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 don’t 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

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In authorizing an offensive mandate for MONUSCO, UNSC Resolution 2098 created the Force Intervention Brigade (FIB), which is specifically equipped for “targeted offensive operations” with the responsibility of “neutralizing armed groups and of contributing to reducing the threat posed by armed groups to state authority and civilian security in eastern DRC.” In 2013, CIVIC helped…

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CIVIC has advocated for assistance to conflict victims in Iraq since our founding in 2003. Our work helped create the first US-funded program for civilians harmed by US combat operations, the Marla Ruzicka Iraqi War Victims Fund (named for CIVIC’s founder). The fund helps civilian victims and their families begin to rebuild their lives by providing health care and livelihood assistance, and rebuilding destroyed homes. Over the years, CIVIC has held training and assessment sessions with the Marla Ruzicka Iraqi War Victims Fund staff and seen many of our recommendations to USAID and Congress for improving how assistance is delivered implemented on the ground.

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When conflict erupted between Israelis and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip in July 2014, CIVIC expressed concern about the conduct of all parties to the conflict. CIVIC developed specific, pragmatic recommendations for the US Department of State about steps the US could take to increase civilian protection. The Huffington Post published CIVIC’s “No Safe Place in Gaza,…

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“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

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Nigeria is crisscrossed with political and social fault lines that threaten the security of its people. Perhaps most urgently is the rise of Boko Haram’s violent extremism. Extremism in particular has fueled violence in the Northeast of the country since 2009, and has by some estimates, claimed over 20,000 lives and displaced millions. The scale of violence against civilians…

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“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.

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“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 CIVIC

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A little more than two years after gaining its independence, South Sudan descended into a devastating armed conflict in December 2013. Civilians have borne the brunt of the violence, as armed groups have deliberately targeted them through killings, sexual violence, the destruction of property, and the looting of cattle.

CIVIC is currently undertaking an in-depth assessment about civilians…

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“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.

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Since 2008, Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC) has been working closely with the US government to develop new directives to mitigate civilian harm, with a special emphasis on standing up an office in the Pentagon to track civilian harm and ensure that policies to protect civilians from harm are implemented across the armed services. We continue to push for…

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Civilian suffering in Yemen has increased following the Saudi-led intervention to fight the Houthi rebels. Many operations by the warring parties are taking place near urban and residential areas, putting civilians at significant risk. Much of Yemen’s infrastructure, including the health service, has collapsed, and the delivery of humanitarian aid remains extraordinarily difficult.

Civilians have…

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