France launches anti-radicalisation campaign for young people

500 French citizens are believed to have already gone to Syria or Iraq

Charlie Atkin
Friday 09 October 2015 15:44

The French government has launched an advertising campaign to stop young people joining jihadist groups.

The videos feature family members of those who have left for Iraq or Syria to join such groups, discussing how they neither saw it coming nor understood the decision.

More than 3,000 alerts have been made to the advertised hotline since the campaign began, 23 per cent of them concerning minors, most of them girls.

Baptiste recounts how his 17-year-old daughter left after meeting a man on an online dating site, who turned out to be a spokesperson for Isis.

"She took a backpack, a hat, and disappeared," Baptiste says. "The world was pulled from under our feet. Our child was stolen from us."

Baptise is one of several parents who share their stories to be seen on over 20 television channels, websites and newspapers.

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve hopes the campaign will see a reduction in the number of French people leaving for Iraq and Syria, with 500 citizens believed to currently reside there.

“We will step up preventive policy through counter-speech, through use of these broadcast clips which the suffering families have helped with. They send a very strong message to our young people tempted to slide towards engaging in terrorism.”

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