This is the report by the General Rapporteur, Katerina Toura, EDC/HRE Coordinator, Greece, from Conference on Human Rights and Democracy in Action: Addressing Extremism and Radicalisation through Education Project Showcase and Debate, organized by the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France 24-25 September 2015
Authors: Katerina Toura
The pace and scale of intolerance, radicalisation and violence in Europe today demands an urgent response, and education has an important role to play in this respect – states Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland in his report on the state of human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe1. In the context of the terror attacks of the beginning of 2015, education in general and citizenship and human rights in particular are drawing attention as an effective means of addressing violent extremism and radicalisation leading to terrorism.
For many years, the Council of Europe intergovernmental programme has supported cooperation among its member states in this area; allowing the development of abroad range of valuable expertise, tools and materials in the field of citizenship, human rights and intercultural education and inspiring several joint programmes with the European Commission. The said conference was organised with the aim ofdiscussing some examples of these programmes, and exploring how this work can be better supported, upscaled and developed in the years to come, in particular in the framework of the Council of Europe Action Plan to combat violent extremism and radicalisation leading to terrorism (2015-2017).
The conference also wished to bring together a broad range of actors, with a view to facilitate a multi-perspective and thought provoking debate, and to support the bridging of policy and practice in this area.