Centre for Peace Studies (CMS its original acronym in Croatian) is a non-profit association of citizens whose mission is promoting non-violence, human rights, and social change through different approaches that include research, education, activism, and work on public policies.
Centre for Peace Studies grew out of various direct forms of peace-building in Western Slavonia (such as The Voluntary Project Pakrac, 1993 – 1997). Formally established as an independent organization in 1997, CMS aims at promoting the values of non-violence, social justice, respect for human rights, tolerance, and accepting the differences through participative methods such as peace education, research, and through publicly advocating peace-building.
Centre for Peace Studies operates through two complementary programmes: peace education and peace-building public policies, with the focus on human and minority rights, human security, combating discrimination, asylum rights, education policies, and on dealing with the past.
Centre for Peace Studies considers that through building a network of educated citizens, who are skilled in employing the values of peace-building, it contributes to the process of creating an active and influential civil society. By strengthening active and interested citizens, we want to be the driving power in promoting a positive and sustainable peace. We want to share our peace-building experience solidarily with all interested citizens at the local, regional, and global level.
Through public events and public actions, Centre for Peace Studies aims to influence the public, the media, and state structures, as well as encourage them to be more active when it comes to the processes of facing the past, articulating peace-building policies, and the peace-building programmes.
The goals of Centre for Peace Studies:
• developing a culture of dialogue and of violence-free living
• encouraging creative exchanges of theoretical and practical approaches to peace education, conflict- transformation, and the affirmation of social justice, through study programmes, trainings, and public presentations
• examining topics relative to the creation of a lasting peace, and peace education, with special focus on the experiences from Croatia and the broader region
• generating recommendations for developing public policies
• supporting and developing the network for exchanging experiences on peace-building in the war-afflicted areas of Croatia and the broader region
• providing information and support for all local initiatives, and offering partnerships to all local groups whose activities are close to peace-building
• affirming the activist approach in local communities
• encouraging continuous self-education of the members of Centre for Peace Studies, and of the participants in its programmes, to broaden their own understanding of peace work
• introducing new models of education and self-education
• engaging in the international network of centres for peace studies