JAKARTA, 9 June 2021– The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) Consultation to Prevent and Counter Violent Extremism in ASEAN from the Perspectives of Human Rights, Gender-Sensitive and Child Rights-Friendly, took place on 3 June, physically and virtually.

In her welcome remarks, H.E. Hjh Nor Hashimah Hj Mohammed Taib, Chair and Brunei Darussalam’s Representative to the AICHR emphasised the importance of strengthening cross-pillar and cross-sectoral cooperation in countering violent extremism in ASEAN. She further said that the cross-pillar approach is one of the AICHR’s strategies as stated in its Five-Year Work Plan 2021-2025 and in the ASEAN Plan of Action to Prevent and Counter the Rise of Radicalisation and Violent Extremism (2019-2025) of Senior Officials’ Meeting on Transnational Crime.

On her part, Indonesia’s Representative to the AICHR, H.E. Wahyuningrum, emphasised the changing pattern of recruitment in violent extremism from individual membership into a family. She added that countering extremism can no longer be viewed as gender-neutral, both in its practices and consequences. Furthermore, she said that human rights and gender equality should be seen as means and an end in preventing and countering violent extremism.

In line with the above, Director for the ASEAN Political-Security Cooperation, Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Faizal Chery Sidharta said that cooperation on prevention among member states is becoming very important in countering violent extremism as no country or region is immune from the impacts of violent extremism. He underlined that ASEAN can take the lead to best prevent and counter violent extremism through the human rights approach.

Around 99 participants from ASEAN Member States, ASEAN sectoral bodies, relevant UN bodies, scholars, and civil society organisations attended the consultation, where participants shared best practices on preventing and countering violent extremism.

Participants came up with recommendations to prevent and counter violent extremism while respecting human rights, child rights and applying gender-sensitive approach, such as:

  • Developing a whole-society-approach prevention programme that is integrated into the national strategy which includes human rights and gender perspectives as well as the involvement of civil society
  • Encouraging intersectionality perspective and the involvement of women’s organisation and women’s leadership in preventing and countering violent extremism
  • Mapping the perception of radical groups towards the position of the state and see groups that are still trusted, with an emphasis on creating spaces for mutual dialogue between citizens
  • Creating creative campaigns and approaches in addressing radicalisation among the youth
  • AICHR to set regional norms to guide prison officers in handling the rehabilitation of juvenile terrorist inmates inside the prison
  • AICHR to develop a guideline for parole officers in managing reintegration of juvenile former terrorist inmates
  • There is a need to include the analysis on the extent of how COVID-19 disrupts or facilitates the recruitment operation of terrorist organisations and the measures to prevent and counter violent extremism as well as the rehabilitation and reintegration of ex-combatants.

AICHR acknowledged the support from the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs towards the realisation of the consultation.