The International Voluntary Service (IVS) movement was born in 1920. The first project was held near Verdun in France where a group of European volunteers were helping to rebuild a ruined village. After WWII, faced with the challenges of post-war reconstruction and an increasing number of volunteer organisations, discussions occurred at UNESCO about ways to coordinate and encourage the efforts of volunteering. In April 1948 the International Workcamp Organisations Conference took place and the Coordinating Committee for International Camps was established and based at UNESCO headquarters in Paris.
From the 1950s the number of volunteer organisations increased all over the world, touching different thematic from de-colonisations to peace, from disarmament to health and human rights.
After 1965 CCIVS began to make contacts with youth organisations in the then socialist countries of Eastern Europe and in the 1970s and 1980s it served as a crucial neutral platform which enabled volunteer youth exchanges between east and west to be organised. In 1971 CCIVS was also associated with the creation of United Nations Volunteers.
During the 1980s the number of East- West projects across the "iron curtain" increased. In 1987 CCIVS was awarded the title "Messenger of Peace" by UN Secretary General, Perez de Cuellar.
In the first 1990s, the North-South and Asia-Europe relationships became increasingly important. From then on, CCIVS became known as a space for the improvement of quality standards for exchanges and for discussion on the development of the International Voluntary Service movement. Leading the reflections of the movement on the impact, recognition and policies related to International Voluntary Service, CCIVS members work today around the five key topics of Intercultural Dialogue, Sustainable Development, World Heritage, Health and Conflict Transformation.