The focus groups under Work Package 2 'Mapping challenges, needs, innovative solutions required in the process of prevention and de-radicalization' were carried-out with participation of first-line practitioners, including academia representatives, educators, youth workers, social services and specialist professionals working with youth and child as psychologists, minor’s services and LEAs. The group discussions were designed around three different dimensions: religious-inspired extremism; right-wing extremism with a specific focus on Islamophobia, hate and anti-immigrant crimes; and left-wing extremism with a special focus on anarchist, animal rights, environmentalist and separatist ideologies.
The ARMOUR Focus Group in Malta was held on 21 June 2019 and was hosted by our partner University of Malta (via the Department of Information Policy and Governance). You can find more information on the focus group methodology here.
All the practitioners highlighted a need for an increase in resources to go along with the introduction of prevention and other measures concerning radicalisation, as many of them already experience a lack of resources to cover their current activities.
Most participants recognised that they would have difficulties in recognising a radicalised individual. It would depend on the extent to which the single practitioner would follow the activity of the child (online and offline) and on the stage of the radicalisation process. Youth workers said they would be able to spend more time investigating it, while social workers recognised, they work at a pace that is too fast to focus on this.
Reporting to police increases stigma for children and young people. Participants acknowledged the need to build a system that would avoid these processes, maybe through social work services.
Participants were sceptical in defining cases of radicalisation when the child or young person is in teenage years and without a clear idea of where the beliefs they are showing come from. To understand whether it is radicalisation they said they would need more elements and to investigate the overall situation in depth.