The Covid-19 crisis and the consequent repressive measures to contain it, have increased
certain violent behaviours (e.g. domestic violence, hate crime), created new forms of crimes and deviances (e.g. youth not complying to social distancing regulations) and deepened existing inequalities and polarisation (by scapegoating and dehumanising marginalised people and populations at risk).

In the Summer, the Black Lives Matter social movement, protesting against police brutality and all racially motivated violence against black people, re-gained international attention during the global demonstrations following the killing of George Floyd in May 2020.

The combination of economic and social tensions caused by the pandemic, as well as confinement and other restrictions, have significantly complicated and aggravated the level of stress, anxiety and conflicts between family members, neighbours and citizens.

In light of these actual dangers, what are the new forms of crime and violence that emerged during these last months and what can the restorative justice community do to support a peaceful coexistence?  What can we learn from restorative practitioners who already work on cases of hate crime and polarisation? 


  • Miriam Attias (Finland) - reflection on the potential of restorative justice in cases of hate crime, othering and polarisation
  • Lucy Jaffe (UK) - reflection on the structural implementation of community-oriented restorative initiatives in cases of hate crime
  • Tehmina Kazi (moderator) - reflection on the positives of the lockdown which might lead to a reduction in violence and hate (e.g. mutual aid groups, more time to connect) 

Registrations to this free webinar are open. The day of the event, you will receive an email with the link to the webinar. In case you missed it, join us via this link 10 minutes before the event starts (16.50 CET). 

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Miriam Attias (Finland)

Miriam Attias works as an independent mediator, researcher, trainer and consultant in community and neighbourhood conflicts and workplace disputes. Her areas of interest and expertise are identity- and intergroup conflicts and depolarisation strategies in Finland.

In hate crime it is not always possible or suitable to use traditional victim-offender set up for mediation. A more systemic approach is needed. The theme will be elaborated through a case study of the Forssa Approach , which was developed in the small city of Forssa in Finland in 2017. The approach includes a large scale collaboration of city authorities, police and other actors, a systemic mediation of inter-group conflict and depolarising measures to deal with the emotions and needs of indirect bystanders. The Forssa approach was awarded with the ECPA price (European Crime Prevention Network) in 2018.

Lucy jaffe

Lucy Jaffe is Director of Why me?, a national organisation in the UK, which campaigns and delivers Restorative Justice. She has experience of running non-governmental organisations and of working in the corporate software sector. She has been instrumental in building Why me? over the last 9 years to fulfill the founder's vision that people affected by crime should have access to Restorative Justice.  She is a trained facilitator and has positions on the National Victim Commissioner's Advisory Board, and a national criminal justice NGO.

Lucy will talk about Why me?'s three year Restorative Justice for hate crime project, discussing the systemic barriers in the UK to hate crime victims accessing restorative justice. She will also explain the solutions which they identified, and the particular considerations to be given to groups with different characteristics. Two reports (published by Why me? October 2019) are relevant and will be referenced. In addition she will explain the reasons, impact and lessons learnt from running a race hate listening forum in the wake of the death of George Floyd. 

Hand photo created by freepik: