In 2019, South Asia had the highest average impact from terrorism, Pakistan and the Philippines were in the top 10 countries most impacted by terrorism, and Bangladesh saw six attacks claimed by ISIS. Although a lack of economic opportunities and lower levels of education are often argued to be factors of vulnerability to violent extremism recruitment in the literature, in recent years, an increase in attacks by middle-class, educated youth has been observed in the region, as well as a targeted approach based on gender stereotypes to recruit women and men into violent extremist groups.
Furthermore, violent extremist groups have been exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic by using narratives around the ‘wrath of God’, shifting recruitment online and taking advantage of insecurities caused by the loss of jobs and use of force by the security forces.
In the past year, the Kofi Annan Foundation youth initiative Extremely Together and its partners KRIS in the Philippines, GCERF in Bangladesh and CYAAD in Pakistan researched the drivers of violent extremism. The research focuses on urban areas of the Philippines, Bangladesh and Pakistan, and identifies ways to foster youth engagement to promote peace, inclusion and social cohesion.
The findings have enabled the Kofi Annan Foundation and its partners to develop training and activities to support youth-led action in local communities for the prevention of violent extremism.
Wednesday 26 May 2021, we held an #ETDiscussion, featuring young peacebuilders from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and the Philippines who discussed the work done so far.
During the discussion, young peacebuilders from all three regions presented the drivers of violent extremism and possible entry points for engagement with urban youth to prevent violent extremism. Representatives of regional organizations/initiatives and the international community also joined to discuss how these findings can inform and inspire national and regional efforts to involve youth in peace and security and how to engage young people through youth-led PVE activities.
Watch the replay
Date: 26 May 2021
Time: 10:00-11:15 CEST – Online event and available on Facebook
- Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi, Extremely Together Young Leader and Campaign Manager of Extremely Together Pakistan.
- Arizza Nocum, Extremely Together Young Leader Philippines and President of KRIS,
- Pitom Mustafi, Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor at Rupantar, Bangladesh
- Sofia Anton, Programme Officer at the Kofi Annan Foundation.
Moderated by: Fatima Zaman, Extremely Together Young Leader