In today’s wars, civilian homes and towns have become a battlefield.

Civilians are treated as ‘collateral damage’. They have been turned into forever victims.

At Ceasefire, we believe it doesn’t have to be this way.

See our new Strategy 2021 - 2024: From civilian protection to civilian rights

View our new strategy
Photo: Raqqa, Syria ©Tim Dirven /Panos Pictures

In the last 3 years Ceasefire has:

  • Pioneered civilian-led monitoring to document over 4,000 cases of violations against civilians
  • Worked to strengthen a reparations scheme in Iraq that has paid out over $355m to civilians and helped draft new laws to deliver justice for the disappeared and for survivors
  • Trained judges and legal monitors in northern Syria in the law of the Geneva Conventions
  • Supported partners in Yemen to document 380 attacks on schools and push for accountability
  • Helped build an early warning system in South Sudan to ensure violence against civilians is prevented.
Photo: Iraq ©Lattimer/Ceasefire
Warfare is evolving.

The battlespace has expanded, across borders, into homes, into the virtual world. Starvation and disease have become weapons of war. Armed forces and militias fight in coalition or partnership, launch attacks remotely and deny all responsibility for civilian harm.

Photo: Kobane, Syria ©Orlok/Shutterstock

Our theory of change

Our theory of change is based on using advances in communications technology to empower the voices of civilians and seeking to plug gaps in the implementation of the Geneva Conventions and other international laws protecting civilians.

In conflict zones and displacement camps across the world, civilian voices and experiences are ignored or dismissed, undermining the protection of civilians from the effects of war. Ceasefire enables civilian testimony to be documented and recognized, empowers civilians to secure legal redress for violations, and advances protection for civilian rights.

Our Objectives 2021 - 2024

Photo: Kerbala, Iraq @Jasmin Merdan/GettyImages
Our Objectives 2021 - 2024

Over the next four years Ceasefire will:


1. Empower civilians in situations of armed conflict to monitor and document violations of their rights

  • Expand our online violations monitoring platforms with improved functionality, and provide training and support to researchers and super-users
  • Deepen and strengthen the network of civilian monitors in our current focus countries in the Middle East and in Africa, with a specific focus on female monitors and the documentation of sexual and gender-based violence
  • Promote inclusion of monitors from, and/or working with, particularly vulnerable groups, including religious and ethnic minorities and people with disabilities
  • Expand support for civilian-led monitoring to further conflict situations in other world regions, based on rigorous assessment of existing provision and civilian capacity and impact.

2. Seek justice and accountability for violations of civilian rights

  • Use the documentation secured through civilian-led monitoring to found reparation claims
  • Provide legal support and representation to claimants to enable them to access national and international reparations programmes
  • Ensure the voices of civilians are adequately reflected in fact-finding inquiries, and in the formulation of civilian protection and reparations policies.
©Ali Khadr

3. Develop the practice of civilian protection and raise public support for the promotion of civilian rights

  • Undertake research and provide technical assistance in areas of greatest impact, including recognition of rights to reparation; civilian harm mitigation policies; legal limits on siege and other forms of urban warfare; and civilian protection in proxy conflicts
  • Pilot the application of civilian-led monitoring techniques to further humanitarian challenges, including early warning for conflict prevention, and the monitoring and implementation of ceasefire agreements
  • Expand communications outreach and grow the supporter base for civilian rights among key target audiences and the general public.

Throughout our work, Ceasefire is guided by the principles of innovation and best practice, and the conviction that civilians come first.

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Report violations of civilian rights by using our online platforms

Photo: DR Congo/Lattimer