DUSHANBE, April 29, 2020 – Youth in Tajikistan’s rural and most-at-risk regions along the Afghan border face greater challenges accessing employment, education, and training, thereby exposing them to relatively higher risks of being drawn into illegal activities and/or radicalization, according to a study published today by the World Bank.
Strengthening Youth Resilience to Radicalization: Evidence from Tajikistan analyzes the youth, gender, and local dimensions of radicalization and recruitment by violent extremist groups in Tajikistan, and presents policy recommendations to address these challenges. The study also identified labor migrants and women who are excluded from participation in rural economies as vulnerable groups. The main policy recommendations from the study have influenced the design of several projects aimed at fostering youth inclusion and strengthening resilience to fragility.
“This primary research, along with other studies, has provided critical input to the Government of Tajikistan and the World Bank in designing three projects, funded under the Risk Mitigation Regime,” said Jan-Peter Olters, World Bank Country Manager for Tajikistan. “The results of this study have helped shape these projects in prioritizing vulnerable communities living along border areas with Afghanistan, especially youth, with provision of access to communal development and better opportunities for economic participation.”
The study identifies groups of people in Tajikistan that are more vulnerable to radicalization, and examines how they become radicalized and are recruited. It also looks at underlying factors that can contribute to radicalization, such as grievances related to governance and socio-economic conditions.
This is a qualitative study, which is based on 34 focus group discussions with 295 participants and 35 individual in-depth interviews (a total of 330 respondents covering 14 locations across all regions of Tajikistan.) It is important to note that the findings of the study cannot be generalized beyond the studied locations.
Strengthening Youth Resilience to Radicalization: Evidence from Tajikistan is the first in a series of multi-country studies titled Central Asia: Development Approaches for Preventing Violent Extremism. Based on interviews and focus group discussions conducted across the country in 2018, this qualitative study builds upon the government of Tajikistan’s official statistics, as well as existing literature on socio-economic conditions and violent extremism in the country.
The World Bank Group’s new strategy on fragility, conflict and violence identifies violent extremism as a growing threat to peace and stability around the world.