On 3-4 December 2019, a unique event brought together two RAN Working Groups (RAN RVT and RAN EXIT) and the European Forum for Restorative Justice (EFRJ) for exploring the role of Restorative Justice (RJ) in cases of violent extremism.
This initiative is part a longer journey initiated by RAN EXIT a few years ago, with the aim of expanding the exit work to other relevant fields, and by RAN RVT to give a voice to victims of terrorism and combine their expertise to better prevent and counter violent extremism (P/CVE). In 2019, both Working Groups gave more attention to the RJ philosophy and its practices, hence the idea of inviting the RJ community and the EFRJ to share their expertise in this field.
About 40 participants with experience in violent extremism, restorative justice, or combining both, gathered in order to increase understanding of the role of restorative justice in relation to cases of violent extremism, terrorism, and political armed conflicts. The group included victims of terrorism, former members of extremist groups, mediators, social workers, exit workers, and psychologists.
In order to better prepare for the meeting, participants received in advance an ex-ante paper with the definition of restorative justice, its values and practices, its areas of application, as well as a short description of some restorative justice examples in cases of domestic violent extremism. During the actual meeting, a series of presentations provided more details on case studies and other experiences, and created a safe space for sharing concerns and questions.
This paper captures the outcomes of this meeting, including inspiring restorative justice initiatives and challenges in the field. It is divided into the following four sections: Setting the scene, Restorative justice realities, Other innovative restorative justice approaches, and key messages and recommendations. Read more