Provision of support to the Serbian government in the implementation of the National PVE Strategy

The objective of the project is to provide support to the government on the implementation of the National PVE Strategy. In cooperation with the line ministries, this project allowed UNDP Serbia to help develop thematic plans of action on VE. These plans of actions always fell within the area of focus of a given line ministry.

For more information please visit the UNDP Serbia website.

#YouthAgainstHate: Empowering Youth to Combat Hate Speech in Local Communities

This project is part of the broader project funded by the British Embassy in Belgrade “Countering Violent Extremism and Radicalization Threats in Serbia through Community-Based Early Warning and Preventive Engagement”. The latter is aimed at establishing and consolidating a foundation for efforts to prevent and counter violent extremism and radicalization that can lead to terrorism (VERLT) in Serbia. Preventing and countering VERLT is recognized as a comprehensive and multi-faceted approach in the global fight against terrorism to which the Government of Serbia is committed. The project encompasses three themes of research, in specific: support to community policing/municipal safety councils (MSCs), intercultural education and civic participation and engagement (civic education).

This specific project will be implemented by the selected implementation partner (Media Diversity Institute Western Balkans). The objective of this project is to equip young people in the capital area with tools to identify, expose and combat hate speech. Sixteen youth activists, up to 25 years of age, will receive expert training on the topic, and themselves be trained as trainers. The 16 activists will then further engage with 200 local high school students, providing training of their own based on a collectively developed manual, that is at its core youth accessible and relevant. A social media campaign on the training and manual will reach out to 10,000 people, and is intended to provide a space for discussions and debate. Hate speech both reflects the levels of intolerance and extremism in a community, and if unaddressed can normalize it. In such an environment of progressive extremism, even more violent and radical forms of extremism are more likely to emerge.

Active Youth for Secure Community

This project is part of the broader project funded by the British Embassy in Belgrade “Countering Violent Extremism and Radicalization Threats in Serbia through Community-Based Early Warning and Preventive Engagement”. The latter is aimed at establishing and consolidating a foundation for efforts to prevent and counter violent extremism and radicalization that can lead to terrorism (VERLT) in Serbia. Preventing and countering VERLT is recognized as a comprehensive and multi-faceted approach in the global fight against terrorism to which the Government of Serbia is committed. The project encompasses three themes of research, in specific: support to community policing/municipal safety councils (MSCs), intercultural education and civic participation and engagement (civic education).

This specific project, implemented by the selected implementation partner (Forum 10), has at its core the critical need to build trust between young people in Novi Pazar and local police bodies, including the MSC. Novi Pazar has faced special challenges in community policing, and efforts to improve trust and accountability are critical to ensuring young people are a partner in preventing anti-social behaviour, including radicalization. The project will create an educational platform for young people on the issue of security, developing their civic education skills and competences as well as encouraging healthy relationships with the government security institutions of Novi Pazar. It will achieve this through organizing public discussions in secondary schools on local safety issues and response options, workshops for related skills-building to ensure young people have the voice and ability to ensure their concerns are included in the MSC’s work, and roundtable discussions for young people with local and state level stakeholders.

Active Youth in Bujanovac and Preševo

This project is part of the broader project funded by the British Embassy in Belgrade “Countering Violent Extremism and Radicalization Threats in Serbia through Community-Based Early Warning and Preventive Engagement”. The latter is aimed at establishing and consolidating a foundation for efforts to prevent and counter violent extremism and radicalization that can lead to terrorism (VERLT) in Serbia. Preventing and countering VERLT is recognized as a comprehensive and multi-faceted approach in the global fight against terrorism to which the Government of Serbia is committed. The project encompasses three themes of research, in specific: support to community policing/municipal safety councils (MSCs), intercultural education and civic participation and engagement (civic education).

This specific project, implemented by the selected implementation partner (Tituli), will implement an educational campaign on the role and function of local governance (especially the municipal assembly and council) emphasizing the importance of citizen participation. Three sessions for 20 to 40 people, 14 to 20 years of age, in both Bujanovac and in Preševo, will consist of discussions with justice and public administration experts, debates, online material publication and media promotion. There will be a focus on trying to identify why young people feel they have no genuine agency, and what changes are needed to ensure they can be active, and effective, in their communities.

South Serbia faces specific governance challenges that often serve to further increase the distance between citizens and institutions. Young people who feel that their community and institutions do not work for them are more likely to give up – to seek to emigrate, to engage in more fulfilling forms of anti-social behaviour, or to join extremist groups, that do offer agency and community.

Challenges of Interculturalism – How to get to know one another?

This project is part of the broader project funded by the British Embassy in Belgrade “Countering Violent Extremism and Radicalization Threats in Serbia through Community-Based Early Warning and Preventive Engagement”. The latter is aimed at establishing and consolidating a foundation for efforts to prevent and counter violent extremism and radicalization that can lead to terrorism (VERLT) in Serbia. Preventing and countering VERLT is recognized as a comprehensive and multi-faceted approach in the global fight against terrorism to which the Government of Serbia is committed. The project encompasses three themes of research, in specific: support to community policing/municipal safety councils (MSCs), intercultural education and civic participation and engagement (civic education).

This specific project, implemented by the selected implementation partner (Belgrade Open School), addresses issues of interculturalism in a country with a dominant majority, yet significant ethnic and linguistic diversity. Issues of exclusion, alienation and marginalization are factors widely recognized as playing a role in leading some people to gravitate towards extremist nationalist or religious groups, to seek a sense of belonging that they do not find in broader society. Twenty-five people, 14 to 20 years of age, will be selected from various religious and ethnic groups, to participate in an educational program culminating in an “Intercultural Day” event in selected schools. The full program will include training in the challenges and benefits of interculturalism, and will include outings to relevant sites including religious objects, cultural heritage sites and national minority councils. The full program will also result in 6 project concept documents on topics including the role of interculturalism in the Serbian education system as part of a policy framework document.

Circus Builds Trust

This project is part of the broader project funded by the British Embassy in Belgrade “Countering Violent Extremism and Radicalization Threats in Serbia through Community-Based Early Warning and Preventive Engagement”. The latter is aimed at establishing and consolidating a foundation for efforts to prevent and counter violent extremism and radicalization that can lead to terrorism (VERLT) in Serbia. Preventing and countering VERLT is recognized as a comprehensive and multi-faceted approach in the global fight against terrorism to which the Government of Serbia is committed. The project encompasses three themes of research, in specific: support to community policing/municipal safety councils (MSCs), intercultural education and civic participation and engagement (civic education).

This specific project, implemented by the selected implementation partner (Cinema City), will took place in a part of Serbia with a very diverse and rich history, as well as substantial contemporary demographic shifts and political challenges, will address difficult discussions in an accessible manner. The rise of hate groups in this part of the country often hinges on stereotypes and “us vs. them” messages; this activity provides a counterweight to these negative trends. A contemporary theatrical circus performance will provide an active and student-centred, peer-to-peer learning tool for the direct enrichment of 20 young people from Novi Sad. The program tackles prejudice, fear and stereotyping, develops critical thinking skills and requires active youth participation and creative input. Through performances in 4 schools, the circus will reach 700 other students; a promotional campaign will further potentially reach over 30,000 people in Vojvodina.

Equality, Diversity and Media Literacy – Youth Dialogue

This project is part of the broader project funded by the British Embassy in Belgrade “Countering Violent Extremism and Radicalization Threats in Serbia through Community-Based Early Warning and Preventive Engagement”. The latter is aimed at establishing and consolidating a foundation for efforts to prevent and counter violent extremism and radicalization that can lead to terrorism (VERLT) in Serbia. Preventing and countering VERLT is recognized as a comprehensive and multi-faceted approach in the global fight against terrorism to which the Government of Serbia is committed. The project encompasses three themes of research, in specific: support to community policing/municipal safety councils (MSCs), intercultural education and civic participation and engagement (civic education).

This specific project, implemented by the selected implementation partner (Sandzak Committee for the Protection of Human Rights and Freedoms), will seek to improve media literacy and knowledge concerning discrimination and social inequality through the theoretical and practical training of 100 participants, with special attention paid to improving critical assessment of content and their own ability to generate effective and factual media messages. Media literacy will be framed to emphasize the important of information and critical thinking in active citizenship. Critical thinking and media literacy are widely viewed as essential in helping to give young people the tools needed to resist the alluring messages that come from extremist groups.

Formulating a Municipality Safety Diagnosis

This project is part of the broader project funded by the British Embassy in Belgrade “Countering Violent Extremism and Radicalization Threats in Serbia through Community-Based Early Warning and Preventive Engagement”. The latter is aimed at establishing and consolidating a foundation for efforts to prevent and counter violent extremism and radicalization that can lead to terrorism (VERLT) in Serbia. Preventing and countering VERLT is recognized as a comprehensive and multi-faceted approach in the global fight against terrorism to which the Government of Serbia is committed. The project encompasses three themes of research, in specific: support to community policing/municipal safety councils (MSCs), intercultural education and civic participation and engagement (civic education).

In this specific project (“Formulating a Municipality Safety Diagnosis”), implemented by the selected implementation partner, the aim is to strengthen community level resilience and the local ability to respond to all kinds of security threats, including radicalization and violent anti social behaviour. The partner will develop a comprehensive document on urban safety in Preševo and Bujanovac to support discussions and consultations among citizens and relevant government institutions, including the police and others involved in municipal safety. Workshops with a special focus on effective local self-governance and civic partnership with governance institutions will provide a forum for citizens to express their priorities and concerns, and for topics such as anti-social behaviour to be addressed. The final document will form the basis for final recommendations to be developed and agreed with municipal focal points and local stakeholders, and should be a first step towards more regular and institutionalized citizen engagement in municipal safety issues.