Prevention of radicalization and terrorism in Catalonia


Following the terror attacks of August 17th in Barcelona, the Catalan Ombudsman has submitted a report on prevention of radicalization and coordination of security forces. 

Radicalization is a complex phenomenon in which there are factors such as the difficulty in building a multiple cultural identity in a country where interculturality is still not well rooted, low expectations of success in school and work environment, low self-esteem and frustration, among others. It is necessary that public policies, at the different levels of the Administration, work on these elements. And they should do it without falling into Islamophobia and social exclusion, in line with what is promoted by Motion 151/XI of the Parliament of Catalonia.

In this sense, the protocols that have been adopted within the framework of the educational system are a tool that, while allowing the training of teachers and professionals of education and the in-depth and real work of interculturality in schools, are very positive for the fight against discrimination and the ideologies of hatred. It should be noted, however, that schools and education professionals cannot become pseudo-judicial entities for the detection of criminal or pre-criminal behaviours, since their main purpose is to educate and create a framework of coexistence and trust between students and the teachers

Catalan municipalities do not have any protocol or specific mechanisms for the prevention and detection of radicalism, although social services carry out prevention or coordination actions with other services. The Citizenship and Migration Plan 2017/2024 of the Secretariat for Equality, Migration and Citizenship can be a useful tool.

The State security forces, and their political leaders, must assume the fullness of the capacities and competences of the Catalan Police, including the fight against terrorism, and improve its coordination through the Security Board, the exchange of information and integration in all relevant cooperation structures at the state and international level.

In general, the administrations must promote a discourse on integration and prevention of racist conduct, discrimination, exaltation of violence and hatred, with special attention to the young population that is immersed in a process of identity research, and also paying attention to some processes of integration and socialization linked to identity based on religion and the difficulties linked to migration processes. 

See the recommendations submitted by the Ombudmsan in the attacched document.