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International Federation for Human Rights

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Title: International Federation for Human Rights  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Nabeel Rajab, Casualties of the 2011 Libyan Civil War, International reactions to the 2011 military intervention in Libya, International Federation for Human Rights, Human rights movement
Collection: Human Rights Organizations, International Federation for Human Rights, International Human Rights Organizations, International Nongovernmental Organizations, International Non-Profit Organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations Based in France, Non-Profit Organizations Based in France, Organizations Based in Paris, Organizations Established in 1922
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International Federation for Human Rights

International Federation for Human Rights
Motto Keep Your Eyes Open
Founded 1922
Type Federation of Human Rights Organisations
  • Global
    International secretariat in Paris, France.
Services Protect human rights defenders, ensure effective human rights, and justice for all, globalisation with due respect for human rights.
Fields Fact-finding missions, judicial observations, training, exchange programs, research, permanent lobbying of intergovernmental organisations, mobilizing public opinion.
178 human rights organisations in more than 100 countries
Key people
Karime Lahidji (President since 2013)
Jean-François Plantin (Tresory)
Ales Bialatski (Vice President)
René Cassin
Joseph Paul-Boncour
Victor Basch

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) is a non-governmental federation for human rights organizations. Founded in 1922, FIDH is the oldest international human rights organisation worldwide and today brings together 178 member organisations in over 100 countries.

FIDH is nonpartisan, nonsectarian, and independent of any government. Its core mandate is to promote respect for all the rights set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

FIDH co-ordinates and supports the actions of its members and is their contact with intergovernmental organisations.


  • Overview 1
  • Funding 2
  • Priorities 3
  • Activities 4
  • Structure 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


FIDH was established in 1922, when it united ten national organizations. It is now a federation of 178 human rights organizations in nearly 100 countries. FIDH coordinates and supports the activities of its member organizations, at the local, regional and international levels. FIDH is not linked to any party or religion, and is independent. FIDH has a consultative status before the International Labour Organization.

FIDH also has "regular contact" with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

FIDH's mandate "is to contribute to the respect of all the rights defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights." It aims to make "effective improvements in the protection of victims, the prevention of Human Rights violations and the sanction of their perpetrators."[1] Its priorities are established by its World Congress and International Board (22 members) with the support of its International Secretariat (45 staff members).


FIDH's total income in 2012 was €5,362,268[2] (nearly US$7.1m), of which approximately 80% came from "grants and donations". According to [3]


Protect human rights defenders

To protect defenders of human rights, FIDH and the

  • Official website

External links

  1. ^
  2. ^ "FIDH Annual Report, 2011"
  3. ^ Report "FIDH: Prioritizing Politics over Protection", NGO Monitor, 2006
  4. ^ FIDH, Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  5. ^ UN, Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  6. ^ FIDH, Women's rights. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
  7. ^ FIDH, Migrants' rights. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
  8. ^ The Guardian, 18 June 2013: 'African migrants 'left to die' in dinghy sue Spanish and French military'
  9. ^ Global Post, 18 June 2013: 'Libya sea tragedy survivors file suits against France, Spain'
  10. ^ FindLaw, FIDH will participate in the 5th World Congress against the Death Penalty. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
  11. ^ FIDH, Terrorism. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
  12. ^ FIDH, Globalization. Retrieved 1 August 2013.


The International Secretariat is based in Paris, with delegations to the United Nations in Geneva and New York, to the European Union in Brussels, to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, to the African Union in Nairobi and to the Asean in Bangkok. It also has regional offices in Abidjan, Bamako, Cairo, Conakry and Tunis. It implements decisions taken by the International and Executive Boards and ensures regular support to member organizations. The Secretariat employs 45 permanent staff, assisted by interns and volunteers.

The FIDH International Board is composed of a President, Treasurer, 15 Vice-presidents and 5 Secretaries General, all of whom work on a voluntary basis and represent all regions of the world. Honorary Presidents have consultative status on the International Board. The International Board meets 3 times per year to define FIDH’s political and strategic orientations and to draw up and approve the budget. The Executive Board is composed of the President, the Treasurer and the 5 Secretaries General, and is responsible for the management of FIDH on a daily basis. This body meets once per month to take decisions on current concerns and requests submitted by member organizations. The two Boards call on the expertise of other collaborators in FIDH’s activities, including the permanent delegates to intergovernmental organizations and the mission delegates. The team of mission delegates gathers together several hundred individuals from all regions.

Every three years, the FIDH Congress gathers together member organizations to elect the International Board, fix the priorities of the organization and decide whether to grant membership to new partners or to exclude member organizations which no longer satisfy its requirements.

FIDH has its headquarters in Paris. It relies primarily on a pool of dedicated volunteers. The organizational structure consists of elected boards and a small body of permanent staff who support the activities of the board members and the mission delegates.


FIDH draws public attention to the outcomes of its missions, its research findings and eyewitness accounts of human rights violations, by means of press releases, press conferences, open letters, mission reports, urgent appeals, petitions and the FIDH website (in English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Persian and Turkish). In 2005, internet traffic on amounted to approximately 2 million pages visited, and 400 references to FIDH per day were calculated on websites based in over 100 countries.

Raising awareness --informing, alerting, bearing witness

FIDH, together with its members and partners, implements cooperation programs at the national level, aimed at strengthening the capacity of human rights organizations. FIDH provides training and assists in creating opportunities for dialogue with authorities. From 2004 to 2005, FIDH undertook such programs in 32 countries in Africa, 16 in Latin America, 3 in Asia and 10 in the North Africa/Middle Eastern region.

Supporting national NGOs and increasing their capacity

FIDH provides guidance and support to its member organizations and other local partners in their interactions with international and regional inter-governmental organizations (IGOs). FIDH has established delegations at the UN in Geneva and New York, at the European Union in Brussels and, since 2006, at the League of Arab States in Cairo. From 2004 to 2005, FIDH filed and supported over 500 cases before international IGOs. FIDH participates in standard-setting processes and promotes the establishment of monitoring mechanisms.

Mobilizing the international community

These activities, including fact-finding and trial observation missions, research, advocacy and litigation, are implemented by independent human rights experts from all regions. Between 2009 and 2012, 576 defenders of human rights were released and the judicial harassment of 116 defenders ended.

Monitoring and promoting human rights, assisting victims


FIDH responds to requests from member organisations in times of armed or violent political conflict and in closed countries. It conducts fact-finding missions in the field and mobilises the international community through international and regional organisations, third countries and other levers of influence.

Defend democratic principles and support victims in times of conflict

FIDH documents and denounces human rights violations involving corporations and demands that economic actors be held accountable, including through litigation. FIDH aspires to see human rights positioned at the heart of investment and trade negotiations, and strives for the effective implementation of economic, social and cultural rights.[12]

Strengthen respect for human rights in the context of globalisation

FIDH seeks to strengthen independent judicial systems and supports transitional justice processes that respect victims’ rights. When recourse to national remedies is ineffective or impossible, FIDH helps victims to either access courts in other countries through extraterritorial jurisdiction, or to bring their cases to the International Criminal Court (ICC) or regional human rights courts. FIDH participates in strengthening these regional and international mechanisms. Achieving the universal abolition of capital punishment[10] and securing the right to a fair trial, including in the fight against terrorism,[11] are also important FIDH objectives.

Promote effective judicial mechanisms that respect human rights

In June 2013, FIDH provided legal assistance to two survivors of the 'left to die' boat: 72 migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa had left Libya in 2011 in a small dinghy, had run out of fuel and drifted 'for two weeks along one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world'.[8] A complaint—with FIDH and 3 other NGOs as civil parties—was lodged against the French and Spanish military for failing to 'assist people in danger'.[9]

States imposing stricter controls on people's movements are reducing migrant workers to mere commercial goods, leaving them vulnerable to exploitation. FIDH investigates the violation of migrants' rights from the country of origin to the country of destination, advocates for legislative and political reforms, and litigates to bring perpetrators of violations to justice.[7]

Protect migrants' rights

Discrimination and violence against women is still the norm in many states.[5] FIDH is striving to abolish discrimination, facilitate women's access to justice, and fight impunity for perpetrators of sexual crimes committed during conflict.[6]

Promote and protect women's rights

at national, regional and international levels. human rights defenders, hold discussions with national authorities and promote the strengthening of mechanisms to protect international community Its role is establish the facts, alert the [4]

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