The Erasmus+ funded Youth Empowerment and Innovation Project (YEIP) has just launched a free toolkit for policymakers which aims to tackle and prevent marginalisation and violent radicalisation among young people in Europe.
YEIP is delivered in partnership with 18 partners from seven EU countries (UK, Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Portugal, Sweden) and in four environments (schools, universities, prisons, online). Its purpose is to construct and test an innovative policy intervention model, carry out training as well as implement a toolkit, which are founded on the principles of restorative justice, positive psychology and the Good Lives Model.
The project’s ultimate goal is to help implement the EU Youth Strategy’s objective of preventing the factors that can lead to young people’s social exclusion and radicalisation.
The toolkit comprises of theory, videos, self-reflection tools and external resources which encompass four topics: understanding the radicalisation phenomenon, positive psychology and the Good Lives Model, listening to young people and promoting their participation from a human rights perspective and combatting radicalisation through conflict resolution and critical thinking.
Dr. Theo Gavrielides, IARS Founder & Director and YEIP Project Coordinator, said: “Radicalisation and extremism leading to violence have become rising concerns in the past few years, especially with its consequences for youth. Across Europe and its neighbouring countries, there is a need for leadership and determination in tackling the marginalisation of young people so as to restore trust and confidence in citizens. Therefore, this prevention toolkit will provide the foundations for creating systemic change at both the national level and EU levels. Putting young people at the heart of the policy influencing process results in well-informed decisions, it is only through this approach that we can achieve real social inclusion of youth in the future.”
Julia Patz, Member of IARS Youth Advisory Board, “I think it is interesting to see a policy toolkit for young people that was actually made by other young people. A lot of times, governments and organizations neglect to ask the group of people that they are trying to help what they recommend should be changed to better their own lives. But this YEIP toolkit was formed by listening to young people and promoting their participation from a human rights perspective, making it even more helpful and applicable to youth. Throughout the prevention framework development, young people have been at the helm of leading YEIP, which makes it unique to any young person that the toolkit will affect.”
During the life of the YEIP project, young people have led on the direction of the prevention framework to help develop a set of robust tools. By taking an active role in peer research, discussing their experiences, opinions and suggestions in a group, they are best placed to influence and make decisions regarding the prevention of violent radicalisation.
This choice is the result of a trend inversion that will permit the creation of prevention policies more suited and relevant to youth.