Organization for Secuirty and Cooperation in Europe-2020
Violent extremism and radicalization that lead to terrorism (VERLT) threaten the countries of Central Asia. Traditional counter-terrorist operations are inadequate to tackle this threat and must be combined with efforts to prevent VERLT.
Effective prevention requires cooperation and coordination between relevant government actors — this is known as a “whole-of-government” approach. Whole-of-government actors include police; national security committees; committees on religious affairs, youth, and women; and ministries of interior, labour, education, and social welfare, among others. Successful prevention also requires dialogue and cooperation between government actors and an array of non-governmental actors — this is known as a “whole-of-society” approach. The broader public, local communities, and the private sector should be seen by Governments as stakeholders and partners in preventing and countering VERLT (P/CVERLT), rather than as simply the passive object of law enforcement activities. Whole-of-society actors that can be valuable P/CVERLT partners include youth, women, and community leaders. Youth and women can be vulnerable to recruitment into VERLT but they can also be powerful agents of social change who can steer individuals away from the dangers of radicalization to violence. Community leaders are critical for fostering cultures of tolerance and open dialogue, and for working with vulnerable community members in order to reject violent ideologies. Other key civil society actors include educators, researchers, the information communications technology and social media
sector, and journalists.