FIDH, 90 years of battles and victories

This year FIDH, which was created in 1922 by several European human rights leagues, including the French league is celebrating its 90th anniversary. FIDH was the first international organisation for the defence of human rights and now has 164 member organisations in over 100 countries.

As of 1927, FIDH appealed to the international community to adopt a “Worldwide Declaration on Human Rights” and to create a permanent international criminal court. A few decades later, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted and the International Criminal Court was created, two major victories for FIDH. A legal framework was created for human rights, rights for each and every individual to claim.

Our ambition now is to incarnate a worldwide human rights movement whose actions focus on six priority fields: protection of human rights defenders, women’s rights, migrants’ rights, the fight against impunity, respect for human rights within the framework of globalisation, and interventions in countries in conflict.

We act to defend universal values and rights through FIDH fact-finding, denunciation and dialogue, working with all political forces and influential people. And although the path, sometimes, is strewn with obstacles, our fight is never in vain. We have achieved considerable results and won many victories.

Demanding the universality of rights requires abnegation and courage. This is a daily battle and in some countries the risks are endless. Our Vice President, Ales Bialiatski (Belarus) and our Secretary General, Nabeel Rajab (Bahrain), along with 26 other members of FIDH have been imprisoned for showing their commitment to fundamental freedoms. Today we should like to pay tribute to them and repeat our pledge to relentlessly work to get them released said Souhayr Belhassen. 

The annual FIDH dinner to celebrate this anniversary was held at the Paris city hall and was attended by Bertrand Delanoë, Paris Mayor, Stephane Hessel and many other eminent guests.

Souhayr Belhassen, FIDH President, dedicated this evening to the human rights defenders emprisoned all over the world. She especially honored Ales Bialiatski, Nabeel Rajab and Nasrin Sotoudeh.

For the 90th anniversary, FIDH produced a documentary on 90 years of fights and victories and five 45-second clips on FIDH activities (Click here to view the videos in French).

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