States either under their own laws or due to the international laws are required to investigate, prosecute, and detain individuals involved in terrorist activities where justified. According to this handbook on ‘appropriate use of non-custodial measures for terrorism-related offenses’ by UNODC, detention is one of the most effective ways to ensure that society is protected from harm on the part of those it detained. However, detention is not a cure against the risk of terrorism.

Alternatives to detention for terrorists/suspected terrorists come in multiple forms. The challenge of finding alternatives to detention for terrorists and suspected terrorists could be greatly reduced if several basic steps were taken. Alternatives to detention for terrorists/suspected terrorists are particularly of importance to those with only a remote connection to terrorist organisations and those who represent a low risk for society (such as children).

For alternatives to succeed, adequate resources and effective outreach towards relevant communities must be provided.

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