1922⁠–2022: FIDH turns 100!


A pioneer in fighting for human rights, bringing together 192 member organisations in 117 countries, FIDH – the International Federation for Human Rights – turns 100 this year. The centenary will be celebrated by a series of events showcasing the Federation’s many accomplishments and looking ahead to remain on the front-line defending human rights.

Paris, 10 May 2022 — One-hundred years ago, in 1922, against the backdrop of the post-WWI period, the French and German human rights associations and 20 other national associations joined forces to found the International Federation for Human Rights. Over its rich, century-long history, FIDH has fought to build a fair and equitable world.

"Celebrating our centenary means laying the groundwork for our next 100 years.”

Alice Mogwe, FIDH president

"Our strength lies in our ability to remain relevant: by adapting to changes without ever straying from our mission," declared Alice Mogwe, FIDH president. "Our tenacious commitment to universal respect for human rights – driven by passionate people from all over the world – is firmly rooted in each and every one of the organisations which make up our Federation. This once-in-a-century celebration is an opportunity to pay them the tribute they so richly deserve and to project ourselves into our future: conceiving and defending the rights of tomorrow."

A centenary resolutely focused on the future
Climate change, growing inequalities, threats to democracy and to our personal data, discrimination against vulnerable populations: the challenges of this new century are already very real. What new rights are needed to meet these new challenges? And how to implement them? FIDH will tackle these issues by engaging young people through an online platform, #AskTheFuture, which will receive proposals from people from all over the world.

This platform will complement a major academic initiative undertaken in partnership with the universities of Sceaux Paris Saclay, Paris Panthéon Sorbonne 1, the Law Clinic of Geneva and the University of Geneva. From 20 May to 8 December, a dozen lectures will be held in Paris, Brussels and Geneva. They will be hosted by leading academics, FIDH experts, and other speakers who think, fight and, together, redefine human rights.

In culmination of the celebrations, a gala at the City Hall of Paris will take place on 23 October at the invitation of Mayor Anne Hidalgo, in the presence of European dignitaries and over 150 human rights defenders from around the world.

On 24 October, FIDH World Congress will open with a full day of round tables – again at the Paris City Hall. This four-day congress will bring together activists from every continent on the major issues of tomorrow: universalism of rights in the light of human diversity, extreme poverty, common goods for the benefit of humanity, and the intersection of rights and the climate crisis.

FIDH is active on a worldwide scale and, as such, is associated this year with the Fortnight of International Solidarity in Brussels at the beginning of October, as well as with Geneva’s Human Rights Week at the end of November.

On this occasion, FIDH is organising a travelling photo exhibition developed with the Magnum agency, the screening of films produced by the Mobile Film Festival, and consultative workshops for young people, in collaboration with the Brussels and Paris city halls. Several major events are also planned in Africa and Eastern Europe.

Finally, major art installations will be exhibited in Brussels and Paris with the generous support of artists from the MTART agency.

"Our centenary programme reflects FIDH and the diversity of its values: boldness, creativity, solidarity, the emphasis on civil society, and our federative model – key to our unique approach among the major international organisations.”

Eléonore Morel, FIDH executive director

"We are thrilled to be accompanied by so many actors who share this vision and who value our commitment to human rights," concluded Eléonore Morel, the organisation’s executive director.

Learn all about the centenary, including FIDH’s history, on the dedicated website: https://fidh100.org/

Dedicated partners
To carry out its work, FIDH has enlisted the support of many institutional, public and private partners, all of whom are motivated by a concern for the common good and the unconditional defence of human dignity.
You can find the complete list of our partners here.

Note to editors
Alice Mogwe, FIDH’s president, is available for interviews in English.
Eléonore Morel, FIDH’s executive director, is available for interviews in French.

FIDH’s history includes:
 participation in drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948;
 calling for the creation of the International Criminal Court;
 support to the victims of Rwandan, Cambodian genocides and victims of Syrian war criminals;
 resistance to the anti-democratic abuses of Russia and China, and those of other countries that do not respect fundamental rights;
 support for communities affected by environmental hazards in Brazil, Chile, Italy, and Ecuador;
 unwavering mobilisation on major international trials and milestones of international justice.

About FIDH
With 192 member organisations from around the world, FIDH has been fighting impunity for a century and working to protect victims from powerful actors such as States, the primary guarantors of human rights, but also armed opposition groups and multinationals. The Federation acts for the freedom of action of human rights defenders and the defence of the universality of rights.

FIDH was founded in 1922 in the aftermath of the First World War — the first international NGO dedicated to the defence of human rights. The organisation investigates and documents human rights violations and advocates for states to adopt policies that respect human rights.

In 1948, two of FIDH’s most prominent leaders, René Cassin and Joseph Paul-Boncour, participated in drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations. FIDH is committed to the defence of all civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights as defined in this seminal, groundbreaking text.

Read more