In recent years, the number of children recruited and exploited by terrorist and violent extremist groups has notably increased. Reports indicate that there are thousands of children abducted, recruited, used, or otherwise associated with terrorist and violent extremist groups. There is no single path to recruitment, but once associated with these groups, they are often victims of extreme violence and may be exploited to perpetrate acts of violence against civilians or in the context of military action.
Under the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace and in cooperation with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the EU launched the STRIVE Juvenile project aimed at disrupting terrorist groups’ recruitment of children, and promoting the rehabilitation and reintegration of children who have been associated with these groups into society. The project focuses on Indonesia, Iraq and Nigeria.
The overall objective of the project is to contribute to preventing and countering violent extremism among vulnerable children while continuing to respect human rights, gender equality and international law. More specifically:
- To enhance global awareness over the phenomenon of child recruitment and exploitation.
- To strengthen legal and policy framework to prevent and respond to child recruitment and exploitation by terrorist groups in Indonesia, Iraq, and Nigeria.
- To increase the capacity of professionals on strategies and measures to prevent and respond to child recruitment and exploitation by terrorist groups.
To better equip children to resist attempts at recruitment, and/or better equipped to re-integrate into society following their association with such groups, including through the promotion of multi-stakeholder approaches.