Children in Western Europe are increasingly exposed to violent extremism in their families. This exposure can have a harmful impact on their wellbeing and development. However, there remains a significant knowledge gap related to state-led approaches to support children in family environments where they are exposed to violent extremism. Children growing up in such home environments are likely to face a wide range of unique stigmas and vulnerabilities, which may be further exacerbated by societal bias and media reports that vilify these children, in particular the children of foreign terrorist fighters.
PREPARE aims to support these children by working with frontline practitioners in six European countries (the Netherlands, Spain, France, Sweden, Germany & Kosovo) to develop a state-of-the-art Child Vulnerability and Intervention Tool to identify the stigmas and vulnerabilities that children may experience. Moreover, PREPARE aims to develop training modules to support a wide range of stakeholders who are working with these children and their families.
By relying on a human-rights, rule-of-law & gendered approach, the project’s tools, training programs and outputs are particularly sensitive to the need to mitigate the risk of stigmatisation, polarisation and discrimination. The project also engages an ethics advisor, a gender advisor, and an independent advisory board to support this. In this way, PREPARE seeks to ensure that the well-being, safety and security of these children remain central.