The Roles and Challenges of Professional Family Mediators: The Case of Family Mediators under Child Justice Project Office, Children's Legal Protection Centers in Three Courts of Addis Ababa

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Addis Ababa University


With four mediators and seven legal professionals the study has made an effort to explore the intents of the court to include professional family -mediators and the prospects of professional family mediation to families and the court. The study has also explored the roles and challenges of professional family mediators who were currently working in the child justice project children's legal protection centers. For this effort a qualitative method with case study approach as a specific method have been employed. Professional family mediators were participants of the study and family bench judges, lawyers and mediation coordinator of the child justice project children's legal protection centers has been-key informants ofthe study. In-depth interview, key informant interviews, observation and document reviews were utilized to collect data. Thematic analysis was used to-analysis the data that has been collected from field. The findings include the following points. Article 36 of the Ethiopian constitution that devotes a full article on child right has been the source for the court to include family mediators in the court in the area of family issues (civil cases) to safeguard the best interest of the child. Mediation protects the confidentiality of parties, promotes a win-win solution and helps them to build a stronger relationship and etc. Mediators have the role of facilitating conversation between disputing parties, negotiating, teaching, encouraging and refeFFal. Lack of cooperation from police officers, limited source for. referral , the attitude of families towards-Illediation services, short appointments that are given by judges were some of the challenges that were identified in the research. Trainings to mediators in order to expand the services, more budget to the project office in order to help families in a better way have been indicated in the research. Key words: child justice project office, family mediators, courts, roles and challenges.



child justice project office, family mediators, courts, roles and challenges.