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Extremely Together

Examining the effects of Covid-19 on young people and on the landscape of violent extremism

The pandemic revealed a lot of challenges including those faced by the youth, particularly during lockdown. Additionally, extremist groups used it as an opportunity to take advantage of the crisis by further spreading hatred and division.

To address these issues, the 10 young leaders of Extremely Together launched a series of digital discussions on Covid-19, youth activism, and Preventing Violent Extremist (PVE) to enable young people globally to voice their concerns and share solutions. These digital exchanges allowed youth networks and PVE experts to connect with social distancing measures in place to emphasize the need to be ‘Extremely Together’.

The discussions led to very concrete recommendations that Extremely Together captured in a position paper, which the young leaders and the Foundation will present to decision-makers at key policy events in the upcoming months. In this paper, it becomes apparent that the pandemic has exposed the discrepancies between the leadership demonstrated by the youth in dealing with the tensions created by the crisis, and their limited inclusion in the peace and security agenda, and decision-making processes generally. The paper thus calls on multilateral organisations, states, civil society organisations, and young people to take a series of actions that will allow for the necessary shift from seeing youth as ‘not ready for the job’ to mainstreaming intergenerational co-leadership.