The United States and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, in cooperation with the Republic of Indonesia and under the auspices of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), held the second of three regional workshops on the Initiative on Addressing the Challenge of Returning Families of Foreign Terrorist Fighters in Bali, Indonesia on May 7-8, 2018.
The GCTF is working to address the problems posed by returning foreign terrorist fighters who have accompanying family members. Some family members may have committed terrorist acts while in Syria and Iraq or pose a threat to the community. Others may be victims of ISIS, particularly young children, who may have witnessed unspeakable violence, been indoctrinated, or otherwise become desensitized to ISIS’s brutality.
The yearlong initiative will bring together national and local governments, international organizations, medical and psychological assistance communities, and family support organizations over a series of three region-specific workshops. The first workshop was held in Tunis, Tunisia on February 8-9, 2018.
Participants in Indonesia discussed key themes from the Tunisia workshop in the context of Southeast Asia. This workshop was held in coordination with the GCTF Countering Violent Extremism Working Group, and was planned in consultation with its co-chairs, Australia and Indonesia. These discussions will help to shape the Families Initiative non-binding good practices, which will be put forward for endorsement at the 2018 GCTF Ministerial Meeting this September.