Communal document containing the “Guidelines for the reproducibility of experience for the transformation of urban spaces at risk of violent radicalization for minors involved in criminal proceedings”.
This document will be a relevant outcome of the Project work and will provide the key elements for planning and sustaining participatory activities and training, addressed to prosecuted minors and young adults, stakeholders, and professionals.
“Guidelines” may be a reference for future prevention and contrast to violent radicalization.
1. THE PROMOTION OF EMPOWERING INTERVENTIONS IS CRUCIAL
Empowering interventions are crucial to improve the competences of professionals, educators, volunteers (also religious ones) and prison officers, on one hand, and the capabilities of minors and their families, on the other hand, to face social exclusion and to promote positive relationships.
TRAINING AND WORKSHOPS
2. TRAINING FOR PROFESSIONALS TO SUPPORT YOUNG PEOPLE’S DIFFICULTIES
It is necessary to develop training for professionals in order to increase knowledge of socio-cultural differences and vulnerability of youth. It is also fundamental to improve professionals’ ability to support youth education, competencies, and development of social identity.
3. SHARED TRAINING AND METHODS AMONG DIFFERENT SERVICES HAVE TO BE
Social, educational, and justice institutions should have common training – particularly about violent radicalisation – to share ideas and experiences and to develop effective preventive projects based on good practices. The development and implementation of suitable methods for cooperative learning and teamwork, as well as evaluation of the social impact of outcomes, is crucial.
4. IT IS NECESSARY TO ALLOW MINORS UNDER PROCEEDINGS AND STUDENTS TO
COOPERATE IN ORDER TO LEARN INTERCULTURAL/INTERFAITH DIALOGUE
AND SENSE OF COMMUNITY
Participatory workshops with peer groups between minors and students appear extremely useful in countering violent intergroup relations and in promoting civic engagement and mutuality.
Innovative activities as space-manipulation and re-imagination of public spaces appear to generate – by means of peer relationships – interest and satisfaction, and to reduce conflicts, ultimately reaching positive (and intercultural) relationships. By means of public spaces re-imagination, such activities increase participants’ awareness, social competencies and sense of belonging in a common environment. Consequently, educational, relational and vocational skills are promoted.
5. AN UNDERSTANDING OF YOUTH ANGER AND NEGATIVE EMOTIONS IS NEEDED
FOR PLANNING EFFECTIVE AND INCLUSIVE EDUCATIONAL INTERVENTIONS
It is very important to detect the preconditions of anger and negative emotions in marginalised youth. It is, therefore, important to promote skills among professionals to address minors’ emotions, by providing adequate training including the use of innovative tools such as narrative techniques.
It is necessary to spread inclusive attitudes and behaviors in schools, promoting a culture of “Otherness”.
6. URBAN SPACES NEED TO BECOME SPACES FOR INCLUSION
The promotion of inclusion – where differences work together in a common project of cohabitation – positively impacts urban life. Municipal Authorities should take the appropriate urban policies and plan effective local actions against socio-cultural discrimination, exclusion and spatial confinement of social groups. In the areas characterized by complex difficulties, local authorities, in synergy with local representatives, migrant associations, and NGOs, should foster citizens’ participation in planning and implementing interventions to improve quality of life and urban cohabitation. In particular, lab experiences – for promoting participation and sense of community among citizens, especially young people and women – and workshops with stakeholders – for engaging inhabitants in proposals for renovating urban spaces – appear to be of great importance.
7. PUBLIC SPACES FOR SOCIALIZATION NEED TO BE REDISCOVERED AND URBAN
SPACES, INCLUDING TOTAL INSTITUTIONS, NEED TO BE RENOVATED
The rediscovery and reactivation of public urban spaces as relational spaces for meeting together are strongly recommended, involving in such projects – aimed at inclusion – political, religious and other social groups. It is important to emphasize the renovation of all the public spaces, including negative ones, such as prisons, because unsuitable spaces are barriers to community development, shared values, and membership.
8. OPENING THE DOORS OF INSTITUTIONS IS CRITICAL FOR PLANNING BEST
“Opening the doors” of institutions (including juvenile prisons) is essential in order to build social networks and to counteract “institutional isolation”. A partnership between Public Authorities and NGOs (associations and voluntary organisations), emphasizing their strengths and areas of focus is essential to influence public policies. Stakeholders should be actively engaged in interventions for social inclusion and policies planning, addressed specifically to youth potentially exposed to violent radicalisation.
9. STRENGTHENING NETWORKS AMONG INSTITUTIONS IS ESSENTIAL TO
PROMOTE JUSTICE AND FAIRNESS AND TO ADDRESS VIOLENT
Stable networks among institutions, as structured best practices, are crucial for the promotion of cultural change, justice, and fairness; for the creation and strengthening of local (national and international) partnerships; for the sharing of ideas and strategies to counter violent radicalisation. It is fundamental:
a) implementation of protocols and operational procedures for an effective planning of interventions,
b) increasing awareness of existing networks,
c) strengthening of informal networks,
d) improvement of communication among institutions, often perceived as distant nodes of the network.
KNOWLEDGE AND CULTURE
10. IMPROVEMENT OF SOCIAL COHESION OVERCOMES INSECURITY AND
FEELINGS OF FEAR OF CITIZENS
It is recommended that mutual understanding and social cohesion be improved in order for all local inhabitants to share and overcome insecurity and feelings of fear. It is necessary to avoid competition in the interest of human rights, by supporting the needs and by paying attention to the perceived fears of both migrants and poor Italian families.
11. ALSO MARGINALIZED POPULATIONS PERCEIVE ISOLATION AND ARE AFRAID
FOR THEIR FUTURES
Marginalized populations, often seen as a threat, are also afraid. Migrants, in particular, need to obtain legal status, are afraid for their futures and perceive isolation and loneliness. It is necessary to improve the integration process including consideration of their voices and their difficulties. A crucial point is the education for migrant youth, so as to provide them with adequate opportunities and effective tools for inclusion.
INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION
12. CITIZENS SHOULD HAVE ACCURATE AND NOT MANIPULATED INFORMATION
ABOUT EMERGING ISSUES
Citizens have poor and often manipulated information about emerging issues. In order for them to be better informed, more balance and attention is required among the media, particularly in addressing violent radicalisation phenomena to reduce the risk of social alarm. It is essential to create counter-narratives against the political manipulation of information and “fake news”.
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