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Migration and Home Affairs
Expert opinion

RAN study visit to South-East Asia, online meeting 03-04 March 2021


Publication date
16 April 2021
Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs
RAN Publications Topic
  • Rehabilitation


The RAN digital study visit to Southeast Asia took place on 3-4 March 2021 and brought together 23 European and Southeast Asian practitioners (respectively, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines). The goal of the workshop was to share knowledge and exchange challenges and inspiring practices in the field of disengagement, rehabilitation and reintegration (DRR) of violent Islamist extremist offenders.

The Southeast Asian presenters and participants represented a wide variety of professional backgrounds, including law enforcement, prison and probation, civil society organisations (CSOs), international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) and academics as well as a documentary filmmaker, a victim initiative and a former’s experience. During these meetings, a particular focus was given to understand the role of human dignity in DRR, as well as the effective practical role of Islamic religious approaches and community approaches in the field of preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE).

The meeting also explored P/CVE practices relating to the use of films and victims to divert and disengage individuals from violent extremism in the Southeast Asian context. The highlights of the discussions and recommendations are listed in this conclusion paper, with amongst others:

  • Creating positive and safe prison environments with good prison conditions, well-trained, professional staff and humane treatment of detainees is vital for fostering positive change. Modelling non-violent communication and behaviour with inmates showing respect, dignity and empathy is key.
  • A multidisciplinary and multi-agency approach in DRR offers the greatest potential for sustainable positive outcomes. This means building strategic partnerships between governmental and external organisations and offering individualised, needs-based interventions to terrorist offenders.
  • Building and maintaining long-lasting and trustworthy relations with detainees and their community of care help cooperation and successful reintegration. Strengthening community policing and public–police collaboration are cornerstones of this process.

The paper will start by covering the highlights from the presentations and discussions, followed by recommendations building on the Southeast Asian experiences that are relevant for European practitioners. Lastly, the paper will share promising practices and further readings.



26 MAY 2021