Cyprus Mail

Countering extremism and youth radicalisation

Τhe Youth Board of Cyprus, the Council of Europe Partial Agreement on Youth Mobility Through the Youth Card and the European Youth Card Association (EYCA) will be organising a seminar on Countering violent extremism and youth radicalisation: using the European Youth Card to promote peaceful communities, between January 30 and 31, in Nicosia.

The event is organised as part of Cyprus’ chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, and its objective is to generate constructive ideas to counter the phenomena of extremism and radicalisation among young people, which could ultimately lead to terrorism.

The seminar “comes at a time when Europe is faced with economic hardship, migratory flows, terrorism, the dangerous rise of populism, xenophobic rhetoric, extremism, and other phenomena, which test our democracies and shake public trust in state and international institutions”.

Although radicalisation can happen at any age, young people in search of a sense of belonging, a purpose in life, or identity, may be particularly exposed.

Young people are also one of the most mobile and dynamic population groups, offering them various opportunities for interaction with persons from diverse cultural backgrounds.

European Youth Card organisations afford young people a tool that would provide them with equal access to community services, regardless of their social, cultural, or ethnic background.

The activities dedicated to cardholders’ communities contribute to building a sense of belonging among young people, expanding their identity beyond their own cultural background, and having a space for constructive interaction with persons of different nationalities, ethnic groups, religions, races, etc.

This has a positive impact on building more peaceful communities, and may also have an effect in the longer term on countering violent extremism and preventing youth radicalisation and hate speech.

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