Friends talk restorative justice at UN

The process ‘can bring benefits to those harmed by crime and those responsible for committing it’.

‘We drew attention to a leaflet we had prepared for the event, “Restorative Justice Around the World – a brief guide”. | Photo: Marian Liebmann at the UN

Friends highlighted the issue of restorative justice at this year’s United Nations (UN) Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.

Marian Liebmann, Hezron Masitsa and Penny Peters attended the thirty-third UN Commission, representing Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC).

Marian Liebmann told the Friend: ‘Although many presentations were of a bureaucratic and statistical nature, about methods of collaboration and data collection, there were also some side events that focused on the more humanitarian aspects of crime (e.g. rehabilitation, reintegration, resilience) and we tried to concentrate our attendance on these.

‘In addition to more traditional areas of crime, a growing area of concern for the commission is crimes against the environment and wildlife. Two major UN reports on these areas were launched. This is a field that Quakers might want to engage with more in the future.’

The Friends were also able to present a statement to the plenary session on the importance of restorative justice. The process ‘can bring benefits to those harmed by crime and those responsible for committing it’, said Marian Liebmann. ‘We drew attention to a leaflet we had prepared for the event, “Restorative Justice Around the World – a brief guide”. Our statement was mentioned in the official report of the commission, and can be viewed on the UN [and FWCC] website.’

The gathering took place in Vienna from 13 to 17 May. The theme was ‘Promoting international cooperation and technical assistance to address organised crime, corruption and terrorism’.

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