Our organisation

FIDH’s structure and operations place its 178 member organisations at the heart of the decision making process, and reflect its principles of governance.


The Congress is composed of FIDH member organisations, which numbered 178 at the end of the FIDH Congress in Turkey in 2013. It meets every three years. The Congress discusses FIDH thematic and geographical priorities and determines the orientation of FIDH policy.

39th Congress - Johannesburg 2016

38th Congress - Istanbul 2013

37th Congress - Erevan 2010

39th Congress - Johannesburg 2016

Dimitris Christopoulos was elected President of FIDH the 27/08/2016. He succeeds Iranian lawyer Karim Lahidji who headed the international human rights NGO for the last three years. The vote was held during the 39th FIDH Congress in Johannesburg where its 178 member organisations from 120 countries were gathered to elect the new International Board and determine the main orientations for the next three years.

In his first speech as FIDH President, he highlighted :The issue at stake is the core of politics: the struggle against inequality, the struggle for altering the power structure in favour of the weak, in favour of the rule of law, in favour of our own vision for a just world. These are not only legitimate but urgent commitments of our movement.”

The fight against impunity will be at the centre of Dimitris Christopoulos’ mandate, as will be the mobilization for the respect of human rights in the framework of the economic globalization. The new FIDH President has been denouncing for several years the negative impacts of austerity policies on human rights. This problematic was the subject of a report on the situation in Greece : Downgrading rights: the cost of austerity in Greece.

As FIDH President, Dimitris Christopoulos will work towards the implementation of the priorities decided by FIDH’s member organisations. He will be mainly based at FIDH’s headquarters in Paris for the first year of his mandate at least.

During its 39th Congress, new organisations from 15 countries, such as Russia, South-Korea, India, Norway, were approved to join FIDH increasing its membership to 184. The Congress adopted 26 resolutions including three special motions concerning the situation in Syria, Zimbabwe and a call for the protection of human rights defenders worldwide.

The newly elected International Board is composed of 22 activists from 21 countries, representing all together five continents. FIDH is glad to welcome for the first time in its board 11 new human rights defenders.

Composition of the new FIDH International Board:

- Greece: Dimitris CHRISTOPOULOS, Hellenic League of Human Rights (HLHR)

Honorary President:
- Iran: Karim Lahidji

Vice Presidents:
- Afghanistan: Guissou JAHANGIRI, Armanshahr/Open Asia
- Armenia: Artak KIRAKOSYAN, Civil Society Institute (CSI)
- Bangladesh: Adilur RAHMAN KHAN, Odhikar
- Côte d’Ivoire: Drissa TRAORE, Mouvement ivoirien des droits humains (MIDH)
- Ecuador: Elise MONGE, Comision Ecumenica de Derechos Humanos (CEDHU)
- Egypt: Mohamed Aly Mohamed ZAREA, Human Rights Association for the assistance of Prisoners (HRAAP)
- France: Maryse ARTIGUELONG, Ligues des droits de l’Homme (LDH)
- Guatemala: Juan Francisco SOTO, Centro para la Acción Legal en Derechos Humanos (CALDH)
- Kyrgyzstan: Tolekan ISMAILOVA, Bir Duino
- Peru: Gloria Margarita CANO LEGUA, Asociacion pro Derechos Humanos (APRODEH)
- The Netherlands: Gerard J-M VAN VLIET, Dutch League for Human Rights
- The Philippines: Rosemarie TRAJANO, Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA)
- Tunisia: Hafidha CHEKIR, Association tunisienne des femmes démocrates (ATFD)
- Uganda: Sheila MUWANGA, Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI)
- Zimbabwe: Arnold TSUNGA, Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights)

Secretaries General:
- Belgium: Dan VAN RAEMDONCK, Ligue Belge (Francophone) des droits de l’Homme (LDH)
- Botswana: Alice MOGWE, DITSHWANELO - The Botswana Centre for Human Rights
- Burma: Debbie STOTHARD, Altsean-Burma
- Haïti: Pierre ESPERANCE, Réseau national de défense des droits humains (RNDDH)
- Palestine: Shawan JABARIN, Al Haq

- France: Jean-François PLANTIN, Ligue des droits de l’Homme (LDH) France

New FIDH member organisations:
- CANADA (Canadian Centre for International Justice)
- ECUADOR (Accion Ecologica)
- GUINEA (Mêmes droits pour tous)
- INDIA (People’s Watch)
- IRAN (Justice for Iran)
- KAZAKHSTAN (International Legal Initiative)
- MOROCCO (Association Démocratique des Femmes du Maroc)
- NORWAY (Norwegian Helsinki Committee)
- PERU (Equidad)
- POLAND (Polish Society of Anti-Discrimination Law)
- RUSSIA (Memorial HRC - Moscou)
- SOUTH KOREA (People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy)
- SYRIA (Al Marsad)
- UKRAINE (Center for Civil Liberties)

Read Dimitris Christopoulos’s post-election speech here.

To know more about our 39th Congress, visit our dedicated website

38th Congress - Istanbul 2013

Karim Lahidji was elected President of FIDH on May 27, 2013. He succeeds to Souhayr Belhassen who headed FIDH for six years. The vote was held during the 38th FIDH Congress in Istanbul where the FIDH member organisations were meeting to elect the new International Board and define the main FIDH orientations for the next three years.

There were two candidates for the position: Karim Lahidji, FIDH Vice President and President of the League for the Defence of Human Rights in Iran, and Luis Guillermo Perez Casas, FIDH Secretary General and member of the CCAJAR. He is the first FIDH President from Iran.

It is an immense honour to have been elected President of FIDH. My first message is to all the human rights defenders who are arbitrarily detained, wherever they are in the world. We will continue endlessly to call for their immediate, unconditional release. My thoughts turn especially to my colleagues and friends Ales Bialiatski, in prison in Belarus and Nabeel Rajab, detained in Bahrain, said Karim Lahidji.

"We would like to reiterate our appeal to the Turkish authorities to free all the journalists, lawyers and unionists who have been arbitrarily detained, in particular Muhammet Erbey, President of the Diyarbakir section of IHD who has been in prison since December 2009 for having denounced human rights violations against the Kurdish minority, Karim Lahidji added.

"At present, women’s rights are being threatened in many countries; the universality of rights will be at the heart of our fight, more than ever, said Karim Lahidji.

During the 38th FIDH Congress, its movement was reinforced with the number of member leagues increasing from 164 to 178. The Congress adopted 26 resolutions on, e.g. Mali, Syria, Malaysia, Cuba, Russia and Turkey.

Composition of the new FIDH International Board

FIDH new Vice-presidents

President: Karim Lahidji
Souhayr Belhassen was appointed Honorary President of FIDH.

Vice Presidents:

  • Ales Bialiatski, FIDH Vice President, imprisoned in Belarus since 4 August 2011 was reelected.
  • Yusuf Alatas, Turkey
  • Ezzedine Al Asbahi, Yemen (resigned in November 2014, was replaced by Juan Carlos Capurro, Argentina)
  • Dimitris Christopoulos, Greece
  • Noeline Blackwell, Ireland
  • Katie Gallagher, US
  • Tolekan Ismailova, Kyrgyzstan
  • Shawan Jabarin, Palestine
  • Dismas Kitenge Senga, DRC
  • Elsie Monge, Ecuador
  • Sheila Muwanga, Uganda
  • Rosemarie R. Trajano, Philippines
  • Drissa Traoré, Ivory Coast
  • Paulina Vega Gonzalez, Mexico
  • Zohra Yusuf, Pakistan

Secretary Generals:

  • Amina Bouyach, Morocco
  • Pierre Esperance, Haiti
  • Paul Nsapu, DRC
  • Debbie Stothard, Burma
  • Dan Van Raemdonck, Belgium

Treasurer: Jean-François Plantin, France

New FIDH member leagues

  • South Africa, Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR)
  • Angola, Associação Justiça, Paz e Democracia (AJPD)
  • Senegal, Ligue Sénégalaise des Droits Humains (LSDH)
  • Honduras, Comité de Familiares de Detenidos-Desaparecidos en Honduras (COFADEH)
  • China, China Labour Bulletin (CLB)
  • Indonesia, KontraS
  • Kazakhstan, Kazakstan international Bureau for Human Rights and rule of law (KIBHR)
  • Moldova, Promo-LEX
  • Uzbekistan, Association internationale de défense des droits de l’Homme « Club des cœurs ardents »
  • Tajikistan, Tajik “Bureau on Human Rights and Rule of Law” (BHR)
  • Egypt, Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR)
  • Gulf, Gulf Center for Human rights (GCHR)
  • Kuwait, Human Line Organisation
  • Lebanon, Centre Libanais des Droits Humains (CLDH)
  • Libya, Human Rights Association for Recording and Documenting War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity
  • Palestine, Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights
  • Syria, Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM)
  • Tunisia, Doustourna
  • Tunisia, Forum tunisien pour les droits économiques et sociaux (FTDES)

More information:

37th Congress - Erevan 2010

This 37th Congress was organised in collaboration with its member organisation, the Civil Society Institute in Yerevan, Armenia. The symbolic importance of this place is significant as the region is marked by geo-strategic challenges. Armenia is a country in political transition in which the human rights situation remains fragile, despite some progress but offering new opportunities for change.

This Congress also gave an opportunity for reflection through the organisation of a Forum on the right to an effective remedy before an independent court, regional priority and global challenge.

The Justice Forum

Organised on the theme “JUSTICE: new challenges – the right to effective recourse before an independent court”, this forum offered a unique opportunity to work on the different types of recourses for victims of human rights violations in their struggle for truth, justice and reparation at the national, regional and international levels, and examined the question of the prevention of international crimes based on the exchange of experiences between the NGOs attending from all continents. The forum was dedicated to the memory of Natalia Estemirova, a Chechen human rights defender, assassinated in July 2009.

See Report of the FIDH Forum, "Justice - New Challenges: The right to an effective remedy before an independent tribunal", April 2010 (released in May 2013), only available in French.

Opening ceremony of FIDH’s 37th Congress, attended by human rights defenders from 155 FIDH member organisations around the world, together with key personalities and renowned national and international experts.

Speech of Souhayr Belhassen, FIDH President
Speech of Abdou Diouf, Secretary General of La Francophonie
Speech of Artak Kirakosyan, CSI President

Activities carried out with FIDH member organisations in Yerevan during the 37th Congress

  • Press conference ahead of the forum, attended by many journalists from the Armenian and regional press
  • FIDH’s 37th Congress saluted the memory of the victims of the Armenian Genocide. Delegates from all FIDH member organisations visited the Memorial to the Armenian Genocide
  • A fir tree was planted on behalf of FIDH’s leagues in memory of the victims of the Armenian Genocide, with the inscription "Memory. Justice. Peace. From the 37th Congress of the International Federation for Human Rights, Yerevan, 10 April, 2010", in English and Armenian.
  • A historic moment: during FIDH’s 37th Congress, FIDH member organisations in Armenia (the Civil Society Institute, CSI) and Turkey (Human Rights Foundation of Turkey, HRFT and Insan Haklari Derneg, IHD) drew up a joint declaration.
  • Press conference of 9 April 2010 during which the joint declaration was made public

Internal Congress


The new International Board was elected by FIDH member organisations on 10 April 2010 at the end of its 37th Congress in Yerevan (Armenia)


Resolutions were adopted by representatives of FIDH’s leagues defining the general thrust of its actions and strategies for the next three years.

International Bureau

Comprises 22 volunteer representatives from FIDH member organisations. The IB is elected by the Congress and consists of the President, the Treasurer, 15 Vice-presidents and 5 Secretaries-General. The IB determines FIDH’s main strategic goals and orientations, according to the policy orientations set by the Congress and approves the annual accounts. The IB meets three times a year and reports to the Congress.

  • President
    Dimitris Christopoulos
  • Treasurer
    Jean-François Plantin
  • Vice Presidents
    Gloria Margarita CANO LEGUA
    Hafidha CHEKIR
    Tolekan Ismailova
    Gerard J-M VAN VLIET
    Guissou JAHANGIRI
    Elsie Monge
    Sheila Muwanga
    Adilur Rahman Khan
    Juan Francisco SOTO
    Rosemarie R. Trajano
    Drissa Traore
    Côte d’Ivoire
    Arnold TSUNGA
    Mohamed Aly Mohamed ZAREA
  • Secretaries-General
    Debbie Stothard
    Pierre Espérance
    Shawan Jabarin
    Alice Mogwe
    Dan Van Raemdonck

International Secretariat

Based in Paris, it is composed of a team of professionals managed by a Chief Executive Officer and an executive Director, who sit as non-voting advisory members of the International and the executive Boards. The team is structured by region, activity priorities, and delegations. The International Secretariat has permanent delegations at the United Nations in New York and Geneva, at the European Union in Brussels, before the International Criminal Court in The Hague; regional offices in Tunis and Pretoria; and shared offices with member organisations in Conakry, Abidjan, and Bamako. It also comprises a Communications and Public Relations department, and an Administrative and Financial Support department.

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

  • Executive Directorate
    Antoine Bernard
    Chief Executive Officer
    Juliane Falloux
    Executive Director
  • Administration, Finances and Human Ressources
    Samba Lasa
    Director, Accounting
    Corinne Bezin
    Director, Finance and Administration
    Marie-France Burq
    Director, Human Resources
    Kate Coles
    Director, Fundraising
    Serguei Funt
    Director, Financial Control
    Mathilde Hamon
    Assistant to the Executive Directorate
    Nathalie Lasslop
    Deputy Director, Fundraising
    Samia Merah
    Finance Officer
    Tony Minet
    Anne-Laure Thini-Villerel
    Director, Financial Control
  • Communication and Public Relations
    Céline Ballereau
    Director, Publications
    Isabelle Chebat
    Director, Communication and Public Relations
    Audrey Couprie
    Press Officer
    +33 6 48 05 91 57
    Christophe Gardais
    Publications Officer
    Arthur Manet
    Director, Press Relations
    +33 6 72 28 42 94
    Cyril Marion
    Deputy Director, Information Systems
    Lidya Ogbazghi
    Executive Assistant Secretary
    Jean-Baptiste Paulhet
    Digital Communication Officer
    José Carlos Thissen
    Consultant - Communication Officer on Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Research and Operations
    Hassatou Ba-Minté
    Programme Officer, Africa
    Karine Bonneau
    Director, International Justice
    Katherine Booth
    Director, Women's rights and Migrants' Rights
    Marion Cadier
    Programme Officer, Globalisation and Human Rights
    Delphine Carlens
    Deputy Director, International Justice
    Mathilde Chiffert
    Coordinator Guinea Programme
    Carrie Comer
    Representative before the ICC
    Elena Crespi
    Programme Officer, Western Europe
    Nancy Demicheli
    Programme Officer, North Africa and Middle-East
    Yosra Frawes
    Consultant - FIDH Delegate Tunis
    Hugo Gabbero
    Programme Officer, Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders
    Florent Geel
    Director, Africa
    Tchérina Jérolon
    Deputy Director, Africa
    Michelle Kissenkoetter
    Director, Asia
    Sacha Koulaeva
    Director, Eastern Europe and Central Asia
    Julia Ouahnon
    Programme Officer, Eastern Europe and Central Asia
    Geneviève Paul
    Director, Globalisation and Human Rights
    Alexandra Pomeon O’Neill
    Director, Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders
    Antonin Rabecq
    Delegate in Ivory Coast and Guinea
    Jimena Reyes
    Director, Americas
    Daisy Schmitt
    Assistant Women's rights and Migrants' Rights
    Marceau Sivieude
    Director, Operations
    Claire Talon
    Director, North Africa and Middle-East
    Natalia Yaya
    Programme Officer, Americas
  • Mobilisation of Intergovernmental Organisations
    Catherine Absalom
    Liaison Officer, Delegation to the EU
    Nicolas Agostini
    Representative to the UN
    Stéphanie David
    Representative to the UN
    Gaelle Dusepulchre
    Representative to the EU
    Antoine Madelin
    Director, International Advocacy
    Jennifer Norris
    Jean-Marie Rogue
    Delegate to the EU
    Sonia Tancic
    Liaison Officer, Delegation to the UN

Annual Reports

FIDH Annual Report 2014

FIDH Annual Report 2013

Check out our annual report in comic strip form







This Federation of associations is hereby created for the purpose of defending and implementing the principles stated in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

It insists that men and women should enjoy equal access to rights which are fundamental and inseparable from the human condition: all men and all women are entitled to have those rights respected and to be able to exercise them effectively within a framework of equal representation and participation in a democratic society.

Children must benefit from specific rights and protection.

The Federation works towards peace and the effective, universal and indivisible implementation of conventions, international covenants, and all international and regional instruments concerning civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.

It strives to promote democracy and the consolidation of the Rule of Law, a just international social and economic order, and sustainable development which respects the environment.

In particular, it fights against injustice, illegality, the arbitrary, corruption, impunity, intolerance, breaches of the right to asylum and economic and social rights, all acts of violence and sexual mutilation, torture, forced disappearances, war crimes, genocide, all crimes against humanity and all violations of humanitarian rights.

It opposes all violations of the fundamental principal of equality between human beings and all forms of racism and discrimination, in particular based on sex, gender identity and sexual orientation, customs, state of health or disability, political, philosophical and religious opinions, nationality and social status.

It strives for the respect of individual liberties with regard to the use of computerised data and fights against any violation of human dignity, integrity, equality or liberty resulting from abusive use of new technology or the use of medical techniques.


The name of this association is FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE DES LIGUES DES DROITS DE L’HOMME (INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS) and its acronym is FIDH. Its registration conforms with the French law of 1 July 1901.

There is no limit on the duration of its activities.

Its registered office is located at PARIS 75011, 17 passage de la Main d’Or. It can be transferred to any other location in Paris by the decision of the International Bureau, pending ratification at the next earliest Congress, and to any other location by the decision of the Congress.

The Federation’s year begins on 1 January and ends on 31 December.


FIDH is a universal movement that brings together non governmental organisations for the defence and promotion of human rights.

FIDH acts throughout the world, the organisations of which it is composed acting in their respective countries, whenever they are notified of a violation of the principles stated in Article 1 which is to the detriment of individuals, communities and peoples.

FIDH supports the actions of its members and shall be their intermediary in relations with international organisations. FIDH shall coordinate joint actions.

FIDH contributes to the prevention of human rights violations, to the protection of victims of such violations and to the sanctioning of the perpetrators of the violations, as well as to the promotion of human rights.

FIDH’s forms of action are, in particular: investigation and trial observation missions, interventions before public and legal authorities, raising public awareness, judicial co-operation programmes and other activities geared towards training and increasing awareness, appealing to intergovernmental organisations.




FIDH includes all organisations, excluding individuals, that adhere to this Constitution, pay their subscription and have been approved by the Congress upon proposal by the International Bureau.

In addition, member organisations of FIDH must:

- Include in their own constitutions a commitment to the defence of the principles stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as to their total independence from, namely, all governments, political parties and religious organisations.
- Have as their mission to promote in their own countries the principles stated in Article 1 of this Constitution, fully respecting the guarantee of independence written into their constitutions.
- Forbid any representative or member of a local, national or international executive political power to hold an executive or representative position in their organisation.

They shall keep FIDH informed regularly of their activities and, within the framework of their co-operation and under conditions set out the in Internal Regulations, shall interact with FIDH in carrying out missions and actions defined in Article 3.

They shall contribute to the movement and its visibility, and publicly display their membership in FIDH.



FIDH is composed of:

- Affiliate members: they are full members who have voting rights in the Congress and pay a contribution. There can only be one Affiliate Member for each member state of the United Nations. However, the Congress may, on the proposal of the International Bureau, following a vote with a two-thirds majority, and after consultations with the member already affiliated to the FIDH, confer the status of Affiliate Member upon an additional organisation in the same country if it has a two-thirds majority vote of members present or represented. Moreover, the Congress may, upon recommendation by the International Bureau, confer the status of affiliated member on an organisation belonging to a state or community that does not hold a seat in the United Nations.

- Correspondent Members: they are members of FIDH who play a consultative role in the Congress and pay a contribution. There can be several Correspondent Members for each country or community. They are admitted after consultation, where necessary, with the Affiliate and Corresponding Members of the country concerned.

- Associate Members: they are members of FIDH who play a consultative role in Congress and pay a contribution. This status is reserved for groupings of organisations whose goals and methods fit with those of FIDH .


Admission to FIDH is decided, after recommendation by the International Bureau, by a majority vote of members present or represented.

However, the International Bureau is entitled to confer provisional membership status. Provisional admission simply entitles the member to participate in FIDH activities and excludes the right to vote. Provisional membership can not be conferred in the three months prior to a meeting of Congress. If there is already an FIDH member organisation in the country in question, its views shall be solicited beforehand. If the member organisation expresses a negative opinion, the International Bureau can only propose admission after a two-thirds majority vote.



FIDH membership status may be withdrawn by removal, exclusion or by resignation.

Any member organisation of FIDH that has not fulfilled its administrative or financial obligations, or that has been singled out for its inactivity, may be subject to removal. The removal is submitted to the Congress by the International Bureau after the defaulting organisation has been given notice to fulfil its obligations and to provide explanations at least nine months before the first day of Congress.

Any member organisation of FIDH may be excluded if it violates the provisions of Article 1 of the Constitution and if it no longer meets the admission criteria laid out in Article 4 of the Constitution. Only the Congress is empowered to pronounce the exclusion of a member organisation of FIDH and the organisation must be invited to attend.

A resignation must be presented, by the appropriate body, in a letter or any other written form, receipt of which can be acknowledged by the Executive Bureau. A resignation is only possible if the organisation has not been suspended and the Executive Bureau has not commenced exclusion procedures. A resignation between two Congresses does not alter contribution payments which still have to be made. A resignation must be presented at the latest two months before the first day of Congress. The Congress will record formally the legality of the resignation.


The International Bureau, on the proposal of the Executive Bureau or of the President of FIDH, may take it upon itself to suspend the rights of any FIDH member. The Congress is also entitled to take this course of action.

A suspension may only be pronounced for the same reasons that would justify an exclusion and if the interests of FIDH are seriously compromised.

A suspension can only be pronounced after the organisation concerned has been given the opportunity to present an explanation and defend its actions.

A suspension cannot last for more than six consecutive months. It can, however, be reapplied once for the same length of time if considered appropriate by the International Bureau, after the organisation has been given the opportunity to present an explanation.

If the interests of FIDH continue to be compromised and the reasons for suspension persist, the suspension can be extended until the next Congress by special decision of the International Bureau, the organisation having been given the opportunity to present its explanations.

For the duration of the suspension, a suspended organisation is not at liberty to take advantage of its FIDH membership and cannot perform any function within FIDH or on behalf of FIDH.

The next Congress is the only sovereign body entitled to judge the lawfulness and relevance of the suspension measure in any case.




Bearing in mind the strict requirements of independence as required of the member organisations under article 4 of these statutes, FIDH resources are made up of:

- Income from its assets
- Contributions and membership fees from its members
- Subsidies granted by States, international and national organisations
- Donations, the use of which is authorised by the International Bureau
- Extraordinary revenue
- The product of sales and payments for services rendered

A record of incomings and outgoings is kept and appears annually in an appended statement of accounts.


The amount of annual membership fees is determined by the International Bureau.
The membership fees contribute to the functioning and development of FIDH.




Between each Congress, the FIDH is run by an International Bureau elected by Congress in the circumstances laid down in Article 22 of the Constitution.
The International Bureau is made up of:

- A President, who can be re-elected to the same position only once.
- Fifteen Vice-Presidents. The Vice Presidents must be of different nationalities and may be re-elected to the same position only twice.
- Five Secretaries General who, if possible, should be of different nationalities and may be re-elected to the same position only twice.
- A Treasurer who can be re-elected to the same position only twice.
- Honorary Presidents nominated by the Congress. They have consultative status in the International Bureau.

Term limits will not include terms served prior to the adoption of the present Constitution.

The International Bureau and the Executive Bureau are made up of a cross-section of men and women with the aim of providing equal representation.

No one can apply for a position in the International Bureau if they do not belong to an affiliated member organisation of FIDH. No one can apply for a position in the International Bureau if their candidature has not been put forward by at least one of the affiliated members of FIDH including the organisation of which she/he is a member.

Candidatures, which can only be presented for one of the positions in the International Bureau, must reach the Executive Bureau at the latest three months before the first day of Congress. However, a candidature for the position of President of the FIDH does not preclude an applicant from presenting a candidature for one of the other positions in the International Bureau.

In the event of the President’s resignation, death or impediment between two Congresses duly recorded by the International Bureau ruling by a simple majority of its members present or represented, the International Bureau will provide for a replacement until the next Congress.

In the event of the resignation, death or duly recorded impediment, in the same circumstances as the President, of another of the members of the International Bureau (except the Secretary General and the Treasurer), he/she will be replaced by the first unelected candidate if he/she obtained majority of votes. If no one is in such situation, the International Bureau shall then elect, on the proposal of the Executive Bureau and by an absolute majority of its members present or represented, a person whose mandate will expire at the same time as the mandate of their predecessor. In the case of the impediment of the Secretary Generals or of the Treasurer, he/she shall be replaced by the International Bureau through a vote.

No member of the International Bureau except the President can be replaced within six months before the Congress.



The International Bureau shall meet regularly, at least three times a year in a place that it shall determine. The committee meeting shall be called by the President or at the request of at least one third of its members. Its agenda shall be determined by the executive bureau, unless one of the members of the international bureau requests, with at least 45 days’ notice, the inclusion of a matter on the agenda; the inclusion of the matter shall then be legitimate.
The President must circulate the agenda at least one month in advance, accompanied where possible by background documentation on the matters covered.

In an emergency, the executive bureau may exceptionally call a meeting of the international bureau on a specific agenda with a minimum of 15 days’ notice.

An international bureau member may represent a fellow member. Each member of the international bureau may represent no more than two committee members in addition to him/herself.

At least one third of the international bureau members must be present or represented in order for the meeting to be quorate. In the event of a tie in the voting, the President shall have a casting vote.

Between two international bureau meetings, the executive bureau may decide to consult the members of the international bureau in writing on specific matters requiring a rapid response. In this case, the executive bureau shall inform the international bureau members of any proposed decision and shall decide the procedures for consulting them.

No member may be absent for more than three consecutive international bureau meetings without an excuse deemed to be valid by the international bureau. The latter, having summoned the member in question and informed him/her of the measure taken, may decide to remove the member and replace him/her.

The International Bureau shall determine the main strategic goals and orientations, within the framework of the political orientations defined by the Congress. The international bureau shall hear the annual reports on the moral and financial situation of the Federation, approve the annual accounts prepared by the executive bureau and appoint the auditors.

The proceedings of international bureau meetings shall be minuted.



The international bureau shall elect between 1 and 5 Deputy Secretaries-General who shall participate in executive bureau meetings with consultative status.

The Deputy Secretaries-General must belong to FIDH member organisations and, as far as possible, be of different nationalities. The international bureau may terminate their mandates once they have been called to present their observations.

The executive bureau consists of the President, Secretaries-General, Deputy Secretaries-General and the Treasurer. The President, Secretary Generals and Treasurer only are entitled to vote. The Vice Presidents attend the meetings.

The executive bureau shall prepare the agenda and support the activities of the International Bureau. It shall help examine dossiers to be considered by the International Bureau. The Executive Bureau, whenever necessary shall help follow-up decisions of the International Bureau and report back on its activities to the international bureau. It shall meet upon the invitation of its President as often as necessary and in principle at least once a month. The President must call a meeting if requested to do so by at least half the executive bureau members.

No proxy voting may take place within the executive bureau.

The executive bureau may decide to appoint representatives to assist it in its task. Upon invitation from the President, the representatives (chargés de mission) or any relevant persons may take part in the work of the executive bureau or the international bureau, though without voting rights.


The President of the FIDH represents the FIDH in all aspects of civil life and may go to court.

To implement FIDH activities and support the FIDH statutory bodies, the President shall rely on the Executive Directorate of the International Secretariat, which operates under the responsibility of the President. For important political decisions, the President shall rely on the members of the International Bureau and the Executive Bureau, in compliance with their respective mandates.

In case of impediment of the President, one of the Secretaries-General shall have the same powers.


The international secretariat, under the authority of the international bureau, shall give its assistance to the activities of the statutory bodies of the FIDH and implements their decisions.

The International Secretariat shall be administered by the Executive Directorate, that shall sit on the International Bureau and the Executive Bureau in a consultative capacity.

The relevant members of the international secretariat may attend meetings of the international and executive bureau.



The FIDH congress comprises Affiliate members, correspondent members and associate members. Only Affiliate members who are up to date with their subscriptions shall be entitled to vote, subject to the provisions hereinafter. The correspondent members and associate members shall have a consultative vote. Members of the outgoing international bureau are entitled to sit in congress without voting rights.

FIDH members are represented in congress by a maximum of three representatives. Each organisation shall have one vote, irrespective of the number of its representatives actually present.

An Affiliate organisation of the FIDH may represent a fellow organisation, but no organisation may represent more than two Affiliate organisations in addition to itself. Proxies must reach the Executive Bureau at least eight days before the first day of the congress, failing which they shall be deemed inadmissible.

Suspended members and members whose removal or exclusion have been requested shall retain the option of being represented in congress.


The date of the congress shall be determined by the international bureau at least nine months in advance and shall be communicated to FIDH members within the same deadline.

The agenda for congress shall be established by the international bureau, which shall also appoint the congressional committee and chairpersons.

The congressional committee shall comprise the following:
- the Chairperson;
- between one and three Secretaries-General appointed by the international bureau;
- the Chairperson of the FIDH member organisation hosting the congress;
- five Representatives of FIDH member organisations plus two Deputies, representing as far as possible the different geographical regions in which the FIDH is present;
- the Executive Directorate, who shall have no voting rights.

At their first meeting, the congressional officers shall appoint a Rapporteur.

The international bureau shall, subject to the provisions hereinafter, establish the procedure for the agenda and appoint the chairpersons for the session.

The FIDH congress shall meet at least every three years, with the possibility to extend this period by three months if circumstances so require, at a place decided by the international bureau.

An extraordinary meeting of the congress will be convened at the request of an absolute majority of the international bureau members or the Affiliate members.



All documents relating to the organisation of the congress, elections, reports presented or draft resolutions shall be circulated by the executive bureau at least two months before the first day of congress.


Before the first plenary session, the congressional committee shall meet to ascertain whether the powers of the members of congress are in order. Where necessary, it shall examine any objections of whatever nature concerning the composition of congress.
It shall submit to congress, before any debate, all objections that have been referred to it or that it has raised itself. Congress shall rule on these objections by public ballot, by a simple majority of members present or represented and in accordance with the internal regulation.

The same shall apply for suspended organisations, with congress empowered to decide whether to maintain the suspension for the duration of its work.
The organisation whose presence has been questioned shall not be entitled to vote until congress has taken its decision.

Congress may exceptionally, at the request of the executive bureau and by a two-thirds majority of members present or represented, add one or more items to the agenda. These items shall not be discussed until after the vote on the statutory reports referred to in article 20 below. Congress must vote on this point in its opening session, but after the decisions on any objections raised as to the composition of congress.



The Congress shall decide on the policy orientations of FIDH.

Congress shall give priority to hearing:

- the President’s report on past activities,
- the Secretaries-Generals’ report,
- the Treasurer’s report and the Auditor’s report

After discussion, the Affiliate members of the FIDH shall vote on the President’s report, the Secretary-Generals’ report and the Treasurer’s report by a simple majority of members present or represented.

Congress shall examine the draft resolutions that have been submitted to it by the international bureau or that have been sent to the executive bureau no less than three months before the first day of congress. No other draft resolutions can be examined by or voted on in congress. However, if a draft resolution deals with matters involving events that have occurred less than three months before the first day of congress, then it shall be submitted to a vote by congress.

All members of congress are all entitled to propose amendments to draft resolutions. Such amendments shall be examined by the congressional committee, which shall report and give its opinion according to the provisions in the internal regulation.

Congress shall vote on draft resolutions by public ballot. All FIDH affiliate members take part in votes on draft resolutions.

Decisions taken by congress shall be minuted.



Congress shall hear the international bureau’s report on proposed removals, exclusions and admissions.

The organisation in question shall be entitled to speak.

Affiliate members of the FIDH shall vote on each of the international bureau’s proposals in turn concerning removals, exclusions and finally admissions, in accordance with the internal regulation.



Congress shall in its first session appoint all necessary scrutineers.

Elections to the international bureau shall be held by secret ballot.

For the position of President and Treasurer, the candidates who receive the largest number of votes by the affiliate members (present or represented) shall be elected; for the position of Vice President, the persons whose names are among the 15 candidates who have received the largest number of votes shall be elected; for the position of Secretary General, the persons whose names are among the 5 candidates who have received the largest number of votes shall be elected” In the event of a tied vote, the person from the less represented gender is elected. If they are both coming from the same gender, the older candidate is elected.

Organisations that have joined during congress shall not be entitled to vote.

The Congress alone can nominate honorary presidents.



Congress has sole authority to amend the present statutes.
An amendment to the statutes can only be put to congress at the proposal of the international bureau or at the proposal of at least 1/5 of the affiliated members of the FIDH.

Any proposed amendment to the statutes must reach the international bureau at least six months before the first day of congress and be sent to members within the period defined in article 18 of the statutes.

The statutes can only be amended by a three-fifths majority of votes cast and provided that at least two-thirds of Affiliate members are present or represented in congress. In the absence of a quorum, a second meeting may be held and the statues may be amended irrespective of the number Affiliate members present or represented.

The present statutes shall be complemented by an internal regulation, which shall be discussed and amended by the international bureau on a three-fifths majority of votes cast, provided that at least half the international bureau members are present or represented. However, the first internal regulations shall exceptionally be adopted at the same time as the present statutes.


The FIDH’s fixed assets may only be sold or mortgaged by a decision of congress, provided that at least half the Affiliate members are present or represented upon the first summons and irrespective of the number of Affiliate members present or represented upon the second convocation, and by a two-thirds majority of Affiliate members present or represented.

In an emergency, a decision to sell or mortgage the FIDH’s fixed assets may be taken by the international bureau.

On the proposal of the executive bureau, the international bureau’s deliberations concerning any acquisitions, exchanges and disposals of buildings necessary for the furtherance of the federation’s aims, any mortgages on the said buildings, any leases in excess of nine years and any loans must be approved by a three-fifths majority of international bureau members, with the proviso that at least half the international bureau members must be present or represented.


Any congress held to decide on the dissolution of the federation must be specially convened. It must include at least three-fifths of Affiliate members, either present or represented. Its decisions shall be passed on a two-thirds majority.

If the first meeting is not quorate, a second meeting may be called which will then be held at least twelve hours later. Decisions by the second meeting shall by made by a two-thirds majority, irrespective of the number of Affiliate members present or represented.

In the event of dissolution, congress shall appoint one or more auditors to liquidate the federation’s assets. They shall donate the federation’s net assets to one or more similar national or international organisations pursuing the same aims as the federation.