11 July, Male’: Released earlier today, the “Youth Vulnerability Assessment in the Maldives” is an extensive research conducted through the collaborative efforts of National Counter Terrorism Centre and UNDP Maldives with support from the Government of Japan. This research was carried out with the important objective of finding the root causes and vulnerabilities that could make Maldivian youth susceptible to radicalization and violent extremism.
Key findings of the research draws light to important reasons why youth become vulnerable enough to be coerced into believing in extremist rhetoric and walking down a violent path. The findings show that such vulnerabilities stem from feelings of exclusion, and due to the lack of opportunities available for youth in the Maldives.
Corruption, Education, Drugs, Unemployment, Housing, Gang violence, and Violent Extremism were identified as key issues leading towards social exclusion and dissatisfaction among young people. Participants also identified these issues as possible challenges that need to be addressed when tackling violent extremism. 69% of the respondents believe social isolation to be a serious problem for young people, with just 39% believing that community spirit was strong in their respective islands. The research indicated a strong sentiment towards regional development as a possible solution to alleviate these challenges, with over 88% of participants believing that the government should focus its financial investments outside of the capital.
The report recommends 10 policy priorities to address the situation, ranging from the urgent prison reform to critical legal reforms such as reviewing Disability Act and Drug Act.
The Youth Vulnerability Assessment in the Maldives report will be available for download at this link and on NCTC’s website.
NCTC is the national lead agency for coordinating the counter terrorism and counter violent extremism efforts. NCTC acts as the primary agency for integrating and analyzing all intelligence pertaining to terrorism and violent extremism acquired by all partner agencies and organizations. In addition, NCTC integrates, synchronizes and coordinates specific action plans on issues ranging from preventing violent extremism, strategic communication against terrorism and extremism and national terrorism response and protection of tourism industry and other key national industries and capabilities from terrorist attacks.
Since the opening of its country office in the Maldives in 1978, UNDP has worked closely with the Government, civil society and other key stakeholders to achieve progress in all areas of human development from democratic governance to poverty eradication, to climate and disaster risk resilience. The UNDP Maldives Country Programme is focused on achieving achievement of two key outcomes: building stronger systems of democratic governance that give citizens a voice in the political process and ensuring that growth and development are inclusive, sustainable, resilient to the effects of climate change and disasters.
UNDP Maldives: Makhdhooma Nazim, Partnership Development and Policy Officer | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Tel: +960 7789212
National Counter Terrorism Center: email@example.com | Tel: +960 3314670
UNDP Maldives: Aishath Rizna | Assistant Resident Representative, Democratic Governance| Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Tel: +960 3343 207