International Restorative Encounters Return to the Basque Country

On 21 and 22 November, the three Basque capitals will host international restorative encounters as part of the “Encounter of the Encounters” initiative, organised by the University of the Basque Country and the Basque Criminology Institute, and in collaboration with the Ararteko and different European and international organisations. This event takes place as part of the International Restorative Justice Week, promoted by the European Forum for Restorative Justice.

The “Encounter of the Encounters” initiative consists of facilitating cross-border restorative dialogues with a group of people who have experienced similar "radical" and "extreme" life events in contexts of political violence and violent extremism. Since the first edition took place in Donostia/San Sebastian in 2019, the following five encounters have brought together people from the Basque Country, Belgium, Germany, Israel and Palestine, Italy, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Ukraine. The dialogues bring together participants with overlapping roles in those post-violence contexts: actual witnesses (victims, survivors and perpetrators, sometimes with their family members, such as partners and children); young people representing the future generations) and other interested citizens; restorative justice facilitators; and guarantors with different experience in restorative justice and criminal justice.

The latest "Encounter of the Encounters" is returning to the Basque Country to continue expanding and intensifying international restorative experiences. After an initial day dedicated to confidential encounters, the event, under the title "Intergenerational Restorative Justice: Expanding the Dialogue of the Encounter of Restorative Encounters", will visit the three capitals of the Basque Country to open up restorative dialogues to all citizens: on 21 November in Donostia/San Sebastián (Carlos Santamaría Centre, Antonio Beristain Auditorium), and on 22 November in Vitoria (Main Auditorium on Araba Campus) and in Bilbao (Bilbao Bizkaia Aretoa, Baroja Hall). For those interested in participating, deadline for inscriptions is November 17.

The Ararteko, as an organiser and facilitator of this initiative right from its start, calls on the citizens of the Basque Country to take part in these restorative dialogues.