On 11 February 2021, the Council of Europe HELP course on Radicalisation Prevention was launched for probation officers under the umbrella of CEP. This launch was held in the framework of the EU-CoE project ´Radicalisation Prevention, Judicial response to Terrorism and International Cooperation in Criminal Matters (RP-TERR-ICCM)’.

The event was attended by 20 participants from different EU Member States: Austria, Croatia, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, Malta, the Netherlands, Romania and Spain. The purpose of this launch was to present the course and provide all the information regarding the project and the course; as well as creating a good opportunity for participants to meet each other (even virtually) and meet the tutors who will be guiding them through the course.

Opening and presentations

Willem van der Brugge, Secretary General of the CEP – partners in the project- and Eva Pastrana, Head of the HELP Unit, opened the event by welcoming all participants and explaining the relevance that the subject of radicalisation still has, as well as the importance of ensuring proper training and guidelines for probation officers and all those professionals dealing with radicalised individuals. HELP is the Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals, and increasingly other practitioners. It develops top online courses so that European human rights standards can be effectively applied by practitioners at the national level.

Eva Massa provided the background to the project and an overall picture of the HELP course on Radicalisation Prevention, which has already been adapted and implemented by 10 national institutions in different EU Member States.

This was followed by a presentation from Pedro das Neves, CEO of IPS Innovative Prison Systems, on ´integrated radicalisation prevention and exit interventions: new challenges for probation professionals´. He presented the different actions and programmes tackling radicalisation in prisons and probation, as well as rehabilitation of Violent Extremist Offenders (VEOS) in prison and probation services. He highlighted the competencies of probation staff: interpersonal, ethical and radicalisation-specific technical competencies, and the knowledge, skills and attitudes they require to deal with such issues.His completel presentation can be downloaded here.

The course itself and the HELP e-learning platform

The second part of the session allowed participants to interact with each other and with the tutors, Ioan Durnescu and Robert Örell, who took them through the course format, structure and content, encouraging participants to share ideas, expectations and best practices.

Although this CEP course version targets a selected group, the HELP online course on Radicalisation Prevention is available in 6 languages on the HELP e-learning platform, together with other HELP courses related to the project, namely: International Cooperation in Criminal Matters, Gathering and Use of Evidence in Counter-terrorism cases and Managing Foreign National Prisoners.


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