Terrorism is a global threat, impacting communities around the world.
In late 2022, the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) launched a two-year project aimed at building gender-sensitive resilience to violent extremism in the Sahel, supported by the generous contribution of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).
During the COVID-19 pandemic, responding to the health crisis has been a priority concern worldwide. Its impact, however, has had a much wider range implications with unprecedented effects on the global economy and on a broad range of human, civil and labor rights, as well as rule of law and security-related issues, posing serious questions about what states need to prioritize next and how responses should be tailored to the current situation.
During these unprecedented times, the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting all sectors of our society, including sport. Unfortunately, recent research by the UK’s Nottingham Trent University has shown that 80% of female athletes believe that “the growth of women's sport during the pandemic has been hindered by inequalities compared with men's sport”, effectively creating an even greater “gender play gap”. From football to rugby, men’s sports have often been prioritized and restarted earlier than women’s sports.
On 24 November 2020, UNICRI in collaboration with the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR) held the virtual webinar “What Enhances Community Resilience to Violent Extremism? Main findings from UNICRI Pilot Project in Sahel-Maghreb region”. As the official launch of the Project’s final report “Many hands on an elephant”, the webinar featured speakers from four partner civil society organisations, as well as representatives from UNICRI and DG NEAR.
How do you make communities more resilient to radicalisation into violent extremism? Are community-level actions sufficient to counter violent extremism and its effects? What approach should be taken to designing effective assistance?
“This issue of the Magazine Freedom From Fear (F3) The day we discovered our fragility and our strength addresses the collateral effects of COVID-19 impacting criminal justice, namely, the growing influence of organized crime and terrorism and the rise of violence against and exploitation of women and children. I wish to commend all the authors and the Ghent University for exhibiting their commitment to research and innovation during these challenging times.
As the majority of countries has applied the social lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19, violence against women and girls has intensified. According to UN Women, 243 million women and girls have suffered sexual and/or physical abuse committed by an intimate partner in the past 12 months. We believe that a gender perspectives should be included at all stages, during and following a crisis. A featured article by UNICRI's Programme Officer Alessandra Liquori O'Neill addresses national emergency response plans and gender issues in these challenging times.