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Migration and Home Affairs

Call for participants: RAN Study visit to Central Asia – Reintegrating Returning Foreign Terrorist Fighters and their families

This is a virtual meeting that will take place on 25–26 May, 09:30-12:30 CET

The digital study visit to Central Asia will focus on reintegrating returning Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTFs) and their families from Syria and Iraq. We are looking for suitable practitioners from the EU and Central Asia who are involved in the repatriation of FTFs and their families. We are looking forward to responses from practitioners like exit workers, prison and probation officers, mental health professionals, legal experts, police, and family or community workers.

Topic of the meeting

The virtual visit will focus on existing practices and a broad range of perspectives around Central Asia on repatriation practices and approaches to rehabilitate, reintegrate and even disengage FTFs and their families. Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan were some of the first countries to take back their citizens. At the same time, the countries in the region “were the third biggest source of foreign fighters in the Syria/Iraq conflict, providing more recruits than neighbouring states in the Middle East” (for more information, see report from ISPI). Generally, Central Asian states developed a two-dimensional response which incorporated administrative sanctions and rehabilitation. At the meeting, we will explore these efforts of reintegration.
European practitioners will be informed on how these countries dealt with or are dealing with returning FTFs and their families. The aim is to:

  • Increase participants’ knowledge through exchanges with actors working in this field and to cross-check experiences and the theoretical knowledge produced in Europe in recent years against the realities developing in Central Asian countries.
  • Learn from Central Asian countries and exchange practices, methods and practical tips and tricks on how reintegration is best achieved.
  • Find how they can improve how European countries are dealing with returning FTFs and their families.
  • Critically and constructively look at “good practices” and see how realistic it is in a European country to implement such approaches and vice versa.

The meeting format will see promising practices and methods presented by speakers from the above mentioned countries. Practitioners from the EU will be present to learn what is being done in the region and will share their thoughts, experiences and best practices. These will be discussed in Q&As and each day there will be opportunities in break-out rooms for discussions and sharing insights.

Call for participants

We are currently looking for first-line practitioners who have experience in working with FTFS, their families or more specifically their children. If you are interested in participating, we would like to ask you if you could answer the following questions:

  • How does your work relate to FTFs and their families, their disengagement, rehabilitation and reintegration? Are you already working with FTFs and their families? Do you expect to work with them in the future?
  • What are your 3 key questions that you would wish to ask the Central Asian practitioners and/or other participants in this study visit?
  • What challenges do you face when it comes to repatriating, disengaging, reintegrating and rehabilitating of FTFs and their families?

Deadline

If you are interested in participating at this meeting, please reply to these questions before 12 May by sending your answers to Jordy Krasenberg.

We will invite participants based on this information. Please keep in mind that we only invite a limited number of participants to this meeting to ensure valuable exchange and interaction.

If you have any further questions, please email Jordy Krasenberg.

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