PARIS, 8 February 2019 – An OSCE Parliamentary Assembly delegation is wrapping up a visit to Paris, France, where it has met the past two days with a range of government officials and experts for discussions on the French experience with terrorism and the policy implications of minors returning from foreign conflict zones.
Commending France’s counter-terrorism work, the OSCE parliamentarians – members of the PA’s Ad Hoc Committee on Countering Terrorism (CCT) – noted the exceptional challenges involved with preventing radicalization and de-radicalizing youth who have been engaged in active conflicts.
“In addressing these challenges, a truly comprehensive approach is needed,” Greek parliamentarian and Chair of the CCT Makis Voridis said. “As the French experience has shown, it is paramount to invest in law enforcement and develop effective security measures while at the same time promoting inclusive education and specialized social services to counter the spread of violent extremism and radicalization leading to terrorism.”
The CCT members have heard the past two days from representatives of government bodies including the Anti-Terrorist Co-ordination Unit, the Interagency Committee for the Prevention of Crime and Radicalization, the Fight against Violent Radicalization Mission at the Ministry of Justice, and the Directorate-General for Internal Security at the Ministry of Interior, as well as a number of judicial experts, psychologists and political scientists.
“For a few years now, France has been applying a special procedure for children returning from conflict areas,” noted CCT member Aude Bono-Vandorme (France). “It revolves around a broad, multi-disciplinary approach which involves state authorities, health professionals, social services and national education authorities, to name but a few. The best interest of children and of society are at the heart of our concerns. Today’s children are the adults of tomorrow. It is up to us to ensure that the potentially traumatic experiences that they have gone through do not impact their future, nor ours.”
In an effort to better prevent radicalization and violent extremism, including in prisons, the OSCE parliamentarians have also explored with psychologists and other experts the complex range of factors conducive to radicalization and what motivates terrorists to carry out their violent acts.
Members of the OSCE PA delegation this week included Makis Voridis (MP, Greece), Kamil Aydin (MP, Turkey), Aude Bono-Vandorme (MP, France), Lisa Chambers (MP, Ireland), Ignacio Cosidó (MP, Spain), Paolo Grimoldi (MP, Italy), Abid Qayyum Raja (MP, Norway) and Guy Teissier (MP, France).
Voridis will report on the visit to France at the OSCE PA’s Winter Meeting in Vienna on 21-22 February.
Photos of the visit are available on Flickr.
For more information on the OSCE PA's counter-terrorism work, please click here.