Researcher suggests rehabilitation for children of ISIS supporters

Researcher suggests rehabilitation for children of ISIS supporters

Researcher of Counter Terrorism and Capacity Building Program of The Habibie Center, Vidya Hutagalung (middle), during a discussion about "Counter-Radicalization and Deradicalization" held in Jakarta on Wednesday (February 26, 2020). (ANTARA/Suwanti/YAS)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Researcher of think tank, The Habibie Center (THC), recommended eight measures to the government to manage the rehabilitation of the children of ISIS supporters from Indonesia, following the government of Indonesia's decision to repatriate those under 10 years of age.

"The children are victims. They went to Syria, followed their parents, while some of them later became orphans. We should consider them as Indonesian nationals, and take care of them," Vidya Hutagalung, researcher of Counter Terrorism and Capacity Building Program of THC, stated in Jakarta, Wednesday.

She mentioned a complete assessment for the children. Then, there should be a counter-violence-extremism training provided for social workers who handle the children at the rehabilitation institution.

Furthermore, the rehabilitation process itself should be of a longer duration, as Hitagalung noted, "One month of rehabilitation is not enough, perhaps it could take more than a year or even two years."

Other points that she said should become concerns of the government within this rehabilitation program are the rehabilitation module with a comprehensive context of counter-violence-extremism, as well as psychological rehabilitation and trauma healing.

The rehabilitation process should later contain a reintegration program with strict supervision in order to prevent them from being rejected or stigmatized in society since it could be another specific issue that the children face.

"The government should offer assistance; it is not enough if it is only from the civil society organization," Hutagalung said.

The last point she mentioned is a special budget for this rehabilitation program, as she noted that the Social Rehabilitation Institution for Children who Require Special Protection, or Panti Handayani, for instance, "should cover the cost with its own money for the first term of repatriation of 2007".

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