What is FIDH ?

Our ambitions


To embody a world movement for Human Rights

Human Rights are the very foundation of a society that guarantees equality, dignity and freedom for each human being. The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), through its legitimacy, its experience, its methods and its credibility, has a unique role to play in contributing to their realisation.

Since 2009, FIDH has singled out certain areas of prime concern, for which it has determined action priorities:

1. Freedom and capacity to act of human rights defenders

2. Universality of rights, in particular those of women, whose - inequitable treatment constitutes a major obstacle for the progress of mankind

3. Promotion and protection of migrants’ rights

4. Effectiveness of Human Rights, to put an end to the impunity of authors of violations, who are not called to account, be they individuals, States or business enterprises

5. Stengthen the respect for human rights in the context of globalisation

6. Respect for Human Rights and the Rule of Law in times of conflict, emergency or political transition

FIDH quickly responds to requests from member organisations in times of armed or violent political conflict and 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.

In order to act effectively on such complex issues and to achieve concrete results, FIDH has also determined a number of internal objectives:
- To reinforce interaction and proximity with its member and partner organisations, in particular by deploying new decentralised offices in nearly all regions,
- To continue developing the professionalism of the movement,
- To reinforce FIDH’s capacity to mobilise public opinion and political circles,
- And to consolidate the increase in its financial resources and its sustainability, essential prerequisites for fulfilling its ambitions.

FIDH acts in an international context that is both complex and unsettled. In order to meet all these challenges, FIDH must be clear-sighted, and modest regarding its capabilities; it must also define its priorities and continually evaluate its action. The quest for universal and effective rights is the vital lead for FIDH to embody a universal Human Rights movement.

Our Fundamentals


A mandate: The protection of all rights

FIDH is an international NGO defending all civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It acts in the legal and political field for the creation and reinforcement of international instruments for the protection of Human Rights and for their implementation.

An ethic: Independence and Objectivity

FIDH is a non-partisan, non-religious, apolitical and non-profit organisation, and in France, where it is based, it has public interest status (reconnue d’utilité publique). Its independence and objectivity are the very foundation of its credibility.

An organisation to serve its members

FIDH is a federalist movement that acts through and for its national member and partner organisations. This principle of governance shapes its decision-making processes, its mode of action and the way it operates. It is what makes FIDH truly representative of its member and partner organisations and gives it legitimacy. By remaining in permanent interaction with local civil societies, FIDH can rapidly identify local obstacles to the work of defenders and take the necessary steps to mobilise support for them.

Well-tried expertise

FIDH deploys a large range of actions that have proved to be effective: urgent reactions, both public and confidential; international fact-finding, trial observation and defence missions; and, political dialogue, advocacy, litigation and public awareness campaigns.

FIDH acts through a network of international experts (chargés de mission) who give their time on a voluntary basis, at the same time fostering exchanges of experience among defenders worldwide in order to encourage mutual sharing of know-how.

FIDH constantly evaluates its activities in order to increase its effectiveness and to adjust its short, medium or long-term objectives as necessary.

Three levels of action

FIDH considers that transforming society is primarily a matter for local actors. Its activities aim to reinforce their capacity to act and increase their influence in local matters. It acts at national, regional, and international levels to support of its member and partner organisations in countering Human Rights violations and in consolidating democratisation. FIDH’s actions are directed towards States and other actors that exercise power, such as armed opposition groups and multinational enterprises.

The main beneficiaries are national Human Rights member organisations, and through them the victims of Human Rights violations. FIDH has also broadened its field of action to encompass local partner organisations, and has developed alliances with other actors working for change.

Our functioning


A Universal and Federalist movement

FIDH’s organisation and mode of operation reflect the governance principles: everything is based on the 178 member organisations.

The Congress

•Is composed of the 178 member organisations;

•Meets every three years;

•Discusses the FIDH thematic and geographical priorities and lays down the broad strategic orientations.

The International Board

Comprises 22 members (volunteers) from the member organisations. The Board is elected by Congress and consists of the President, the Treasurer, 15 Vice-Presidents and 5 General Secretaries;

Defines the strategic orientations according to the goals set by Congress and approves the annual accounts;

Meets three times a year and reports to Congress.

The Executive Board

Is composed of the President, the Treasurer, 5 General Secretaries and 5 Deputy General Secretaries;

Deals with the day-to-day running of the organisation and prepares the meetings of the International Board;

Meets once a month and reports to the International Board.

The International Secretariat

• Is based in Paris, and is composed of a team of professionals under an Executive Director, a non-voting member of the International and the Executive Boards. The team is structured in by regions and action priorities; it is dispatched between the headquarters, permanent delegations before IGOs and regional offices.. It also comprises a Communication and Development department, and an Administrative and Financial support department.

• Is in permanent contact with the actors in the field, and implements the decisions of the FIDH policy-making bodies in conjunction with the member organisations, the mission officers and members of the International and Executive Boards.

The FIDH International Board was elected at the 38th World Congress.

Annual Report


FIDH 2011 Annual Report - FIDH - Worldwide Human Rights Movement
FIDH 2011 Annual Report



Annual Report 2010 - FIDH - Worldwide Human Rights Movement
Annual Report 2010


Last Update 8 November 2013

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