Done via constitutional powers and legal frameworks to ban groups associated with fascism, Nazism and totalitarian/authoritarian ideologies.
Rights have been granted to the police and local government, for example to force far right protests outside the city centre or away from areas with high concentrations of ethnic minorities. Civil society has engaged in this by for example, denying far-right organisations the right to use their venues.
Hate crime legislation has in some cases been accompanied by professional training to increase the skills and knowledge of police, prosecutors and judges.
Providing minority communities with information about their rights and explaining legal frameworks on hate crime.
This includes government take-downs of illegal content, and provision of reporting functions on sites like Facebook and Twitter. It also includes community mobilisation to remove stickers, posters and graffiti.
A legal framework to protect people from discrimination in wider society, as well as in specific contexts like the workplace.
Methods to divert supporters attendance at far right events include raising awareness of the penal code, and active communication to those who are at risk of getting involved; liaising with key influencers (e.g. social workers and teachers) to encourage them to discourage individuals from attending; and diversionary activities planned to coincide with the far right event.
Ensuring that extremists have minimal impact on the community, keeping demos away from areas with high concentrations of ethnic minorities and migrants, community businesses declaring themselves zones where extremists are not welcome, and rapid community responses to paint over graffiti or clean streets after protests.
Involves tension monitoring, communication of the march route to the public, and real-time communications about the progress of the event and smart use of social media. May also involve getting the community engaged in management of the demonstration.
Programmes to connect individuals across community divides, which might be implemented through informal social networking, sports clubs, professional mentoring. Might also involve community dialogue programmes to bring together individuals to discuss community grievances in a frank way.
Activities to ensure that at-risk individuals are empowered citizens and have a sense of goals and achievement. This might include one to one mentoring (professional or social), peer leadership programmes, and engagement through activities designed to empower – sports and music programmes.
Dealing with youth street movements can be as simple as the provision of alternative social activities for susceptible youth, involving football, extreme sports, and outdoor activities, in some cases led by individuals from ethnic minority backgrounds.
A key feature of early prevention are educational programmes, including Holocaust education and religious education, or more targeted programmes teaching people about the multicultural history of a place and the plight of refugees. This might also include positive messaging in formats that appeal and reach younger people, including comic books.
This includes training and support for teachers and school staff, social workers, healthcare practitioners, as well as measures to engage with parents on this issue, for example through instituting parents support groups. Some governments have involved first-line responders and key influencers in government working groups and government programmes to counter extremism.
Raising public awareness of the problem through public statements by politicians and local leaders, and public communications of government threat assessments and strategy documents, but also through creative messaging and pop culture, like public concerts, art installations and sporting events. It also includes myth-busting stereotypes about particular ethnic and religious groups through campaigns and creative messaging.
This is an area of prevention that is less often tackled, but all the more needed. It might be done through peer education programmes to train individuals to have hard conversations with peers who may exhibit extreme views, or public dialogue forums on tough and divisive issues, including foreign policy, immigration, and employment. It also includes programmes that engage directly with far-right extremists, rather than simply talk about them.
Measures that have been tried include street patrolling and reconquering the “territory of the extremists”, by police and even by parents’ groups. It might also include public statements denouncing far right groups by celebrities, local and community leaders, and other prominent individuals respected by vulnerable individuals.
This is often a feature of intervention work, but some countries are also working with convicted terrorist offenders and criminals in and outside of prisons to prevent further radicalisation.
Measures might include local businesses, shops and pubs declaring themselves racism and extremism-free zones, or inclusive zones, or spaces frequented by extremists (like pubs) closing during marches. It also includes clever methods like removing toilet access during demonstrations.
This includes provision of alternative activities, like adventure and thrill-seeking activities for those seeking excitement. It might also include support with re-locating, gaining employment, or finding a partner.
Exit programmes have experimented with different methodologies, but many involve intimate conversations with individuals to demonstrate the consequences of involvement, and empower the individual to identify ambitions and achieve them. Some methods involve directly dealing with the ideology and undermining it. Talks may be accompanied with psychological support, counselling, and offers to establish new social networks and continue schooling or facilitate employment.
Some countries have run successful initiatives to engage in dialogue with people on the peripheries of far-right movements to pull them away. They leave the core of the group intact. Once the core of a group loses its followers, the group is more likely to fall apart. This approach has dissolved youth gangs in Norway, Høje-Taastrup, Denmark and Zoetermeer, the Netherlands.
This has been done less, but some civil society organisations and individuals are experimenting with carrying out one to one conversations with extremists online. Some police forces are beginning to experiment with this as well.
This includes mapping exercises, joint analysis groups, and systematic monitoring of hate crime and collation of data from police, media, and civil society, but also consultations with NGOs and victims groups.
This includes public debates on divisive issues and local dialogue initiatives to ensure communities have a space to air grievances and hear from their political leaders. It also includes public campaigns and initiatives to highlighting positive/alternative narratives, and to bust myths about particular groups. Most importantly, it also includes crisis communications following traumatic incidences.
This includes political and media attention to incidences of hate crime, and public recognition of the problem, as well as initiatives to involve victims perspectives to shape training programmes on hate crime and this policy area.
Methods to raise awareness of far-right extremism locally and nationally and to improve identification and reporting of far right incidences and hate crime to the police. This includes establishing clear lines of communication about where to go for help, for different communities.
Many countries are experimenting with training courses and training manuals on symbols and images associated with far right groups, and on signs of radicalisation. These are delivered to police, prosecutors and judges, and in some cases ‘key influencers’ like teachers.
In some countries there have been measures taken to promote tolerance within the police force, whether through added examination and courses on human rights at police academies, or training for officers, prosecutors and even teachers and politicians.
Some countries have specific policing roles designated to build relationships with the community, or with civil society, and invest in these roles. Some have designed networks to link government, police and civil society to improve relationships between all actors confronting extremism.
Training is required for social workers, police, and key influencers to be able to confidently engage with extremists, face to face and in the online space. Methods are important, as saying the wrong thing can lead to counter-productive effects.
Police, prosecutors and judges need strong understandings of the law, and how it can and should be applied in their work when it comes to extremism and hate crime.
An emerging space with less ongoing work, often on an ad hoc basis. Police and civil society require training on the uses of social media in monitoring and countering extremism