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Capacity building activities in Albania on the Nexus

Pilot trainings on the Policy Toolkit on The Hague Good Practices on the Nexus Between Transnational Organized Crime and Terrorism




Two capacity-building events are taking place from 28 September to 2 October 2020 within the framework of the UNICRI's Programme on the nexus between organized crime and terrorism.

The trainings, are based on the Policy Toolkit on The Hague Good Practices on the Nexus Between Transnational Organized Crime and Terrorism developed by UNICRI and the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), and are organized in partnership with the Coordination Center for Countering Violent Extremism in Albania (CVE). The Nexus Policy Toolkit was produced to assist Member States in providing an overview of the nexus, and practical implementable steps for consideration by countries in the application of the good practices.

Albanian organized criminal groups have developed global networks which are intensely involved in transnational crimes such as drug trafficking, weapons and human smuggling, and money laundering among the others. They often come into direct contact with violent extremist offenders. Data has shown that Western Balkans is the European region with the highest concentration of returning foreign fighters from Syria and Iraq. Reports indicate that they have travelled back home using forged or stolen travel documents (in some cases provided by criminals) and were aided by groups of smugglers operating across the Middle East and Europe.

The trainings are attended by participants from government agencies including law enforcement agencies, the judiciary, members of academia, members of different Albanian Municipalities, members of the social services, NGOs and CSOs, and media outlets. The first of the two trainings focuses on a ‘soft’ approach to the nexus, where the main topics addressed is related to the importance of empowering communities and ensuring their access to basic services and employment opportunities; and the rehabilitation and reintegration of violent extremist offenders as well as the role media can play to prevent the nexus.

The second training focuses on a law enforcement response and includes other relevant stakeholders. It aims at increasing their awareness and capacity to combat the nexus, in particular by monitoring the cyberspace. This training also aims at strengthening the judicial system and ensuring that legal and prison practitioners are trained to recognize the links and to prevent the cooperation and transfer of skills and knowledge between criminals and violent extremists in prison settings.

It remains paramount that relevant practitioners and policy-makers understand the links between organized crime and terrorism and find ways to combat it in a joint and sustainable manner.

The two capacity-building initiatives have been kindly supported by Fondazione Compagnia di San Paolo.