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Expert View: How the UK Prevent strategy ‘adultifies’ young children

The UK Prevent strategy is contributing to undue moral panic and harming young people in the name of “counter-terrorism”, writes Prof John Holmwood, co-author of the People’s Review of Prevent. Here’s a summary of his original piece which appeared in the Middle East Eye. The cases of Child Q and other children have cast a light on the “adultification” of Black children, but this approach also features in the UK Prevent strategy, Britain’s counter-extremism tool, although in this case it is applied to ethnic minority children generally. Under Prevent, children are regularly subjected to interviews by counter-terrorism police without a responsible adult being present. This is occurring to thousands of children each year. Yet they are not under suspicion of a terrorism offence, only of potentially coming under the influence of an extremist “ideology”. Children under 15 make up around a third of all referrals (there were 7,318 referrals in […]