The Canadian Practitioners Network for Prevention of Radicalisation and Violent Extremism (CPN-PREV) and the Research and Action on Social Polarisation team from the SHERPA Institute
On February 21st, 2020, Mr. Séraphin Alava, Associate Member of the UNESCO Chair in Prevention of Radicalisation and Violent Extremism, was awarded the prestigious 2019 PAM Award. The presentation ceremony took place in Athens as part of the 14th Plenary of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean at the Hellenic Parliament.
Vivek Venkatesh, UNESCO co-chair in prevention of radicalization and Concordia professor, met the CJAD 800 team to discuss radicalization among Canadians. “Our team spoke to ten individuals, ten former extremists. […] It is important to treat this issue with empathy and humanism”, explains Mr. Venkatesh.
Why do people join extremist movements? Researchers at Concordia think they know part of the answer. In a study, researchers spoke to 10 people who joined radical movements. “The pathway to radicalization isn’t necessarily something that’s very distinct,” UNESCO co-chair in prevention of radicalization Vivek Vekatesh told CTV Montreal.
While the rise of extremism is an increasing cause for concern among Canadian authorities, researchers from Concordia University focus on the various ways to prevent and halt recruitment within cult groups.
New research taps into experience of one-time extremists to better understand radicalization process. For years, Canadian authorities downplayed the danger of right-wing extremism, however, they are gradually taking it more seriously.
Empathy, respect and support are needed for those who may be tempted to join hate groups, or are trying to leave them, study finds. As groups like The Base aspire to ever-more violent acts, Canadian law enforcement authorities are treating right-wing extremism as a mounting threat to the country’s security.
Radicalisation does not necessarily lead to violent extremism. Extremists who commit violent crimes are usually characterized by tough personal backgrounds. For example, either themselves directly or the group towards which they feel they belong to might have been victims of discrimination, whether real or perceived.
Officially launched on February 23rd, 2018, the UNESCO-PREV Chair has seen two very busy years in Québec, in Canada and internationally. In the last twelve months, the Chair’s team aimed to strengthen and structure its network on the national level and, more importantly, on the international level.