Duration: October 2014 – March 2016
In October 2014 the Institute for Democracy and Mediation (IDM) has launched the project “Preventing religious radicalization among youth”, an 18-month initiative funded by the US Embassy in Tirana. The project comes as a response to several cases and media reports signalling on the high-risk of radicalization and manipulation of disadvantaged categories of citizens in underdeveloped areas of Albania through the misuse of religious dogma. The overall goal of this initiative is to assess risks and key drivers of potential radicalization, address rising economic concerns and prevent risks of (religion-based) radicalization among youngsters and young families faced with severe socio-economic challenges in remote areas of the districts of Korca, Elbasan, Diber and Kukes. The project employs a participatory approach, relying on continuous exchange and cooperation with religious communities, local governments, youth organizations, education institutions and other state institutions and non-state actors. An inception report serving to guide the research and project team was finalized at the end of 2014 while the work has started to provide a detailed map of radicalization risks and key drivers of violent extremism in the target areas. Based on the findings of the report, the project will deliver several activities at community level responding to target groups’ needs, as well as advocacy actions aiming to improve prevention mechanisms by state and non-state actors.