Center for Civilians in Conflict

Our mission is to improve protection for civilians caught in conflicts around the world.  We call on and advise international organizations, governments, militaries, and armed non-state actors to adopt and implement policies to prevent civilian harm.  When civilians are harmed we advocate the provision of amends and post-harm assistance. We bring the voices of civilians themselves to those making decisions affecting their lives.

The organization was founded as Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict (CIVIC) in 2003 by Marla Ruzicka, a courageous humanitarian killed by a suicide bomber in 2005 while advocating for Iraqi families.

A future where parties involved in conflict go above and beyond their legal obligations to minimize harm to civilians in conflict.


  • Civilian-focused: We believe all harm to civilians should be prevented to the greatest extent possible. Change should be rooted in the wants and needs of civilians caught in conflict. We bring their voices to those making decisions about conduct in conflict.
  • Pragmatic: We believe changes in the behavior of parties to a conflict will result from working directly with decision-makers, helping them understand the effects of their actions and providing them with practical policy solutions to limit and address civilian harm. By adopting a pragmatic approach based on policy rather than law, we are able to secure the cooperation of key actors and motivate them to adopt additional measures to ensure the safety of civilians.
  • Collaborative: We believe working in partnership to protect civilians is more effective than working alone. We work with civilians themselves as well as civil society, governments, military actors, international organizations, thought leaders, and the media as passionate advocates and pragmatic advisors.