UNESCO in action. Preventing Violent Extremism Worldwide (UNESCO, 2017)

UNESCO in action. Preventing Violent Extremism Worldwide (UNESCO, 2017)

The major challenges of our time are on a global scale. Instances of radical violence that know no borders and spread across the world under various guises are one such challenge. They threaten the stability of our societies and the conditions for sustainable peace and development, whether they appear in the form of terrorist attacks, the targeted destruction of heritage, the trafficking in cultural property, or hateful or revisionist ideology. We must respond to this global, multifaceted threat collectively and pre-emptively, through long-term preventive work with young people from all backgrounds. With a preventative approach, we can break the logic of intolerant discourse and expose the underlying causes fanaticism and hatred.

One of the main components of this preventive work is quality education. Education develops young people’s capacities for critical thinking and respect for diversity. It is imperative to transmit the values of dialogue and peace to children from the earliest age, as recommended by UNESCO’s programme on global citizenship education, which aims to mould committed, enlightened citizens, open to intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding. An awareness of cultural diversity and the wealth of the heritage of humanity plays a key role. For all generations, and particularly the youngest, this awareness of our shared past is one of the best antidotes in the fight against destructive ideologies. It motivates hearts and minds to respect and defend pluralism and fundamental human rights.

UNESCO is also committed to making the best use of cutting-edge technologies that are transforming our societies. Media and information literacy has become crucial to teach young people to identify hate speech and radicalization spreading across the Internet. It can raise their awareness of the ethical issues surrounding access to and use of new media, to ultimately encourage and promote their freedom of expression and respect for the freedom of others.

Promoting gender equality is another of UNESCO’s priorities. For many years, the Organization has been working to improve girls’ and women’s access to education and training worldwide, to enable them to develop their full potential and take greater control of their lives. Combatting gender discrimination is key for a less violent, more peaceful society.

This publication presents the various aspects of UNESCO’s efforts worldwide to prevent violent extremism, and provides specific examples of its initiatives and achievements. These examples are intended to be a source of motivation to continue tackling the deeper causes of hatred and violence, and to sow the seeds of peace and mutual understanding in all minds.

You can find the original publication here

TopicWomen, Internet, Local communities, Youth, Human Rights


Themes: Women, Internet, Local communities, Youth, Human Rights