The Civil Peace Service
The Civil Peace Service (CPS) is a programme aimed at preventing violence and promoting peace in crisis zones and conflict regions. It strives to build a world in which conflicts are resolved without resorting to violence. Nine German peace and development organisations run the CPS in cooperation with local partners. The CPS is funded by the German Government. CPS experts support people on the ground in their commitment for dialogue, human rights and peace on a long-term basis. Currently, more than 350 international CPS experts are active in 42 countries.
One of the main goals of the CPS is the prevention of violence. The fact that the CPS often works in countries where conflicts have already escalated does not contradict this goal. Peace is often fragile in these post-conflict situations. Armed conflict can easily flare up again. The Civil Peace Service and its partners work to calm the waves, establish contact between enemy factions, balance interests and thereby enable reconciliation and the return to peaceful coexistence.
The idea of social justice also forms part of civil conflict management, since conflicts always offer the opportunity to initiate a process of social change. This idea resonates in the expression of “conflict transformation”.
Civil society - partner of the Civil Peace Service
The CPS works primarily with organisations from civil society that are dedicated to non-violence in conflicts. They are trained in strategies for civil conflict management and are supported in articulating their positions and making themselves heard in crucial places. Peace work requires time and patience: the CPS promotes social change in partner countries and thereby advocates above all medium and long-term solutions.
The approachesof the CPS are as diverse as the conflicts and regions in which it works. The CPS can focus on all kinds of issues, including human rights, media and psychosocial care. Be it dialogue forums or peace negotiations, legal work on human rights violations or reconciliation with the former enemy – the CPS project partners focus their work on the respective situation and its corresponding requirements. They are supported in this by foreign and local CPS experts.
The CPS works together with local partner organisations that
- establish cooperation and dialogue structures, thereby also strengthening traditional mediation procedures,
- create contact points and secure spaces in which parties to the conflict can meet,
- strengthen information and communication structures that trace the causes and effects of violent conflicts (among other things by supporting peace journalism, networking peace organisations and monitoring conflict processes),
- support groups that are especially affected by violence and reintegrate them into society (e.g. through counselling and psychosocial support or work with traumatised people),
- advise on and train in civil conflict management,
- carry out peace education and dismantle enemy stereotypes
- restore local legal security and advocate for human rights.