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UN Women have engaged Bridging Peoples on two separate pieces of work related to gender-responsive alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in Timor-Leste.

The provision of community-level ADR in Timor-Leste is complex and multi-faceted. The vast majority of communities continue to operate according to systems of customary justice, and different forms of ADR is provided by various government entities and NGOs. The formal justice system is overwhelmed, and unable to deal with the caseload. And many community members are unaware of their rights under the state system.

In 2018, Bridging Peoples conducted a broad assessment of various types of customary and non-customary ADR provision, and the implications for women. This is now being followed up in 2019-2020, partnering with social-legal enterprise Jurídico Social (JU,S) to provide support to the Government of Timor-Leste in improving their community mediation services, in a manner that is gender-responsive.

Key activities include:

  • Conducting research on customary and non-customary ADR provision.
  • Conducting research on government mediation for community disputes.
  • Supporting the government in their Case Management System.
  • Facilitate workshops and provide training to government mediators, to help them understand basic mediation principles, and apply them in a manner that is gender-responsive.
  • Support analysis of draft legislation governing community mediation.


Research: Women’s Multiple Pathways to Justice in Timor-Leste