Name of organization/institution
Civil Society Organization
Description of your organization/institution
Release Peace is an NGO based in The Hague and was founded in 2019. Our work seeks to prevent and reduce armed conflicts. To that effect, we run programmes to reduce the number of small arms and light weapons (SALW) in circulation. This work takes place together with local partners in countries or world regions at risk of conflicts, as well as at an international advocacy level. The latter involves dialogues with UN agencies, foreign ministries, and other national and international bodies. Release Peace's work directly connects to 6 Sustainable Development Goals, most prominently including SDG 5. All our work is meant to prevent conflicts and the impacts they have on civilians. We do not currently work in countries that are already active conflict zones, but are open to pursuing project to that effect.
Description of your main WPS related activities
The work of Release Peace seeks to reduce and prevent armed conflicts. In relation to WPS, our work does not only aim to reduce violence against women through that core mission of preventing conflicts in the first place, but we go further and encourage amp; empower women to take a leading role in peacebuilding and community leadership. We work together with local women’s and children’s rights groups on the ground. By putting women in the lead, their communities realise that women are undoubtedly just as able to lead the way as any man. The great majority of Release Peace's team are women. Furthermore, we are currently planning an innovative "microfinance in exchange for weapons" approach in which women in rural communities will be provided with microfinance loans, training, and livelihood support in exchange for that community handing in their weapons for destruction. This approach shall be trialled in West African countries where weapons from previous conflicts still circulate in rural areas and raise the potential for future violence. This project will empower women economically while at the same time supporting long-term peace.