ISIL lost its last stronghold in the Syrian Arab Republic in March last year and has seen a change in leadership after the death of al- Baghdadi in October, but this report shows that the group remains at the centre of the transnational terrorism threat. We must stay vigilant and united in confronting this scourge, noted Vladimir Voronkov, head of the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism.
Speaking on behalf of civil society, Mona Freij, a human rights defender and activist from Raqqa, who lived under Da'esh rule, documented human rights violations and provided education and training to women and young girls.
Having lived under Da'esh, Ms. Freij stressed the importance of supporting civil society activities that build community resilience and educating women and young people to inoculate them against radicalization and recruitment by terrorist organizations.
Education and awareness are the only means to get rid of Da'esh...We and others have not stopped using any peaceful means to resist ISIS, including our focus on education and educating children -- Mona Feij
Syrian women have been at the forefront of the work of civil society to empower and educate other women and to promote resilience of communities, and Mona Freij is a prime example. Mona is also an active member of the Gaziantep Women Platform, an initiative launched in 2018 and supported by the EU.
The platform brings together female representatives of civil society, human rights defenders and political representatives from inside and outside Syria, including representatives of the negotiating team, to share their perspectives and to develop concrete recommendations for the international community and donors to empower women and support their active partition in the political process. Participants also receive regular capacity building on negotiations, peace mediation and peace building as well as exposure in international fora.
The Gaziantep Women Platform is a concrete example of the EU support to the Women, Peace and Security agenda underlying the EU's full commitment to empower women and have their voices heard.