Radicalisation & Extremism
Children and young people may be vulnerable to abuse or exploitation from outside the family. These threats can take a variety of different forms and can include influences of extremism leading to radicalisation (Working Together, 2018).
Radicalisation is when somebody starts believing or support extreme views, and in the worst cases, goes on to participate in terrorism. Children can be exposed to different views and some of these may be considered radical or extreme. Young people who are being radicalised may be unaware that it is happening, as it is often a gradual process.
Radicalisation can be motivated by many different things, such as religious beliefs, political beliefs, and prejudices against particular groups of people. Young people can be radicalised by close family or friends, through contact with extremist groups, or online. Usually membership of an extremist or terrorist group will offer a sense of community, purpose, and identity which may be appealing to young people who are experiencing changes in their lives, exploring new things, and questioning and discovering their own faith, sense of belonging, and identity.
The process of radicalisation may involve being:
- Groomed, either in person or online
- Exploited (which may include sexual exploitation)
- Psychologically manipulated
- Exposed to inappropriate information and violent material
- Put at risk of physical harm or death through terrorist acts