From 27-28 January 2016, Hedayah and the International Institute for Justice and Rule of Law (IIJ) held a two-day consultation meeting on the “Rehabilitation of Returning Foreign Terrorist Fighters (RFTF) Program” in Valetta, Malta. The meeting convened representatives from UNICRI and government officials from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Jordan, Kosovo, Morocco, UK and US.
The Returning Foreign Terrorist Fighters Phenomenon (RFTFs) calls for increased international attention. Thousands of people have already crossed borders to join violent extremist groups and many of them are now returning home after engagement in violent activities and/or exposure to sustained radicalized environments. Hedayah and IIJ are taking the initiative to develop and implement an ambitious program focused on the rehabilitation and reintegration of returnees.
The aim of the consultation meeting was to present principles and modules developed for the RFTF program. Participants discussed over 20 principles for RFTF and provided feedback based on their experience in their local contexts.
The program will be implemented in four phases:
- in-country discussion;
- policy-level discussion;
- practitioner session; and
- post initiative assessment.
Countries present expressed strong support for the initiative and national implementation strategies were discussed.
Given the strong interest in the program, Hedayah and the IIJ will start implementing the program in 2016, on the basis of the current needs and specific contexts of a selected pool of countries.