The Forssa Approach: mediation in polarisation and inter-group conflicts” is a project based on the thorough study in a Finnish town Forssa in 2016. The project aimed at reducing violent crimes and conflicts between local youth and residents of a reception centre. The project also targeted the inhabitants of the community at large because people noticed the tense atmosphere. The project aimed at restoring a sense of security, to defuse the polarised situation and to prevent further clashes in the town.
“The Forssa approach” was established on neutral and transparent communication and multidisciplinary collaboration enabling exchange of information and coordination of activities. Community mediation and dialogue was the method used by professional mediators and police for recognising the interests and needs of conflicting parties. Discussions of the conflict in the community at large continued and a media project for students was initiated and completed.
The project calmed down the situation in Forssa and defused intergroup conflicts and polarisation between locals and asylum seekers. Violent crimes ceased completely.