Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP) is an international non-governmental organization composed of well-trained national and international civilian field staff.
NP works to promote and implement unarmed civilian protection (UCP) as a tool for reducing violence and protecting civilians in situations of violent conflict. The organization was conceived by a few participants at the 1999 Hague Appeal for Peace and formed at the 2002 Convening Event in India. NP was granted Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in 2007. With over 200 field staff, NP has programs in the Philippines, South Sudan, the Middle East, and Myanmar, as well as a US office in Minnesota and headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. Past projects were based in Guatemala, Sri Lanka, and South Caucasus. NP is also currently working in Ukraine to train Ukranian stakeholders from conflict affected communities in unarmed civilian protection. In late 2015 NP began the Syria Response Project in the Middle East with partner organizations Cure Violence and Madani.
Unarmed civilian protection is an evidence-based tactic for reducing violence and human rights abuses. It involves a variety of methods to build relationships with all parties to a conflict, to increase the confidence of those caught in the middle to confront violence, and to strengthen existing structures for handling violence. UCP draws its inspiration from practices which have deep roots in many cultures and practices that emphasize community and cooperation - rather than force or the threat of force.
To build broad local ownership of the programs which NP has been invited to undertake, we work in long-term partnerships with a spectrum of stakeholders, including civil society groups, local and central government officials, uniformed security forces, and other international organizations. Even vulnerable populations can and do contribute to enhancing their own security and developing sustainable solutions.
NP focuses on strengthening the ability of disrupted communities to shape the resolution of their region's problems. Through careful monitoring of the impact of its work, NP collects evidence about which interventions are effective and which are not. Successful strategies are then fine-tuned and adapted for new programs in other regions, so each new program benefits from the successes and mistakes of previous years.