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Conferencing internationaal: vaker toegepast dan gedacht

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift voor Herstelrecht, Aflevering 4 2013
Trefwoorden Conferencing, Internationale toepassing
Auteurs Estelle Zinsstag en Inge Vanfraechem
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Conferencing is a restorative justice practice which has started developing quite consistently since the 1990s, in majority in Anglophone countries such as New Zealand, Australia, the USA, Canada or the UK and in particular with consistently promising results for juvenile justice in Northern Ireland. Some continental European, Latin American and African countries are also starting to introduce this alternative to traditional criminal justice, especially in the case of juvenile justice, with some equally promising results. This article presents up-to-date information about the state of conferencing in the world and discusses some of the major conclusions that have come out of a European research project and book.


Estelle Zinsstag
Estelle Zinsstag is senior onderzoeker aan het KU Leuven Instituut voor Criminologie (België) en coördineert een EC Daphne project rond seksueel geweld en herstelrecht. Ze is managing editor van Restorative Justice: An International Journal.

Inge Vanfraechem
Inge Vanfraechem is senior onderzoeker aan het KU Leuven Instituut voor Criminologie (België) en manager van een Europees FP7 project rond herstelrecht en interculturele conflicten.

    In various neighbourhoods in Amsterdam tensions between their inhabitants are felt. Inhabitants are irritated by the behaviour of youths, polluted streets and nuisance from their neighbours. They are incapable or do not dare to address each other about this and to solve their problems by themselves. Instead they look towards the authorities for help, which are dealing with insufficient capacity. As a consequence it is getting harder and harder to address and correct each other. Small problems and conflicts develop into big and complex issues.
    Amsterdam authorities use various policy tools, pointed at both increasing its own decisiveness and credibility and at mobilizing civilians. Those policies are the Bully-approach, Neighbourhood Safety Teams, Self-protective Neighbourhoods and stimulation of civic initiatives. The reality is stubborn, but also shows bottom-up examples which function succesfully and independently from government approaches and programs. In these examples civic force plays an important role.
    These examples, knowledge and persons who play key roles can be brought together and are useful in the search for solutions of problems in other situations. This is most effective when civilians attack issues and are integrated with worthy instruments from the authorities. This will gradually enable a reconstruction of the current system and a social reacquisition of neighbourhoods. In this social ‘football ‘ team civilians would be the strikers, backed up by a strong and professional governmental midfield. This article consecutively defines the current problem, regards the governmental instruments, bottom-up initiatives. It ends up with the suggestion for the construction of a good teamplay between policy tools en bottom up initiatives.


Piet van Diepen
Piet van Diepen is mede-initiator van Wikistad, dat bijdraagt aan een maatschappij waar Eigen Kracht en Burgerkracht het uitgangspunt is bij de aanpak van problemen en de overheid aansluit. Als professionele onderzoeker, conceptontwikkelaar en burger combineert hij kennis op onder meer het gebied van veiligheid en armoedebestrijding met deze doelstelling.
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