At the recent Global Human Rights Forum in Belgrade, human rights advocates, entrepreneurs and youth leaders met to share their stories and experiences to discover ways to better uphold and respect human rights whilst tackling the growing threat of violent extremism. Other panel sessions at the Forum focused on: Environment and Human Rights, Conflict and Human Rights, Education and Human Rights, Women Empowerment and Marriage and Equality.
The Kofi Annan Foundation’s Extremely Together leader, Zaid Al-Rayes represented the Extremely Together initiative in the panel on Conflict and Human Rights which examined the mounting phobia in EU countries towards refugees. Zaid underlined the vital role youth refugees have to play in countering violent extremism and highlighted the dangers of western media promoting the fear that refugees pose a threat to national security in their host countries. Zaid noted that studies in fact show that most young refugees are themselves the victims of violent extremism, not the perpetrators.