Community Mediation in Pierrefitte

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Pierrefitte (Seine-St-Denis - France) was the first European "city mediation" in 2006.

The "Association pour la formation, la prévention et l’accès au droit" (Association for formation, prevention and access to rights), created by Hibat Tabib, has mobilized politicians, policemen, facilitators and representatives of European municipalities concerning mediation of conflicts which are outside the judicial system or very basic.

Until late 2006, the municipality commits itself to make "act of mediation", i.e. to answer to the people whose disputes are not connected to justice. This initiative was also conducted in another European city in 2007.

Initially, the AFPAD, created in late 2001, and its five employees have filled up a gap between the inhabitants themselves and between citizens and local authorities.

A student has met a jurist for a problem of identity papers, a sick man has inquired about the possibility of bringing a foreign family member for his medical assistance, a resident has received help after an insurance scam, and another person has come to seek support for a close one who has been victim of a robbery with violence.

The association has succeeded its mediation between a retired man exceeded by the noise of children in a recreation center and the animators, between a parent of a pupil wearing a veil and the board of a school which forbad her to wear it.

The method is simple: a neutral dialogue and consultation with the parties in two phases.

The originality lies in the identity of the mediators: no "big brother" or "employment-youth", but instead most of them are professional - lawyer, jurist, public writer, social worker, researcher, notary.

A community mobilization for mediation...

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By Jean-Louis Lascoux on December 1st 2005.

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