UNODC initiates discussions on the role of women in preventing violent extremism in Kyrgyzstan
BISHKEK, August 30, 2017 – The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Ministry of Interior (MoI) of the Kyrgyz Republic have partnered to promote the participation and engagement of women and girls in efforts to prevent violent extremism. During the summer months, 250 neighbourhood and youth inspectors from all regions participated in training courses organized by UNODC and led by trainers from the MoI’s Countering Extremism and Illegal Migration Service.
«Recently, we have witnessed a rise of extremist movements who also attract women», noted Erlan Bakiev, Head of Unit at the MoI’s Countering Extremism and Illegal Migration Service. “There is evidence of radicalization among women, in particular in religious families with members convicted for extremist-related offences”, he added.
The aim of the training courses was to increase knowledge and skills of police officers so that they better understand what makes people vulnerable to radicalization, are able to detect signs of radicalization and implement activities aimed at prevention of radicalization in their communities, including by challenging violent extremist ideologies and supporting access to services for vulnerable people, in particular women and girls.
In parallel with the training courses, provincial police departments in the regions facilitated dialogue platforms for community members, including from women’s religious organizations and other civil society actors, together with representatives from the Islamic community and the State Commission for Religious Affairs to discuss the role of women in preventing violent extremism
“Strong commitment of the police to engage with communities and address public safety concern of the population is of crucial importance to building resilience against violent extremism”, said Koen Marquering, UNODC International Project Coordinator. “This is why UNODC actively supports capacity development of police officers and advocates for a diverse police force and community partnerships involving the police and local populations around issues related to the prevention of radicalization to violence”, he stressed.
Participants of the dialogue platforms noted the need for active engagement with women’s organizations and awareness-raising campaigns to improve understanding of radicalization risks among local communities, take preventive measures and support individuals at risk.
Further efforts to build community partnerships and promote community policing strategies are planned during the upcoming period within the framework this initiative, which is implemented as part of a joint UNFPA, UNICEF, UNDP and UNODC project with financial support provided by the UN Peacebuilding Fund. Terrorism prevention and promotion of community policing are also key priorities of the 2015-2019 UNODC Programme for Central Asia, under which UNODC provides assistance to the countries in the region, including Kyrgyzstan.
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