We work with civilians in conflict zones. We travel to conflict zones and speak directly to those affected. We document their stories and listen when they tell us what they want. We bring their perspective to those in power and advise on ways to recognize, protect, and help them.
“In Afghanistan, if someone comes to your home [to apologize] you do not get revenge on them. But we also request them to help the families of those killed… If they dont help our families, we take it as a sign that they did this intentionally. And then people will raise their guns to fight them.”-Abdul*, whose eight-year-old son was killed in an ISAF airstrike
With the US war in Iraq officially over, civilians face a long road to recovery and ongoing protection concerns due to sectarian violence. Millions of Iraqis are still displaced from their homes, both inside the country and as refugees in neighboring countries. While some refugees are returning, the vast majority cannot go back to their homes, often due to lack of security and employment prospects.
The 2011 Libyan revolution led to the ousting of Qaddafi and the country’s first steps towards the formation of an elected government. Civilians were at risk from fighting by multiple parties during the revolution and are still vulnerable as the country rebuilds.
“We have to realize that things have changed for the worse. We all have a duty to understand that we live in a very fragile society now -- and what that means. Many people want to take revenge…but we have to understand that revenge will tip us into hell.” –Ahmed*, a schoolteacher in Mali
“I was driving my tractor in the field when the rocket hit me…there was a lot of crossfire at the time between the government and the militants. My back was broken as a result… Now I cannot move either of my legs. I am forever disabled and cannot walk.” –Rahman, from Bajaur Pakistan.
“We live in constant fear of whether we will live or die. I want the rockets to stop. I want to go back to my home and live peacefully.”--Manal*, a mother of two from Hama.
“In Somali culture, if somebody is killed, the killer should come and talk to me, help me bury the dead and compensate me.” –Mohammed*, 32 year old Somali man to the Center