Nordic seminar on practical methods for peace work held on Iceland

Nordenforfred Islandsseminarium webb

On 10 October 2014 the project and network Norden for peace? hosted a seminar on Iceland. Four speakers from the Nordic countries shared their knowledge on methods for peace work.

 During a time frame of two and a half years, the project Norden for peace? organizes one open seminar in each Nordic country, on topics stemming from the project’s main themes – first and foremost the question about the Nordic countries and their relationship to peace, and secondly how to spread and establish peaceful approaches at a grass root level and through adult education. At the seminar on Iceland four speakers from the Nordic countries spoke about various skills and ways that may conspire to a peaceful societal development.

Nordenforfred Islandsseminarium webb

Ida Persson from the Åland Islands Mediation Office talked about how mediation can be used as a method for handling conflicts and about the protocol and core questions that mediators utilize. The Åland Islands Mediation Office offer optional mediation for certain crimes and contentions, in accordance with the Finnish mediation law. The mediators are volunteers, educated and impartial. Mediation is optional for the disagreeing parties and may work as foundation for nolle prosequi or a reduction of sentence. The aim is that the mediation will effect longterm results on the Åland islands by preventing recidivism and break a budding downward spiral of crime.

Ida stated that the mediation office builds on the theory of restorative justice, which emphasises on repairing the damage that has been caused by a crime or a contention. The parties are viewed as experts on their own conflicts and know how to find a suitable solution. This restorative perspective can be compared to a more traditional way of approaching conflicts, where the emphasis is on who is guilty and which penalty that would be appropriate.