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We need to establish
  platforms where young people
can voice their concerns,
work towards collective
well-being and contribute as
stakeholders in the future.
Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi

Build the
capacity of
civil society

Extremist movements all over the world seek to recruit members of civil society organisations because they are so dynamic. To extend their influence, acquire moral credibility, and gain supporters, extremist movements create and support voluntary associations, and often give them money. Equally, of course, they condemn, attack and try to destroy independent associations that criticise their extremist values, politics or conduct. To survive and play their role as catalysts of change and defenders of justice, civil society organisations must remain independent, trusted by the public, and organisationally sound. Community mobilisation is particularly critical, because extremist thinking can be stopped only when the public in general oppose it.

Activism can take any number of forms, from community organising to parliamentary advocacy and passive resistance. What matter are its integrity and its relevance. Young activists who work together with many others have more credibility and a stronger voice. They can also protect themselves better against intimidation and violence.


Take action

Through civil society associations, young people can:

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The value of civil society organisations is recognised by international actors, who understand that they often have the trust of key audiences that international agencies and NGOs cannot reach. Private sector organisations may also sponsor youth volunteer efforts, offer in kind contributions (such as computers and software licenses), technical support, or other forms of support.

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