Property and land dispute cases in Ninewa Governorate are being peacefully solved through mediation

Outstanding result of over 80% of cases registered to solve property and land disputes in Hamdanyia and Telkeif districts of Ninewa Governorate have been successfully solved through mediation process, facilitating reconciliation and peacebuilding in the region.

UN-Habitat, in partnership with Caritas Czech Republic, implemented an initiative in these two districts titled “Mediation and Peaceful Resolution of Housing, Land and Property Disputes”, which ran from July 2019 to February 2020.

During the closing ceremony on 20 February 2020 in Hamdanyia to mark the successful completion of the initiative, Mr. Muslim Qazimi, UN-Habitat’s Housing, Land and Property Rights Coordinator, thanked local authorities for “their support and trust throughout the process that have contributed to build valuable institutional knowledge and capacity in mediation and social cohesion in communities where mediation was not a practice in the past.”

Targeting housing, land and property disputes, and with a special focus on the support to ethnic and religious minorities, mediation is one of the most innovative mechanisms in Iraq that aims at empowering members of the community to solve their conflicts in an amicable way.

For the first time in Iraq, 14 young people, including 6 females, from the local communities have successfully completed a specialized training on alternative mechanisms of conflict resolution also known as mediation based on international standards and became certified Community Mediators. As a result of the successful training and despite the challenges that mediators faced while working on diverse property dispute cases, the achievements were remarkable and the positive impact in the communities is evident with 286 out of 343 received cases solved with support from the project.

During the ceremony, the Community Mediators shared their stories and challenges faced throughout the process, describing the difficulty to explain the new mediation approach to the community members as the hardest part. Another big challenge for them at the beginning was to explain how peaceful resolution of conflict works, what are their roles when addressing a dispute, and what are the benefit for all involved parties. Female Mediators were also concerned about how the community would perceive them, with some even worried that their own families would not be supportive.

“The professional training that we received improved my self-confidence and communication skills. It also helped me to be more courageous. As a result, I knew how to deal with challenges during cases applying the knowledge and skills acquired from the amazing international mediator who trained us,” said Saly Mattu Bhnam, one of the 14 Community Mediators.
Both male and female Mediators worked closely to address any gender-related perceptions and show that they were all working as equals in a team. As for the families, they are all now the Mediators’ main supporters.

The achievements of the Community Mediators are even more valuable knowing that they were addressing complicated cases in very heterogenous communities, while they themselves come from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds.

Trained to apply international standards on mediation, and along with very clear principles of neutrality and impartiality, Community Mediators have in a short time earned people’s trust, which allowed them to address conflicts that could not be solved through other channels.

For more information or media inquiries please contact:
Dejan Drobnjak, Communications Expert, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , +9647506871163

Additional Info

  • Agency: UN-HABITAT

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