You are in a key position to help advance Nonviolent Peaceforce’s work protecting civilians in places like South Sudan and Iraq. It’s time for Congress to start funding nonviolent approaches to armed conflicts.

Ask your legislator to have our country start supporting nonviolent approaches to conflict. Please ask that they:

Specifically include financial support for Unarmed Civilian Protection in the FY2020 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs appropriations bill.

Listen to Mel's testimony before the House Appropriations Subcommittee here

Find my legislators: House of Representatives || Senate 


Sample Email/Phone Call Script

Hello,

My name is ______ and I am a constituent from _______.

I am [calling/emailing] to urge [Legislator’s name] to specifically include financial support for Unarmed Civilian Protection in the State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs appropriations bill fiscal year 2020.

The innovative practice of Unarmed Civilian Protection, or “UCP,” refers to the use of unarmed civilians to do "peacekeeping." This includes things like accompanying human rights defenders on the ground and monitoring ceasefires.

Organizations like Nonviolent Peaceforce do this great work around the world and I urge you to support their efforts by specifically including financial support for Unarmed Civilian Protection in the fiscal year 2020 State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs appropriations bill.

Can [Legislator’s Name] commit to supporting UCP in the fiscal year 2020 appropriations process?


Talking Points: Including financial support for Unarmed Civilian Protection in the FY2020 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs appropriations.

  1. What is UCP: Unarmed civilian protection refers to a strategy for the protection of civilians, localized violence reduction and supporting local peace infrastructures, in which unarmed, trained civilians live and work with local civil society in areas of violent conflict. The High Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations recommended that unarmed approaches must be at the forefront of United Nations efforts to protect civilians, including children.[1]
  2. UCP Works: Unarmed civilian protectors like those serving with Nonviolent Peaceforce, Peace Brigades International and Christian Peacemaker Teams are protecting people and preventing violence in some of the most violent places in the world including Iraq, Myanmar, the Philippines, South Sudan and Honduras.
  3. UCP Sustains Peace: Unarmed civilian protection builds relationships and fosters communication amid violence while encouraging and supporting local people to protect their communities and prevent violence.
  4. UCP Changes Behavior of Armed Actors: Evaluations, case studies, interviews, reports, and observation of various organizations show that the behavior of armed actors changes when unarmed civilian protectors are present.[2]
  5. UCP is Growing: 42 organizations are now providing unarmed civilian protection in 24 areas around the world.
  6. UCP is needed and affordable: The world is less peaceful today than at any time in the last decade according to 2018 Global Peace Index. The UN High Commission on Refugees reports that a record numbers of civilians are fleeing their homes.  We need effective and affordable approaches that can help address the burgeoning need.
  7. What is the impact of UCP: Evaluations, case studies, interviews, reports, and observation have told us that:
    1. Lives are saved
    2. Communities are able to stay at home
    3. Peace and human rights work is more possible and involves more people in a wider area
    4. Supports the re-establishment of relationships in divided communities
    5. Behavior of armed actors is changed
    6. Demonstrates that violence and threats of violence can be tackled by unarmed trained civilians
    7. It takes time. [3]

[1] Policy on Child Protection in United Nations Peace Operations, United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations, Department of Field Support and Department of Political Affairs, Ref. 2017.11, June 2017, New York.              

[2] Julian, Dr. Rachel, Leeds Beckett University, testimony to UN Side Event on Unarmed Civilian Protection, 24 May, 2018, New York.

[3] Ibid.