Justice and Peace: human rights and justice as factors of peace

The prevention and management of conflict and post-conflict situations is at the very heart of our work.
Our analysis is based upon the social realities experienced every day by people in both the North and the South. It is founded upon a study of international conflicts and challenges, carried out in close collaboration with local actors.
Our advocacy actions are aimed at the political and economic decision-makers. They are drawn up in collaboration with an extensive and pluralistic network of civil society associations.
Our awareness activities are designed to raise citizens’ awareness and to encourage them to become agents of peace and justice.

Values – history
The Justice and Peace Commission of the French-speaking part of Belgium was founded in 1978 and its mission is to develop the general public’s (including the Christian communities) awareness and critical knowledge of social realities. It is a member of the European network of Justice and Peace Commissions.
Justice and Peace is engaged in studies as well as education activities and actions related to the questions of justice, conflict prevention, peace-building, human rights and human development.
Its aim is to encourage citizens’ individual and collective actions in order to support peace and justice throughout the world, notably through the deployment of educational activities, in order to build their:
-  Capacity to critically analyse the realities of society;
-  Awareness of their responsibilities vis-à-vis the challenges of peace and justice at the global level;
-  Effective mobilisation and participation as actors within society.

Mission and target groups
The mission of Justice and Peace is to make both citizens and decision-makers aware of crisis situations and to encourage them to become agents for peace at all levels. It gears its action towards the general public, teachers, associations, notably those which represent diasporas, and political and economic officials.

Work themes and activities
Various criteria are used to enable Justice and Peace to determine which types of conflicts are the focus of the work carried out within the organisation:
-  Social or armed conflicts
-  Conflicts which entail an infringement of human rights (namely economic, social, political and environmental rights)
-  Justice and Peace accords particular attention to the countries which are considered to be the poorest or most fragile and whose inhabitants are the first to fall victim to violence. However, it also carries out work on middle-income countries, since there are also major social and economic disparities in those countries
-  Justice and Peace works on current and past conflicts: in fact, by analysing the mechanisms which have led to war, it is possible to develop work on conflict prevention
-  Certain conflicts related to worldwide geo-political and geo-strategical interests: the ways in which international relations are developed may have negative consequences for human rights.

Justice and Peace organises a range of activities:
-  The publication of analytical texts on the website;
-  The contribution of reflections to events and public debates;
-  Collaboration with political representatives so that our demands are translated into real political change;
-  The organisation of training and activities aimed at citizens, upper secondary level teachers, trainers and activity leaders, as well as civil society organisations;
-  The provision of educational resources in order to enable these groups to look at the issues in greater depth;
-  Regular presence in the Belgian media.

Organisation – structure
In order to ensure a good degree of coherence with its mission and effectiveness in the way in which it functions, the working time of the organisation’s permanent staff (6.5 full-time equivalents) is divided between different areas of expertise:
-  The promotion of development education and life-long education;
-  Education and training (including the training delivered by Justice and Peace to teachers in secondary and upper level education);
-  Political advocacy;
-  Geographical areas: Latin America and Central America.

Two transversal areas of work have also been developed (working with volunteers and internal and external communication) and these two areas support the activities undertaken by the organisation.
The thematic and geographic groups, as well as the regional Commissions, are composed of volunteers who devote part of their time to Justice and Peace’s mission. These volunteers have a variety of responsibilities, ranging from the drafting and correction of texts, reflection upon the challenges faced by society, to leading activities. Volunteers also carry out administrative work within Justice and Peace’s administration and finance department.
The General Assembly (GA) is composed of representatives from the development education and life-long education sectors, as well as Christian organisations. The GA sets out the thematic guidelines and institutional positions to be adopted by Justice and Peace by updating and validating the association’s fundamental options, including its values, vision and mission. The GA meets three times a year (March, June and November) and is the association’s sovereign power.
The Board of Directors (BoD) is composed of individuals who represent only themselves. They are appointed by the GA. The BoD meets five times per year.

Justice and Peace organises its work through the development of analyses and work methodologies related to international issues and conflict resolution, notably in the areas of life-long education and development education. This means that it is necessary to bring the actors together, take stock of existing solutions and to develop them systematically. To this end, Justice and Peace works hard to organise events and training for teachers and associations and also produces targeted communication aimed at political and economic decision makers.
Justice and Peace regularly publishes analyses, studies and educational resources which provide its target groups with analytical tools and work methodologies.

- Contact
Commission Justice et Paix Belgique francophone
31/6, Rue Maurice Liétart – 1150 Brussels – Belgium
Tel: +32 (0)2 738 08 01 – Fax: +32 (0)2 738 08 00
info justicepaix.bewww.justicepaix.be

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