Meet
 - 1.8


Creating a safe Place

Version: 1.0

Are you using this tool?
VN:F [1.9.10_1130]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
VN:F [1.9.10_1130]
To what extent do you think this tool is useful?
To what extent do you think this tool is complete?
Rating: 4.0/5 (1 vote cast)

Purpose

Make parties feel safe and secure.

Solutions summary

Facilitators in many organisations say that in a safe environment, the parties will share more information. Safety and security are important. Worrying about it takes energy away.

Choice of location

  • Choose a neutral ground where all parties feel equally comfortable (local chiefs' houses, pagodas, schools, buildings of religions all parties have, NGO offices, etc.)
  • Special "houses of conversation" meant for resolving disputes are very useful
  • The selected place should allow for quiet talking (no loud noises, people walking in and out, etc.)
  • People need to be, and feel, physically safe in the location selected
  • People need to be free to leave
  • Place does not have any objects that can be violently used
  • In case of land disputes, the land disputed can be a good location

Creation of a good atmosphere

It is important for the parties to feel comfortable and the environment needs to  support and reflect the equality of the parties. The following are useful tips:

    • Explain the process that will follow at the beginning. Use simple and clear language
    • No guns, daggers or other weapons are allowed inside
    • Each party should bring the same number of friends/relatives to the facilitation (if any)
    • Everybody should be welcomed in a warm friendly manner
    • Pay attention to the arrangement of the room: Arrange people in neutral way (no one, regardless of social standing or importance, should be placed at the head of the table)
    • Use a round table if possible
    • Do not arrange parties opposite of each other. If possible, let them sit in a 90º angle from each other
    • Explain people why this is important
    • Make the role of the other people (support, representation, advice, etc)
    • Follow traditions and rituals if important

Local solution: Conference Comments

Votes at Conference: 14

Creating a safe place is a big challenge. There are many options that can be used:

  • Neutral ground.
    • Village chief’s house
    • A religious building (be aware of differing religions)
    • Pagodas
    • Schools
    • City Hall
    • Particularly in land conflicts, the place of the conflict can be used.
  • Seating should be equally distributed, and explaining the reasons can be important.
  • Separate the parties. A table useful for this
  • Ask the parties how they would like the room arranged
  • People need to be free to leave.
  • If parties bring a representative, their role should be clear. Are they there for moral support or to speak for the party?
  • Even though they may be unfair, sometimes traditions have to be followed to ensure a mediation takes place.
logo van partner 



Added by: CONFERENCE

Local solution: Identified safe places in the MHS camp

LIST OF SAFE PLACES FOR MEDIATION tool 3

Camp justice.

Camp Security.

Section office.

Cases can create safe places for mediation.

House of ten house whole leader.

KNWO ,WCC .

House of religion leader.(Church)

Camp committee.

LAC office.

 

logo van partner 



Added by: IRC

Local solution: A good environment

To create an environment for open discussion, mediators need to make the parties believe that you have provided them with sufficient and equal rights in expressing their problems, and that no other parties are allowed to interfere.

Below are a number of good practices that mediators can follow to create this environment:

Choose location carefully

  • Quite – lack of distractions to the discussion
  • Neutral – not on either party’s property or where one party has more power
  • Ceremonial buildings are good, schools or mediators house
  • Check that both parties are happy to meet at the chosen location

Prepare the seating arrangements

  • Table and chairs arranged in a U shape.
  • Private room to meet parties separately if necessary
  • Lack of objects likely to be used in a fit of anger
  • Avoid placing one party in a more ‘superior’ position such as the head of the table or in a nicer or larger seat.

 

 

 

Stress neutrality
State that you are there to find a solution that works
logo van partner 



Added by: ADHOC

Local solution: A safe place

  • Meet on neutral ground;
  • Equal people or people authorized by the parties present so that nobody feels that there is preponderance of a particular party;
  • Welcoming reception and announcing the purpose of the call
logo van partner 



Added by: DAS

Local solution: a safe place

Choose location carefully

  • Quite – lack of distractions to the discussion Neutral – not on either party’s property or where one party has more power
  • Ceremonial buildings are good, schools or mediators house
  • Check that both parties are happy to meet at the chosen location

Prepare the seating arrangements

  • Table and chairs arranged in a 'U' shape.
  • Private room to meet parties separately if necessary
  • Lack of objects likely to be used in a fit of anger
  • Avoid placing one party in a more ‘superior’ position such as the head of the table or in a nicer or larger seat.
logo van partner 



Added by: TISCO

Local solution: How to create a conducive environment

What to do:

  1. Before holding the mediation meeting, select the people who can attend it. For example, each party is allowed to choose 3 persons to attend the mediation process. Anyone who is not chosen by both parties is not permitted to be in the meeting
  2. Find a neutral location for the meeting based on the parties’ suggestion. Office or the head of the village’s house is considered neutral for the disputing parties
  3. When the mediation meeting is about to begin, introduce yourself, your role and duty as a mediator. Then, ask everybody attending  the meeting to introduce themselves clearly and their intention in attending the meeting
  4. During mediation meeting, use simple language so that it will be easy to be understood by all. Do not use formal/law language to avoid misunderstanding in communication. In a certain situation (when explaining the nature of the case or what is being disputing from legal/law perspective), any legal or law terms can be used in such a way that it is understandable
  5. If communication forum does not work as expected (when conflict of interest appears so apparent or when no parties cannot accept what other offers/no compromise achieved and they cannot continue the mediation), mediator must remind them the commitment to mediation they have made so that everybody will win and can keep in harmony. Or, explain them that in a mediation there must be a compromise to make each parties win
logo van partner 



Added by: KBH

Evidence from practice

Houses of Conversation: In Mali at an NGO the importance for a safe in private place to talk has resulted in the assignment of a special place as a 'house of conversation' that provides privacy and a friendly environment.

A good seating arrangement: In the Netherlands attention is paid to the way the people sit around the table. Parties need to be able to look at each-other and any kind of hierarchy between the people and facilitator needs to be avoided.

Emphasizing neutrality: To make a party feel safe a facilitator in Egypt, Cambodia and Rwanda will emphasize that he is there not just for one party but for the whole family to find a solution

Involvement of third parties: In Cambodia CRDC facilitators don’t allow third parties to be present at the mediation. In contrast, lawyers from Praxis in Azerbaijan use the involvement of family members to help the parties feel supported.

Anonymity/confidentiality: Lawyers for Praxis emphasise the anonymity of the outcome and confidentiality of the details of the disagreement, which helps parties to speak freely during the process.

Evidence from handbooks

  • Find a specific suitable place to have the meeting

The paralegal practice manual, a guide to paralegal roles and techniques. Legal Aid Forum, Rwanda 2009

 

Evidence from literature

Recommendations to create a safe environment:

  • Supervising arrivals and departures, controlling seating arrangements , use visuals to separate the problem from the people
  • locality, appearances and connotation of building, level of formality, location of parties in relation to walls, exits, clocks and windows

Boulle, L. & Nesic, M., 2001 p. 189, 209

Necessity of a safe place general

Restorative justice for juveniles: conferencing, mediation and circles,  Allison Morris, Gabrielle Maxwell, 2001, p 125

 

 

Creating a safe Place

by admin on March 6, 2011

Leave a Comment

Leave your comment

The Microjustice Workplace is powered by the Microjustice Initiative and facilitated by TISCO, Tilburg University.

Microjustice Initiative

P.O. Box 80523
2508 GM The Hague
The Netherlands
+31 70 3589221 (phone)
+31 70 3549766 (fax)

TISCO

Faculty of Law, Tilburg University
Room M 907 (Montesquieu Building)
PO Box 90153
5000 LE Tilburg
+31 (0)13 466 2281 (phone)
+31 (0)13 466 2323 (fax)
info@microjusticeworkplace.net

www.tilburguniversity.nl/tisco

Contact the Microjustice Initiative


Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Subject

Your Message