The Youth Peace Camp allows young people and youth organisations from conflict-stricken regions to engage in dialogue and conflict transformation activities based on human rights education and intercultural learning.

Through the camp’s programme these young people gain a positive experience in living and learning together. Sharing their experiences with conflicts and engaging in dialogue enables them to better play a role as multipliers, as peer-leaders, to undertake actions for conflict transformation and dialogue with other young people.

The Youth Peace Camps builds on the understanding that young people growing up in regions affected by armed conflict, enduring the consequences of physical and structural violence, are often confronted with dramatic life-forming experiences, emotions and challenges. Such experiences may strongly influence their views and behaviour towards their own and other communities. Many young people, despite these circumstances, choose however to engage in constructive initiatives and dialogue.

The Youth Peace Camps were initiated by the Council of Europe in 2003 at Europa Park in Rust, Germany. Since 2011 the camp is held at the European Youth Centres. In the past years, the peace camp project brought together young people (of ages 18-25) from the South Caucasus region, Cyprus, Kosovo1, Republic of Moldova, Serbia and Ukraine.


The methodological approach


The programme enables mutual learning among participants, making use of a variety of non-formal working methods which support inter-personal dialogue with young people from “the other side” of the conflicts. By the end of the camp, participants are encouraged to develop initiatives as peer leaders and multipliers with other young people in the field of dialogue and conflict transformation.


Throughout the camp, a human rights-based approach is respected. Participants learn about the concepts of human rights and human dignity which forms the basis for a process of dialogue based on empathy and respect. These values apply also to the way the camp is managed and the programme is run; the camp is an example of conflict transformation.

Between 2011 and 2014, the Youth Peace Ambassadors project was carried out by the Council of Europe. The project promoted and supported the role of young people in peace-building activities that contribute to living together in dignity and dialogue. During the project, they developed local projects for peace and advocated for human rights and dignity. Since then, the Youth Peace Ambassadors remained active and built up a solid and growing network of young people looking for a better world where a different peace is possible!

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[1] All reference to Kosovo, whether to the territory, institutions or population, in this text shall be understood in full compliance with the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.