continues to impact the most vulnerable individuals in our communities, hamper the ability of practitioners to reach them and therefore give opportunities to terrorist and violent extremist groups to radicalise and recruit. Set against this backdrop, we will continue to explore more ways to bring practitioners together to understand and address the new and emerging threats, and exchange insights and good practices. In this edition of the RAN Update, you can read more about some of the priority areas of work for 2021 and RAN’s plans to mark its 10-year anniversary.
The EU Commission has published its ‘Strategic orientations on a coordinated EU approach to prevention of radicalisation’ for 2021. The Strategic Orientations guide the work of the Commission and EU Member States for the coming year. The activity planned for RAN in 2021 is also guided by these orientations. The topics and themes of each of the RAN Working Groups will address some of the nine priority areas – which reflect the current threat picture, new challenges and emerging trends – outlined in the orientations.
10-Year Anniversary ‒ High Level Conference on radicalisation
2021 marks the tenth year of the Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN). While the threat posed by terrorist and violent extremist organisations has evolved over the years, RAN has been able to adapt and continue to support a growing network of over 6,000 first-line practitioners. The High Level Conference on radicalisation planned for the autumn will provide the opportunity to officially mark the 10-year anniversary. RAN will also be celebrating the anniversary throughout the year in its Working Group meetings and other events. For more news on this please stay tuned to the calendar on the RAN website.
Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, RAN will continue to deliver all meetings in the coming months online. For more information on planned meetings please go to the RAN website. A number of other meetings, to those listed below, planned for the first few months of 2021 will be published in due time.
Radicalisation Hubs in the EU
Webinar | 17 February 2021
Violent incel movement
Small-scale expert session | 25 February 2021
Workshop for local authorities: Youth Participation
RAN YOUNG platform | 02-03 March 2021
Released and reintegrating terrorist offenders from a mental health perspective
RAN Health | 10-11 March 2021
17th European Day of Remembrance of Victims of Terrorism
RAN VoT | 11 March 2021
This year’s event, which will be held in Madrid and online, will pay tribute to victims of terrorism (VoT) from across Europe by showing solidarity and unity with them against terrorism and violent extremism.
Digital Grooming Tactics on Videogaming (Adjacent) Platforms
RAN C&N | 15–16 March 2021
Dealing with religiously inspired extremist ideologies in schools
Webinar (in French) | 16 March 2021
How to better prevent reoffending of violent extremist and terrorist offenders
RAN Prisons, RAN Rehabilitation and RAN POL | 18 March 2021
Violent incel movement
Webinar | 23 March 2021
Please keep an eye on the calendaron the RAN website for up-to-date information.
EU Handbook on Victims of Terrorism
A new Handbook on victims of terrorism has been produced by the EU Centre of Expertise for Victims of Terrorism. The Handbook aims to assist in the practical implementation of the EU legislation on the rights of victims of terrorism. It is based on lessons learned from responses to previous terrorist attacks. The Handbook is accompanied by a separate Annex, which focuses on useful, additional information (including elements not covered by the EU legislation).
Galvanising youth in combatting online disinformation
A new paper provides insights for practitioners on the role of young people and new technologies in combatting disinformation online. The paper summarises the perspectives of young people on the disinformation challenge, how they experience disinformation, and the challenges and opportunities they have to respond to it. The paper draws on the insights gathered from participants at the RAN YOUNG digital meeting held on 7 - 8 December 2020.
The Role of Hotbeds of Radicalisation
A new paper provides insights for practitioners on why some neighbourhoods in Europe turn into hotbeds for radicalisation while others, facing comparable challenges and factors, do not. The paper, which collates the insights shared by both practitioners and researchers, provides recommendations for practitioners on how to prevent or counter radicalisation in these neighbourhoods. The paper draws on the insights gathered from participants at a ‘small scale meeting’ held online on 25 November 2020.
Women’s Usage of Social Media and Lessons for Preventing Violent Extremism
A new paper provides insights for practitioners on the radicalisation of (young) women online. The paper outlines the vulnerabilities that are specific to (young) women, explains how recruiters use these vulnerabilities online and provides recommendations for practitioners on how to address some of these issues. The paper draws on the insights gathered from participants at a ‘small scale meeting’ held online on 24 November 2020.
Digital Study Visit to Canada
A new paper provides lessons learned from the ‘Canadian Practitioners Network for the Prevention of Radicalization and Extremist Violence’ for practitioners working in Europe. The paper provides an overview of the P/CVE landscape in Canada and a list of inspiring organisations and initiatives. The paper draws on the insights gathered from participants at the Digital Study Visit to Canada held on 23 - 24 November 2020.
P/CVE and mental health support online
A new paper provides insights for practitioners on how to engage with individuals vulnerable to radicalisation, through both online outreach and subsequent online/offline mental health support. The paper describes how to target and reach vulnerable individuals online and discusses opportunities to work with hotlines and app developers. The paper draws on the insights gathered from participants at a digital exploratory meeting held on 18 - 19 November 2020.
Preventing Polarisation and Building Resilience by Creating a Shared Identity
A new paper provides insights for practitioners on how to prevent polarisation and build resilience by creating a shared identity. The paper provides a list of do’s and don’ts for practitioners who want to develop a strategy or campaign. The paper draws on the insights gathered from participants at a digital meeting of the Families, Communities and Social Care Working Group held on 10 - 13 November 2020.
Guidelines for local authorities: how to organise a youth review panel
A new paper provides insights for local authorities on how to work with young people in P/CVE, including how they can contribute to programme design and delivery. The paper provides guidance for local authorities on the organisation of a Youth Review Panel. The paper draws on the insights gathered from participants at the gathering of the RAN YOUNG Online Review Panel on 1 - 2 October 2020.
COVID-19 Narratives that Polarise
A new Handbook provides teachers and youth workers with advice on how discuss polarising narratives and conspiracy narratives related to COVID-19 in the classroom or on the street. The Handbook explores different types of reactions that teachers can give to students who express polarising narratives. The paper draws on the insights gathered from participants at the Youth and Education Working Group digital meeting held on 24 – 25 September 2020.
Rehabilitation in prisons
A new film explores the challenge of rehabilitating violent extremist and terrorist offenders (VETOs) in prisons, from reception to preparation for release. The film, which hears from two practitioners, from Bulgaria and France respectively – including a co-chair of the RAN Working Group on Prisons – explores different facets of the challenge, including risk assessment, how VETOs are detained, staff training and the role of prison chaplains.
To learn more about the rehabilitation of VETOs read the RAN Rehabilitation Manual.
To watch the film in full go to the RAN YouTube channel.
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