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The Role of Families in Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism
Global Counterterrorism Forum
Initiative to Address the Life Cycle of Radicalization to Violence
The Role of Families in Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism:
Strategic Recommendations and Programming Options
At the Sixth Ministerial Plenary Meeting in New York on 27 September 2015, Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) Ministers endorsed the launch of the GCTF’s
Initiative to Address the Life Cycle of Radicalization to Violence (Life Cycle Initiative). As part of this new initiative, the GCTF’s Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Working Group was tasked to develop recommendations and programming options focusing on the role of families in preventing and countering violent extremism.
Families are vital to preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE). From shaping attitudes toward non-violence to serving as a “front line” actor
in identifying signs of possible radicalization to violence, preventing such radicalization’s onset, and intervening in the radicalization process, families represent key, of
ten under-utilized, partners in P/CVE efforts.
Yet, even as the need for family-centered CVE programming is acknowledged, engaging families presents challenges – from finding credible partners, to managing risk, and identifying the best intervention opportunities. At times, family members can also be part of the problem, especially when the parent-child relationship does not exist or is difficult. In such circumstances, a credible community figure, who has the respect of the concerned individual, could provide that supportive role and the necessary intervention.