Youth mediation training offered by RÉSAL

As part of the development of the community of practice of the Réseau d’échange et de soutien aux actions locales (RÉSAL), of which the ICPC is a member and coordinator, a second training of the 2nd thematic cycle of the activities was held last May 18. This training aimed at introducing the concept of mediation and provided an opportunity for participants to become familiar with various theoretical and practical tools in order to facilitate the process.   

The activity was carried out by Maxime Bonneau, clinical coordinator and trainer for PACT de rue, Déborah Griot, project coordinator, and Myriam, street worker with PACT de rue, a community organization member of RÉSAL that acts directly with youth and people in difficulty.  

In addition, a clinical supervision activity following this second cycle thematic training took place on June 1st. This first clinical space allowed participants to recall the main components of the mediation process, the prerequisites for its implementation as well as the main communication techniques that were discussed during the training and to apply them in real-life situations. The second clinical supervision activity will be held on June 22.   

Some of the highlights from the training included:  

  • The importance of differentiating between the concepts of mediation, conciliation, and arbitration, as well as choosing the most appropriate option for each context. The process, the purpose and the roles of each party will differ depending on the option considered and the issue to be addressed.   
  • Mediation is a communicative process, in which the parties have an active and central role. The purpose of the mediation process is not necessarily linked to reaching an agreement or a decision, but rather will be discussed in the course of the exchange between the parties.   
  • The person taking on the role of mediator must be impartial, a good listener and act as a facilitator to encourage the parties’ introspection.   
  • Several communication techniques such as active listening, mirroring or positive reinforcement can be used.   
  • The mediation process, which itself is divided into several more or less flexible stages, benefits from preparatory meetings with each of the parties, allowing them to be informed about the process, to validate their informed consent and to be prepared for the various eventualities.   

So far, the activities of this second thematic cycle “Mediation with youth” have reached 25 workers from Montreal community organizations working in the prevention of youth violence.  

Training on youth violence prevention through sport and the arts offered by the RÉSAL

As part of the development of the community of practice of the Réseau d’échange et de soutien aux actions locales (RÉSAL), of which the ICPC is a member and coordinator, a series of activities were launched this spring. A first training session of the first thematic cycle was held on May 12. The objective of this training was to highlight the importance of an approach based on sports or artistic practices in the prevention of violence and the creation of a bond of trust with young Montrealers. It also provided an opportunity to discuss the lessons learned, successes and potential challenges that can be encountered in this type of approach.  

The activity was facilitated by Nicolas Barbeau-Lachance, founder and coordinator of the school of intervention through martial arts and combat sports at RAP Jeunesse and Cloé Daguet, counselor at the organization La Collective.  

In addition, two clinical supervision activities of the 1st thematic cycle took place on May 19 and June 2. These clinical spaces aim to promote mutual aid and the horizontal transfer of knowledge by providing organizations with strong practices needs to find support and methodological coaching. 

Some of the highlights of the training include:

  • The Theatre of the Oppressed (TOP) is a participatory, supportive, and demanding practice that mobilizes the body as a vehicle for a message. It creates change and provides a framework for collective reappropriation and awareness on a variety of issues.  
  • Martial arts and combat sports can be a tool to support the modification of violent behaviors in young people, but also to be used for collective empowerment for certain at-risk or vulnerable populations.  
  • Although they are two disciplines that at first glance seem rather distant, i.e. combat sports and TOP, similarities and shared challenges in terms of intervention can be raised. Through body and movement, these practices require young people to learn continuously and to master themselves in order to act on interpersonal violence or to intervene on oppression.  

Furthermore, the success of both disciplines requires active and sustained participation from the practitioners and the young people in order to be part of a long-term follow-up and intervention approach.  

  • It is beneficial for practitioners to name and introduce the underlying objectives of the intervention to the young people through the practice of sports or artistic activities, in order to preserve and strengthen the bond of trust. 

The activities of this first cycle reached 25 workers from Montreal community organizations working to prevent juvenile violence.  

New publication from an ICPC partner

The UNESCO Chair in Prevention of Radicalisation and Violent Extremism (UNESCO-PREV Chair), Sherbrooke University, partner of the ICPC, has recently published a report titled "Constraints and opportunities in evaluating programs for prevention of violent extremism: how the practitioners see it". This report is based on semi-directed interviews conducted in an earlier study by the International Centre for the Prevention of Crime (ICPC) (Madriaza, Ponsot, & Marion, 2017) and on a focus group conducted by the UNESCO-PREV Chair in Ottawa, Canada, in March 2019.

To read the report: Constraints and opportunities in evaluating programs for prevention of violent extremism: how the practitioners see it