The Austrian government is set to launch a telephone hotline intended to de-radicalise young Muslims, a government minister has announced during an interview. Certain details regarding the service, including the funding, are still being finalised, the Local has reported.
Family affairs minister Sophie Karmasin, of the conservative Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) was being interviewed on Austria’s state channel OFR on Sunday when she confirmed the plans. The hope is that the hotline will help both young Muslims who have been radicalised and their families.
Although the ministry for family affairs is taking the lead on the project, it is being developed in conjunction with the interior ministry and Boje, a non-profit organisation which helps children and young people in crisis. The newly formed Network for Social Cohesion, another non-profit organisation which launched in Vienna in September with the aim of de-radicalising young people who have been or are planning to travel to Syria to fight with ISIS, is also expected to play a role in the hotline.
The line will be multi-lingual to ensure that non-German speakers can also access support. The ministry plans to consult the Austrian provinces to ensure the service meets the needs of each locality.
The overall aim is to set up a service that is professional and helpful, so the minister indicated that, although they are aiming to launch the hotline in December, it may be delayed to January if required.