Education as a tool to prevent violent extremism

UNESCO is helping countries deliver education programmes that help build learners' resilience to violent extremism and mitigate the drivers of the phenomena. This work is being undertaken within the framework of Global Citizenship Education and supports the implementation of UNESCO Executive Board Decision 197 EX/Decision 46: “UNESCO’s role in promoting education as a tool to prevent violent extremism”.

UNESCO’s action to prevent violent extremism through education (PVE-E) seeks to strengthen the capacities of national education systems (eg. policies, teachers, educational contents) to appropriately and effectively contribute to national prevention efforts.

This includes equipping learners, of all ages, and notably young women and men, with the knowledge, values, attitudes and behaviours, which foster responsible global citizenship, critical thinking, empathy and the ability to take action against violent extremism.

What we do:

    Global Advocacy

Working with education specialists from around the world, UNESCO is building an international consensus around the need for an increased and human-rights based engagement of the education sector in the prevention of violent extremism and identify and examine concrete and comprehensive education sector responses to the threats of violent extremism.

    Development of guidance

Furthermore, UNESCO helps education-policy makers plan and implement effective and appropriate education-related actions, contributing to national PVE efforts, both in formal and non-formal settings, and at different levels (secondary, technical and vocational training, higher education). This work includes also supporting teachers in  managing classroom discussions in relation to PVE and radicalization and creating a classroom climate that is inclusive and conducive to respectful dialogue, open discussion and critical thinking.


UNESCO also develops capacity-building initiatives for education professionals on how to address violent extremism through global citizenship education and genocide prevention, in partnership with the UNESCO International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa (IICBA) and  the Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding (APCEIU (link is external)).

Easy access to educational resources on PVE-E is providded through UNESCO's online GCED Clearinghouse hosted by APCEIU (link is external).

UNESCO just released its new guidance tool Preventing violent extremism through education: A guide for policy-makers. The new publication will help policy-makers within ministries of education prioritize, plan and implement effective actions for the prevention of violent extremism through education, and contribute to national prevention efforts.