Result of ADR Section in 2013

ADHOC’s Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) section became operational in 2013 after finalizing a mediation toolkit with financial and technical support by the Tilburg Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies of Civil Law and Conflict Resolution (TISCO) of Tilburg University in the Netherlands.

The goal of the ADR section is to improve access to justice for the Cambodian people, contributing to small-scale conflict resolution. The section does so by providing access to, and knowledge about, out-of-court dispute resolution mechanisms and by establishing dialogue and cooperation between the local authorities and grassroots communities.

TISCO found that out-of-court dispute resolution are responsible for settling over 80% of conflicts around the world. This corresponds with ADHOC’s experience of being able to successfully mediate most of the cases in which we are asked to mediate. Therefore ADHOC has, since 2013, provided neutral, cost-free, human rights based mediation services. This enables Cambodians to find suitable compromises in conflicts. These civil cases sometimes have been going on for years and often carry the potential of becoming violent. Through ADHOC’s services, Cambodians are able to settle these conflicts without having to spend funds or time not available to them.

The project has been supported by the European Union and several other international donors. In one years’ time, ADHOC received a total of 157 cases among 18 of its 23 province offices. Most cases related to conflict within families or conflict over land. The ADHOC mediators were able to help the parties reach an agreement in 70% of the total number of cases. At the time of writing, 22% were still being mediated. And only 8% of the cases had been withdrawn.

ADR's chart EngAs part of research currently conducted by ADHOC, a survey has been held among beneficiaries of ADR services in Cambodia. Presently, the survey includes 90 beneficiaries of the ADHOC program. Among these participants of the survey 90% said they would choose ADHOC again for future conflict mediation. 93% said they had been (completely) able to say what they wanted to say during the process. 91% said the process had been (very) fair. A total of 91% said they were (very) happy with the outcome.

Next to creating further access to justice through mediating cases, ADHOC is also committed to enabling Cambodians to be active contributors of justice as well. ADHOC does this by organizing sensitization sessions on the one hand and through extensive training on the other. This year, 33 community ADR committees will be trained and subsequently start to mediate cases with the technical support from ADHOC. This activity will bring (access to) justice closer to the Cambodian communities.