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Children and counter-terrorism

United Nationas Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute


Terrorism is not a new phenomenon. However, it has acquired new dimensions in the twenty-first century. Terrorist groups have become more structured, and are now often transnational; the majority of the latest terrorist attacks are religiously motivated; and terrorist acts have become increasingly brutal, particularly in terms of civilian casualties.

While the international community has yet to agree on a shared definition of the phenomenon, what is uncontested is that terrorism does not just consist of a deadly act, it is a modus operandi. Terrorism is a means through which violence is turned into a tool to achieve political goals, and it has “evolved over the years, with each stage emerging more dangerous and lethal than the preceding stage”. The ever evolving character of terrorism, together with the sense of anxiety that such a phenomenon creates in the community, has prompted States to adopt counterterrorism policies and measures to tackle the issue.

Children are increasingly affected and victimised by terrorism, but at the same time, the last few years have shown them to be increasingly engaged in terrorist related activity. International policy and law-making has struggled to keep up with the rapid changes, and the rights of children affected by terrorism and counter-terrorism have not entered into mainstream discourse, and have been largely overlooked.



Year Language

2016 English

Category Type

Grey Literature Report


Child, Measures, Prevention, Security, Social, Terrorism

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