GCTF - Life Cycle of Radicalization


In view of the ever-evolving terrorist threat, particularly emanating from “foreign terrorist fighters” (FTFs), returning FTFs (RFTFs), and inspired and homegrown terrorism, there is growing recognition that states, international and regional organizations, and other multilateral fora should adopt a broader approach involving a wider range of interventions. This broader approach requires tools that can be applied across the full life cycle of radicalization: from the front end, where governments and communities are attempting to prevent susceptible individuals from being attracted to terrorist ideologies; to the back end, where governments and communities need to assess the risk posed by violent, radicalized individuals and determine their long-term disposition and possible rehabilitation and reintegration into society, either in or out of the criminal justice system.

Against this background, Turkey and the United States launched the Initiative to Address the Life Cycle of Radicalization to Violence (Life Cycle Initiative) at the Eighth Coordinating Committee Meeting in New York on 26 September 2015. It was then officially endorsed by the GCTF at the Sixth Ministerial Plenary Meeting in New York on 27 September 2015. The initiative, which cuts across various themes, working groups, and work streams within the GCTF, aims to build on existing good practices and develop the additional tools needed to address the full life cycle of radicalization to violence: from prevention, to intervention, to rehabilitation and reintegration.

At the Ninth Coordinating Committee Meeting, held in The Hague on 12-13 April 2016, the Life Cycle Initiative Co-Leads presented the next steps for the initiative, including the projects which were endoresed at the Seventh Ministerial Plenary Meeting in New York in September 2016


  1. The Role of Families in Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism: Strategic Recommendations and Programming Options:

    Developed by the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Working Group in partnership with Hedayah, this document identifies challenges, lessons and good practices in engaging families in preventing and countering violent extremism activities and programs. Furthermore, it offers specific programming approaches to empower and support family members and creates practitioner resources in this emerging field of CVE.
  2. Recommendations on CVE and Religious Education:

    The CVE Working Group, in partnership with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), is working towards further implementation of the Abu Dhabi Memorandum on Good Practices for Education and Countering Violent Extremism, through the organization of two workshops designed to consider areas for future cooperation, such as a promoting peace and preventing violent extremism, and educational initiatives to advance critical thinking.
  3. Plan of Action for Identifying and Countering Terrorist Recruiters and Facilitators:

    Led by the Criminal Justice and Rule of Law (CJ-ROL) Working Group, this plan of action provides a roadmap for governments to develop and implement programs by listing actionable, rule-of-law based measures and initiatives that countries are currently employing, which prove successful in responding to the challenges posed by terrorist recruiters and facilitators.
  4. Addendum to The Hague-Marrakech Memorandum on Good Practices for a More Effective Response to the FTF Phenomenon with a focus on Returning FTFs:

    The FTF Working Group, in collaboration with the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism - The Hague (ICCT), developed an Addendum to The Hague-Marrakech Memorandum that provides additional guidance on elements of Good Practice 19, which calls for the development of comprehensive reintegration programs and other relevant issues pertaining to Returning Foreign Terrorist Fighters (RFTFs). The Addendum contains recommendations addressing the challenges relating to identification, detection, prosecution and rehabilitation of RFTFs.
  5. Neuchâtel Memorandum on Good Practices on Juvenile Justice in a Counterterrorism Context:

    Switzerland, in collaboration with the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law (IIJ), developed a set of good practices to address emerging questions regarding the high number of children that are radicalized to violence, recruited, and involved in terrorism-related activities, and efforts aimed at prevention, investigation, prosecution, sentencing and reintegration. It provides guidance for the development of policies, programs and tailored approaches, and assists practitioners in the handling of terrorism cases involving juveniles.
  6. Addendum to the Rome Memorandum on Good Practices for Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Violent Extremist Offenders:

    This document, developed under the auspices of the CJ-ROL and Detention and Reintegration (DR) Working Groups, highlights good practices for legal considerations regarding rehabilitation and reintegration efforts in custodial and non-custodial settings for FTFs and other violent extremist offenders. It provides specific guidance on reviewing legal frameworks to enable and embed rehabilitation and reintegration efforts.
  7. Recommendations on the Effective Use of Appropriate Alternative Measures for Terrorism-Related Offenses:

    These recommendations, developed by the CJ-ROL Working Group, elaborate on measures that might be employed as an alternative to pre-trial detention or post-conviction incarceration for individuals charged with, or convicted of, terrorism-related offenses. The impetus for this document was the need to think about effective ways to handle these individuals in order to reduce recidivism, prevent further radicalization to violence, promote disengagement, and promote eventual reintegration.


In addition to the above activities, a practitioner-oriented Toolkit, consisting of all existing and new tools that address the life cycle of radicalization to violence, and an analytical paper guiding users on the Toolkit, are part of the Toolkit which was endorsed at the Seventh Ministerial Plenary Meeting in New York in September 2016.

The Toolkit is a web-based instrument (website and mobile application) available to policy-makers and practitioners to draw guidance and inspiration in developing tailor-made responses for their own communities, states, and regions. The Toolkit will also provide a user-friendly mechanism through which to identify the frameworks and principles inherent in a rule-of-law compliant civilian response addressing the lifecycle of radicalization to violence for their own communities, states and regions. Moreover, the Toolkit will provide a platform through which GCTF Members and non-members can share lessons learned and programs as new, innovative and tailored-made approaches are developed.

 Initiative to Address the Life Cycle of Radicalization to Violence