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Human interest stories
Runtime: 5’33” | 11-24-2014 10:47:44 | 4020 Hits

Belgian experiences in counter-radicalisation

In this interview, Jessika Soors, representing the Vilvoorde City Council’s Department of Radicalisation and Polarisation, speaks about her experience of working in this suburb of Brussels where of 78.3 % of the children under age three are of non-Belgian origin. She shares her concern that isolation and a lack of social integration leads people to look for a quick solutions to their problems, such as leaving to fight in Syria, which over 30 young men from this community have done so far. She talks about how the council’s priority is to prevent people from acting on their radical views by getting them to develop new ties and identities within their current social context that are less radical. In coordinating the efforts of social workers, teachers, police, legal experts and other social agents, Vilvoorde want to offer its citizens a viable alternative to radicalisation. 

The testimonials presented in this section deal with highly sensitive issues. Taken out of context, the material could be misconstrued and cause offence. To this end, when reusing and editing the footage it is essential to uphold at all times the integrity and dignity of the interviewees, and present their statements in context. Permission to freely edit the material implies an agreement to maintain the overall messages contained in the testimonials.

This film is one of five clips available on this platform as part of a set that deals with the topic of radicalisation in Europe. The complete set includes the following:

  • Usama Hasan’s story

  • Rashad Ali’s story

  • Danish experiences in counter-radicalisation

  • Interview with Omar Ramadan, Head of the Secretariat of the Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN)

The Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) is an EU-wide umbrella network connecting key organisations and networks of local actors involved in preventing radicalisation to terrorism and violent extremism established by the European Commission in 2011.

More information on RAN and European Commission’s actions to prevent radicalisation can be found in the background documents below.

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