Expanding Access to Justice in Cameroon

It is in this context that in 2017 we were invited to partner with Cameroon’s National School of Administration and Magistracy (ENAM), the official training program for Cameroon’s public servants. Within ENAM, we established an expansive human rights-based training program for judges and prosecutors, governmental authorities, investigators, and civil society actors; a curriculum now taught to all incoming recruits as well as seasoned officers. Our legal team has since trained hundreds of Cameroonians of various sectors who are active in the country’s long-term security and governance efforts. We continue to deepen our programming in partnership with Cameroonian experts and institutions, including recently developing an anti-torture course for investigators.

Our legal team built a groundbreaking network of 180 judges, attorneys, traditional authorities, and civil administrators to address governance and security challenges facing communities impacted by Boko Haram. The insights garnered through this community-based network directly informed our draft of a new law that adequately harmonizes existing Cameroonian legal frameworks with international human rights standards which has been submitted to the President.

Building on these successes, we funded local organizations working to enhance community resilience in regions impacted by Boko Haram and ISIS West Africa. Through our subgrants program, we supported 13 grassroots organizations promoting peacebuilding and governance—from the launch of a peace radio station to a leadership development program for women who are responding to local security challenges. This work continues through our support to USAID’s multiyear programming in the country. The Global Center has unique access and influence, thanks to our privileged role serving as one of only two independent organizations in the country funded by the U.S. Department of State to support Cameroonian security efforts. This program has strengthened collaboration among governance, justice, and community actors, and significantly contributed to the country’s long-term efforts to prevent violent extremism and build sustainable peace.

The Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF)’s Gender and Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (P/CVE) Policy Toolkit was developed under the leadership of the GCTF CVE Working Group Co-Chairs, the governments of Australia and Indonesia, and implemented by the Global Center with support from Professor Jacqui True and a twelve-person Expert Project Advisory Committee. The Gender and P/CVE Policy Toolkit was developed to support the implementation of the Good Practices on Women and Countering Violent Extremism (2015) and the Addendum to the Good Practices on Women and Countering Violent Extremism, with a Focus on Mainstreaming Gender (2019) by providing practitioners and policymakers with relevant frameworks, good practices, and resources for designing, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating gender-responsive P/CVE policies and programs.

The Toolkit is based on the premise that mainstreaming gender is about ensuring inclusive, equitable participation and leadership of people of diverse gender and intersecting identities, while also recognizing the diversity within a group of individuals that identifies similarly. It is about accounting for the experiences, needs, and challenges of individuals and recognizing gender differences and inequalities, as well as intersecting factors, including socioeconomic, age, disability, ethnic, and cultural identities.

Prisons around the world have seen an increase in individuals who are involved in violent extremism, presenting new challenges for authorities. In response, we work with several national prison services to develop human rights–based training programs to help staff identify violent extremist radicalization and recruitment in prisons and to support the management, rehabilitation, and reintegration of violent extremist prisoners.

This work began in 2017 in Morocco, where we trained the entirety of its prison system staff—approximately 9,000 individuals—across all prison facilities in the country. We also lead a unique program for all prison psychologists in Morocco, who can serve as critical agents in addressing the psychological risks and needs of violent extremist prisoners. Building on these successes, we have replicated the model in Indonesia, Kenya, and Trinidad and Tobago. Our program Kenya is underway to train all 30,000 prison staff around the country, delivered by Kenyan officers through a training-of-trainers framework designed to maximize institutional ownership and sustainability. In Indonesia, we implement a unique program for female prison officers managing violent extremist prisoners as well as an advanced training that has become the standard training program for prison staff posted to high security prisons. In Trinidad and Tobago, we supported the development of a national strategy to prevent violent extremism in prisons and designed and institutionalized a new curriculum for recruits.

Through our work around the world, we witness how young people are primary targets of armed groups of all stripes. This is notably true for violent extremist networks, which tend to focus their recruitment on individuals between 15 and 30 years old. This is evident among al-Shabaab and Boko Haram in Kenya and Nigeria, respectively, which capitalize on young people’s sense of economic, social, and political marginalization and despair.

Young people also play pivotal roles as leaders for positive change. Both Kenya and Nigeria have a vibrant, youth-led civil society landscape, which has proven critical to building and sustaining resilient communities. Yet civil society—particularly youth people—working in communities impacted by violent extremism often struggle to secure and sustain the funding required to maintain long-term programming and establish formal organizations. Many civic and nonprofit leaders are not connected to regional or national communities of practice, much less international networks—hindering their ability to contribute to and capitalize on peer expertise and resource-sharing.

It is in this context that we recognized the opportunity to invest in the next generation of change-makers and peacebuilders in Nigeria and Kenya. With a focus on organizations in regions with high levels of violent extremist activity, we made a multi-year commitment to twenty grassroots violence prevention initiatives, including through the provision of small grants, capacity development, and networking and mentoring opportunities. Our partnership effectively equipped youth Nigerian and Kenyan leaders with the skills, networks, and resources to address community grievances, stand up localized communities of practice, and ultimately stem the growth of extremist violence.

Our capacity development and training programs draw heavily on train-the-trainer and other peer-to-peer models to help ensure ownership by participants as well as the sustainability of these programs after our role formally ends. These workshops included an innovative peer exchange: Kenyan facilitators traveled to Nigeria and Nigerian facilitators traveled to Kenya, with both leading workshops to share their insight into combatting the strategies and methods used by al-Shabaab, Boko Haram, ISIS, and al-Qaeda. The program presents a successful new model for grantmaking that foregrounds hyper-local community and youth engagement as requisites in preventing violent extremism. Further, the framework for pairing regions and countries on the basis of shared experiences is easily replicable.

In 2018, the Global Center marked its sixth year of partnership with the Ethiopian Financial Intelligence Center (EFIC), Federal Attorney General (AG), and other stakeholders under two phases of technical assistance programming supported by the government of Denmark.

Ethiopia has made substantial progress in strengthening its anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regime. The Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group recognized this progress in November 2018 when it increased Ethiopia’s compliance rating on nine Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Recommendations. Further, Ethiopia has demonstrated its ability to effectively utilize AML/CFT frameworks to detect and investigate financial crimes, as evidenced by the high profile arrests of intelligence, military, and business officials over alleged corruption and human rights abuses in November 2018.

The Global Center has been honored to support Ethiopia in these efforts and commends the EFIC, AG, and all its partners on their achievements. Key highlights from the second phase of programming (2016-2018) include:

Trainings and Capacity Development: In collaboration with the EFIC and AG, the Global Center facilitated 27 trainings for 624 participants representing 51 different institutions, organizations, and businesses in Ethiopia from 2016-2018. These efforts have contributed to the capacity development of individuals and institutions and fostered stronger relationships and information sharing pathways between institutions.

National Risk Assessment: Ethiopia finalized its national risk assessment in 2016, a critical element of compliance with the FATF standards. The findings of the national risk assessment are instrumental in advancing Ethiopia’s risk-based approach (RBA) to AML/CFT and to deepening the understanding of Ethiopia’s unique threat and vulnerability profile. Building off this process, the EFIC is leading a sectoral risk assessment for non-profit institutions and real estate as identified areas of higher risk.

Risk-Based Approach to Supervision: To advance effective compliance procedures in line with the findings of the national risk assessment, the Global Center supported the EFIC in establishing an intra-agency drafting committee to develop policy guidance on implementing a RBA to supervision. The EFIC collaborated with the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) to develop a manual on RBA supervision for financial institutions, and with other regulatory authorities to develop a similar manual for RBA supervision for designated non-financial businesses and professions (DNFBPs). To date, the EFIC and NBE have conducted joint on-site inspections of six financial institutions and are prioritizing supervisory mechanisms among identified risk-risk DNFBPs.

AML/CFT Manual and Practitioner’s Guide for Investigators and Prosecutors: In order to facilitate sustainable institutional development, a committee of local experts collaborated with the Global Center to draft an AML/CFT manual for investigators and prosecutors in an Ethiopian context. The manual provides an overview of international and domestic legal frameworks for AML/CFT, including an overview of the relevant actors, compliance obligations and processes, and sources of information that may be useful in conducting money laundering and terrorist financing investigations and prosecutions. The manual is augmented by a practitioner’s guide that offers practical guidance for conducting financial crime investigations in line with Ethiopian legal frameworks.

Three Multi-Course Training Programs on Effective Financial Crime Investigations and Prosecutions: One of the key areas highlighted in Ethiopia’s mutual evaluation and subsequent follow-up reports has been low levels of technical capacity among investigators and prosecutors pursuant to AML/CFT and financial crime investigations. Many provisions of Ethiopia’s AML/CFT law have yet to be tested in court, resulting in variances in interpretation and application. To address these challenges, the project supported three multi-training certification programs on effective financial crime investigations and prosecutions for over 110 representatives from the AG, Ethiopian Police University College (EPUC), Federal Police, Addis Ababa Police Commission, Regional Police Commissions, and Federal Investigation Bureau. Graduates of this program have been engaged by the AG in facilitating local trainings at the sub-city level, with EPUC graduates implementing an AML/CFT module into the training curriculum.

Regional Training Series on AML/CFT: In order to deepen capacities outside of the capital, a series of regional trainings were facilitated for police, investigators, and prosecutors in each of Ethiopia’s nine regions. Demonstrating its strong institutional capacity and role as experts on AML/CFT issues, trainings were led by EFIC and AG staff with the support of the Global Center consultant Mr. Biniam Shiferaw Ayalew. Trainings were conducted in Bahir Dar (Amhara region), Adama (Oromia region), Hawassa (Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ region), Jijiga (Somali region), Mekelle (Tigray region), Semera (Afar region), Gambela (Gambela region), Assosa (Benishangul region), and Hara (Harai region), as well as in Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa for over 300 participants.

Asset Freezing and Non-Proliferation Legislation: Building upon prior trainings and gap analysis, the AG established an intra-agency committee to conduct research and draft new legislation related to the financing of weapons of mass destruction as well as legislation and procedures to strengthen asset freezing, confiscation, and management. Draft legislation on proliferation financing is awaiting approval from Parliament, and will address the final major technical gap identified by the FATF during Ethiopia’s mutual evaluation.

For more information about this program, please contact Ms. Tracey Durner at tdurner@globalcenter.org.

The Compendium of Good Practices in the Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Violent Extremist Offenders presents good and promising practices in the rehabilitation and reintegration of violent extremist offenders (VEOs) in correctional settings, while also discussing how practices related to prison regime, security, intelligence, and risk assessment can impact these two processes. The compilation endeavors to (1) inform understanding and improve decision-making regarding the implementation of approaches for the rehabilitation and reintegration of VEOs, specifically in the correctional services of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, although it has value in other jurisdictions; (2) integrate established with emerging promising practices in this field; (3) translate key existing documents into an applied and accessible resource for use by various stakeholders; and (4) include good and promising practices associated with women, juveniles, and foreign fighters convicted of terrorism offenses, and prison and probation services where issues associated with violent extremism may be less frequent.

The compendium is housed on a separate website that contains an overview of the key promising practices for the different sections of the compendium. The compendium is accompanied by a Good Practices Guide, which lists a range of key questions for prison services to explore as they develop, evaluate, and update their approaches to managing VEOs and identifying and addressing radicalization and recruitment to violent extremism. To access these documents, visit https://www.veocompendium.org/.

As governments consider effective responses to violent extremism, they must also decide how best to deal with those who have committed acts of violent extremism, particularly with regard to their rehabilitation and reintegration. Though it is their mandate, governments cannot undertake the rehabilitation and reintegration challenge alone. Civil society organizations can be well-placed to assist with or lead on various components and should be involved in planning and implementation. This action agenda builds on a 30 month project funded by the U.S. Department of State to explore the role of civil society organizations in rehabilitation and reintegration in three broad regions: the Sahel, the Greater Horn of Africa, and Southeast Asia. The action agenda offers guiding principles, recommendations, and examples to help stakeholders shape rehabilitation and reintegration practices and better incorporate the experiences and knowledge of civil society organizations.

Civil society organizations represent a bulwark against violent extremism. Civil society organizations across South and Central Asia, many of which focus on development, conflict prevention, peace-building, and human rights, have leveraged their experience in these areas to develop innovative preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) programs targeting a broad spectrum of issues confronting their communities. These initiatives include producing educational entertainment that challenges extremist narratives, improving relationships between communities and local government, and promoting research and understanding to better recognize local factors contributing to the spread of violent radicalization.

To help advance these efforts, the Global Center with support from the U.S. Department of State, undertook a two-year program to support civil society organizations in South and Central Asia in the development of contextually tailored and locally relevant responses to violent extremism.  It concludes with key recommendations for policymakers, practitioners, and donors to consider as they look to initiate or increase support for P/CVE initiatives in South and Central Asia.

As a field of policy and practice, countering violent extremism (CVE) has emerged rapidly in recent years and represents the most significant development in counterterrorism over that time. But CVE stands at something of a fulcrum point. There is enough experience in “doing CVE” to expect that data about its effects and effectiveness can be gathered and analyzed. In turn, such analyses ought to inform future developments if policy is to be evidence based. This report asks, “Does CVE work?” In elaborating a response, the report provides a brief primer on CVE, which is often criticized for lacking coherence as a field. It reviews publicly available evaluation research on CVE to derive lessons from the past, which pertain to governmental efforts to engage communities for the purpose of CVE. It analyzes how those evaluations and related efforts to learn from experience have impacted the evolution of CVE, which has, in general, become better focused on the risk of extremist behavior over time. In turn, the report reviews the state of the art in evaluating CVE measures. The report makes the case for systematizing the understanding and practice of CVE, committing to its evaluation, and moderating expectations about its impacts.

Combined with a history of violent conflict, the greater Horn of Africa subregion has offered an enabling environment for violent extremism for more than a half century. The Global Center and partners recently conducted a pilot demonstration project in coastal Kenya and Somaliland and produced this report, which offers insight into local perceptions of violent extremism and details an approach to countering the phenomenon based on key drivers identified by participating communities.

This report presents the findings of a pilot demonstration project conducted by the Global Center to assess community attitudes towards violent extremism and the impact of international prevention programming undertaken in Kenya and Somaliland. The report offers a series of recommendations on how relevant international actors can best contribute to context-sensitive CVE programming in partnership with local communities.

This short film was produced to capture local perspectives on the impact of violent extremism on their communities. Community activists, religious and civil society leaders, and local experts from Nairobi and Coast Province share their thoughts and suggest ways to overcome challenges in the Kenyan context. It can be viewed at: https://vimeo.com/56780867.