This paper presents an overview of the general approaches toward the repatriation and rehabilitation of female returnees implemented in three Central Asian countries: Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. Discussing concrete examples of successful and multi-agency practices, the paper draws on a workshop organized by the Bulan Institute for Peace Innovations on 19 August 2022. The online workshop promoted an active exchange of good practices and knowledge between PRR practitioners, experts, diplomats, and researchers from the region and beyond, who were invited to attend the workshop and exchange on experiences, strategies, and best practices.
This working paper analyses the rehabilitation and reintegration of female returnees and the promising practices discussed during the workshop and concludes with an analysis of promising strategies and existing challenges. The paper seeks to contribute to the debate on how gendered experiences shape the exiting from an extremist movement as well as the reintegration into a peaceful and secular society. It does so by taking stock of the work carried out by expert practitioners in the region and analyzing the specific challenges encountered when working with female returnees. Finally, the paper presents practical recommendations on institutional cooperation, local-level measures and individual approaches to be implemented in future programs and actions.