Working group V

Working group V

The voice of the victims – education and campaigning

The working group was chaired by Professor Corkalu Biruski. Some general remarks were made on the topic of the role of the victims and education and campaigning. The group of experts wants to stress that the focus should not only be on the media, as a means for the victims to express themselves. Education and working with the communities is an important context for victims to support the work on de-radicalisation. Victims can share their experience with a broader public, telling a story that other people can relate to. The personal experience of a victim can bring a powerful message, showing the human consequences of an act of terrorism. The impact of such a story can be a used to support disengagement initiatives and deradicalisation programs. The personal stories of victims of terrorism do get into the media but they should not be used in an isolated way; and they should not only be focusing on the experiences of the victim as a victim, as they are much more than this. Media can play an important role in raising awareness on social injustice, but journalists consider their role not being about changing society. It can be important to use social media, because these have a different platform and a different impact than the mass media. Looking at the role testimonials can play in educational programs, the same principle rules, that it shouldn’t be used as a stand alone tool, but it needs to be part of a program. The broader context should be outlined and it should not be just a sad story. It is important for the audience to be able to identify with the speaker to build a dialogue. Principles to deradicalise are: create trust, relationship and respect. The narrative exchange is based on sharing experience, recounting personally lived-through events.