Centre for Peace Studies - Croatia (CMS - Croatian abbreviation) is a non-profit association of citizens whose mission is promoting non-violence, human rights and social change through education, research and activism. CMS grew out of various direct forms of peace-building activities in western Slavonia during the 1990s war in Croatia (community projects such as the Volunteer Project Pakrac and the Croatian Anti-War Campaign - ARK). It was formally established in 1997. Today, twenty people work in CMS, but we remain a member-based organization, with around 50 active members who follow and comment the work done by those working on a daily basis, as well as take part in decision-making when it comes to more crucial issues. At the moment, the CMS program director is Julija Kranjec. However, it has to be noted the management of the organization takes place on the horizontal level, through the CMS executive board.
CMS operates through three complementary programs: combating racism, xenophobia, and ethnic exclusivism; conflict transformation and non-violence affirmation; strengthening of social solidarity, human security and development cooperation. Our focus is on peace and human rights education for different groups within society, as well as the articulation and promotion of peace-building policies – the latter includes work in specific areas such as minority and asylum seekers’ rights, integration policies, promotion of non-discrimination, the development of the concept of human security and integration of civic education in educational policies, just to name a few.
CMS believes that through building a network of educated citizens skilled in employing the methods 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. Through public events we aim at influencing the public, the media and state structures as well as encouraging them to be more active when it comes to the processes of dealing with the past, and articulating peace-building policies.