Conference of the COREPOL project, Brussels

The EFRJ, as partner of the ALTERNATIVE project, attended the final conference of the FP7 COREPOL project. The conference, entitled “Restorative Justice in Policing Ethnic Minorities” was held in Brussels, Belgium, 4 December 2014.

The objective of the one-day conference was to spread basic knowledge about the concept of conflict resolution, their implementation and varieties across the legal cultures. The focus was on the policing of minorities in particular, as well as the potential of police and law enforcement for handling conflicts and peace building within democratic societies.

The aims and topic of the COREPOL project are very close to the main issues in the FP7 ALTERNATIVE project, in which the EFRJ cooperates with 6 partners on developing alternative understandings of security and justice by applying restorative approaches in intercultural conflict settings.

Besides learning about the work done in the project in Austria, Germany and Hungary, the presentation of Prof. Wesley G. Skogan (Northwest University, Chicago, USA) made the link between the two projects especially visible. Prof. Skogan talked about factors affecting the relationship and trust between police and migrant communities and how this relationship is linked, in general, among others, to the social (in)security, to the treatment of the immigrants by the host society and to the extent of victimization and fear experienced. The conference suggested that one promising way of improving these factors could be a more frequent use of restorative justice methods and approaches.