1a

In Bangladesh, Salish norms and values are often out of line with the law. Biasness occurs and decisions are often imposed by the mediators, mostly favoring influential figures in society.

To respond, WAVE Foundation in association with Madaripur Legal Aid Association (MLAA) and Nagorik Uddyog (NU) with assistance from the Proactive Grants support by Community Legal Services (CLS) has recently commenced an innovative project on community mediation, which is an auxiliary to the formal justice system and is an effective means of resolving local disputes in an amicable and cost effective manner, whereby fractured relationships are restored.

Since December 2015, the project has been striving to develop a sustainable framework for community mediation, Community Based Organisations (CBOs) and Union Mediation Committees (UMCs) in all the 15 Unions under Meherpur, Pirojpur and Madaripur districts.

CBOs are intended as to serve as a sustainable and reliable means to create awareness among the community people. Enhancing knowledge on proper mediation techniques and reducing corruption along with establishing commonality in CBOs facilitated mediation are also the prime responsibilities of the CBOs.

1b

The project’s legal awareness intervention has sensitised more than 21,000 people as of December 2016, through several activities on local justice with a focus on community mediation.

Currently around 350 cases have been reported and among them majority have been resolved through the facilitation of sound mediation procedures, maintaining proper documentation such that the disputants reach a win-win solution. This in turn has been effective in furthering the promotion of a sustainable dispute resolution mechanism at the local level.

Additionally, by forming a national level steering committee, a consensus on the composition and structure of these mediation teams has been acquired. Campaigning and advocacy for replicating a sustainable framework of community mediation along with its legal recognition are also key milestones of the project.

Finally, In order to make local level dispute resolution sustainable, the project has been establishing linkages between other governmental and non-government organisations concerned for improved service delivery.