Preventing Violence through Education

From 16 to 18 November, our members in the Western Balkans held a regional training on the Prevention of Violence through all Aspects of Education and Upbringing and the Prevention of Violent Radicalism in Belgrade.

The Western Balkans remains a region of political instability, recurring economic crises, youth unemployment and stagnant economies. Ethnic divisions and unresolved issues from the periods of post Yugoslav wars still affect divisions in education and social relations in general, enhanced by lack of cooperation and economic grievances. In parts of the region right-wing movements are on the rise, radical groups of ex-combatants are recruiting youth. After the wars in the 1990s violent extremists groups have established their local cells throughout the region.

Given these developments, one of the main new thematic priorities of our members in the Western Balkans is  anti-radicalisation of youth.

Western Balkans peace education

The participants of the training seminar were teachers-peace educators from Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina.  The programme of the training consisted of the presentations of the schools in the field of the prevention of violence, education for peace and interculturalism and interactive lectures and workshops held by guest lecturers – teachers/educators and civil society representatives .  

In the end of the training, the participants discussed future plans and potentials of cross-border collaboration through the themes that connect them all: prevention of violence, radicalisation of youth, work with migrants, the use of social media in education for peace.  The training programme was evaluated as a great combination of knowledge and skills which can be used in practice and passed on to students and colleagues in schools and local communities.

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