The Youth Peace Camps were initiated by the Council of Europe in 2003, in cooperation with Europa Park in Rust, Germany, to bring together young people from conflict regions and to support them in initiating dialogue and cooperation.
In the past years the peace camp project brought together young people from the Middle East, Southeast and Eastern Europe. During the camp the participants followed an experiential learning process and acquired competences in the fields of intercultural learning, dialogue and conflict transformation, within a human rights framework.
The Youth Peace Camp engages young people and youth organisations from conflict affected regions in dialogue and conflict transformation activities based on human rights education and intercultural learning during and after the camp.
The main objectives (personal, organisational and institutional) of the Youth Peace Camp are:
- To develop awareness and basic competences (knowledge, skills and attitudes) of participants in human rights education, conflict transformation, intercultural learning and dialogue, including a critical understanding of personal and collective identities and their role in conflicts
- To enable participants to share personal experiences of conflict and violence and coping strategies in a positive and safe atmosphere of living and learning together
- To motivate and support participants in their role as multipliers and peer leaders in peace-building activities with young people encouraging them to implement follow-up initiatives
- To promote and share existing youth work practices and experiences of young people working on dialogue and conflict transformation in their home communities
- To strengthen the role of the Council of Europe, in particular through its Youth for Democracy programme, in its efforts towards strengthening youth work in the field of conflict transformation, social cohesion and intercultural dialogue and in the implementation of the approaches of the UN Security Council Resolution 2250 (2015) on Youth, Peace and Security.