Flemish government unveils action plan to tackle radicalisation


An 11-point plan was approved by the Flemish parliament yesterday that creates a network of support services in preventing and combatting the radicalisation of youth

“Maximum support”

The Flemish government has approved an 11-point plan aimed at preventing young people from becoming indoctrinated by radical ideologies. The government began to evolve its strategy earlier this year following terrorist attacks in Paris and a foiled terror attack on Belgian soil.

The main points in the plan involve effective exchange of information, monitoring of online activity and support for local organisations. The plan encourages closer contact with parents of young people attracted by radical ideas and offers support to vulnerable young people at an early stage.

The programme involves all government departments, with family and welfare minister Jo Vandeurzen (pictured) playing a key role in supporting parents of vulnerable young people.

It was reported yesterday that two Belgian residents a week leave to fight in Syria, most of them coming from Brussels and Antwerp. Minister of the interior and integration, Liesbet Homans, who originally proposed the plan, said that “prevention is crucial in dealing with the radicalisation process. We want to offer everyone concerned – from local authorities to social workers to teachers to parents – a maximum of support when they are confronted with people who are at high risk of becoming radicalised”.

Other elements in the plan include the creation of a help desk run by the new family support organisations Huizen van het Kind. The government also wants to use social media channels to counter radical ideas spread through the internet.    
Photo courtesy De Standaard