IN THE FIELD
Key conceptsIn deciding whether to pursue mediation or other conciliation, a human rights officer
should consider the following:
If the human rights officer initiates mediation or conciliation, s/he should:
• Is this dispute (or problem) within the mandate of the field operation? • Is there an existing governmental, non-governmental, traditional or other mechanism
which can handle this dispute?
• Can societal or governmental dispute resolution procedures be revived or developed? • Does s/he have the information, capacity, language ability and time to engage in
mediation or other forms of conciliation?
• always pursue a solution which is consistent with international human rights
• try to find mutually accepted procedures; • listen to the views of each side separately; • if the parties are willing to meet, initiate the session with encouragement to working
together and to strengthen the relationship of the parties;
• if the parties are unable to meet, engage in a form of shuttle diplomacy — talking to
each side in turn, explaining the mediator's role, and trying to identify those aspects of
the issue as to which there may be agreement, partial agreement or
1. HROs may be involved in resolving disputes which arise in the communities where they are located. Situations amounting to human rights violations may involve elements of negotiation between the HRO and the authorities, or mediation between the