Societies around the world have developed their own unique ways to overcome conflict. When the state came into existence, it derived this power from the community. Many communities, however, preserved their indigenous systems. The common examples are the Native American Circle, Sulha in Arab countries, Jirga in Pakistan and Afghanistan, Punchayth in India and Gacaca in Africa.
The world is currently facing the biggest refugee crisis since World War II. One in every 122 humans is now either a refugee, internally displaced or seeking asylum, according to the UN Refugee Agency. Peacebuilders around the globe must come up with new ways to resolve conflicts. Despite the new circumstances, the refugee’s old conflict resolution system stays with them. The indigenous systems they bring can be the foundation for another system to be built upon.
Indigenous conflict resolution systems need to be researched and made compatible with modern values. The restorative justice system, which has many similarities with many indigenous systems around the world and can help integrate them into the modern world, is a good start.