Good Practice 11
Develop rehabilitation and reintegration programs for children involved in terrorism-related activities to aid their successful return to society.
Rehabilitation and reintegration programs for children should seek to safeguard the interests of both society and children. The successful rehabilitation and reintegration of children will also safeguard the interests of society at large.
There are very few juvenile support organizations that specialize in preventing and countering violent extremism. There is a need to develop more specialized and individualized support programs that take into account the individual characteristics of the child, including gender, preparing children to return to their families and communities after having been detained or imprisoned for their involvement in terrorism-related activity.
Rehabilitation and reintegration programs should be available to children involved in terrorism-related activity that have been diverted from the judicial process (see Good Practice 7 of this Memorandum), or are completing or have completed custodial sentences.20
Rehabilitation and reintegration programs, whether delivered in the community or through court orders or in detention, should take a multi-sector approach involving actors such as psychologists, mental health workers, social workers, law enforcement, community leaders, school teachers, and families, and should continuously assess the child.
Programs should strive to restore links between children and their families, peers, community, and society, where appropriate. Programs may be tailored to the cultural and religious background of the targeted child. Programs that also address the families of the child should constitute a significant element of the rehabilitation and reintegration process. Post-release support to facilitate the reintegration process is also necessary to facilitate continuing education, secure employment, and to counter stigmatization that often accompanies children that have been alleged to be involved in terrorism.
Rehabilitation and reintegration processes and policies benefit from open communication, and coordination and collaboration between judicial and prison authorities, juvenile support organizations, and social service organizations that work with children after their release from specialized juvenile institutions, as appropriate.
20. See guidance provided in the Paris Principles, supra note 7.