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The Congress is composed of FIDH member organisations, which numbered 188 at the end of the FIDH Congress in Paris, France in 2022. It meets every three years. The Congress discusses FIDH thematic and geographical priorities and determines the orientation of FIDH policy.

41th Congress - Paris 2022

40th Congress - Taipei 2019

39th Congress - Johannesburg 2016

38th Congress - Istanbul 2013

37th Congress - Erevan 2010

41th Congress - Paris - 2022

On the 27th of October 2022, FIDH announced the unanimous re-election of its President, Alice Mogwe, and the election of a new International Board. This re-election took place in Paris, during the 41st FIDH Congress, which marks the centenary of the international organisation.

Alice Mogwe’s first mandate was marked by a series of serious global crises. For Ms Mogwe, "The defence of human rights has been tested by several catastrophic events: the global pandemic of Covid-19 and the large-scale wars in Ukraine, Syria and Yemen, coups d’état and many challenges to democratic principles." However, Ms Mogwe noted, "FIDH has been able to address these crises and through concerted action with its members, achieve significant victories against the hardening attitude and actions of authoritarian regimes."

Ms. Mogwe stressed that this new mandate should be one of hope: "New challenges are emerging, including climate change and environmental justice. While many of our friends are still unjustly incarcerated, we affirm our will to fight to preserve our rights and to acquire new ones. The world may seem hopeless at times, but to act is still the best way to hope.”

Congresso 2022 de la FIDH




Dominique LEDOUBLE

Secretaries general:

Gloria CANO LEGUA (Asociacion Pro Derechos Humanos, Peru),
Kaari MATTILA (Finnish League for Human Rights, Finland),
Drissa TRAORE (Mouvement Ivoirien des Droits Humains, Cote d’Ivoire),
Adilur RAHMAN KHAN (Odhikar, Bangladesh)
Mazen DARWISH (Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression, Syria)

Vice Presidents:

Lucia GUADALUPE CHAVEZ VERGAS (Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promocion de los Derechos Humanos, Mexico)
Alexis DESWAEF (Ligue des Droits de l’Homme, Belgium)
Diana ALZEER (Al Haq, Palestine)
Glaucia MARINHO (Justiça Global, Brasil)
Reyhan YALCINDAG BAYDEMIR (Insan Haklari Dernegi (IHD) / Ankara, Turkey)
Fatia MAULIDIYANTI (Kontras, Indonesia)
Guissou JAHANGIRI (Armanshahr/ Open Asia, Afghanistan)
Valiantsin STEFANOVIC (Viasna, Belarus)
Alide BOUANGUI (Observatoire Congolais des Droits de l’Homme, Congo)
Reinaldo VALLALBA VARGAS (Corporación Colectivo de Abogados José Alvear Restrepo, Colombia)
Abdillahi ALI ZAKARIA (Ligue Djiboutienne des Droits Humains, Djibouti)
Maryse ARTIGUELONG (Ligue des Droits de l’Homme, France)
Jean-Claude KATENDE (Association Africaine des Droits de l’Homme, DRC),
Oleksandra MATVIICHUK (Center for Civil Liberties, Ukraine)
Aissa RAHMOUNE (Ligue Algérienne pour la Défense des Droits de l’Homme, Algeria).

FIDH’s International Board

40th Congress - Taipei - 2019

The member organisations of FIDH elected their new president, Botswana activist Alice Mogwe, during its 40th Congress in Taiwan. Alice Mogwe, a staunch human rights advocate and civil society leader, will lead the Federation for the next three years, ushering in its 100th anniversary in 2022.
Alice Mogwe succeeds Greek academic and activist Dimitris Christopoulos, who headed the international human rights organisation over the past three years. She assumes her role as President after three years of serving as a Secretary-General of the Federation.

“Our fellow human rights defenders the world over are criminalised, disappeared, threatened, and even killed. The space given to us to express ourselves is shrinking. It is thus more important than ever to emphasise that our values are universal and that we must fight back!” , declared Alice Mogwe

During her three-year mandate, Ms. Mogwe’s priorities will include:
Strengthening the work of FIDH to raise attention and protect human rights defenders, who face an unprecedented wave of attacks all over the world. Responding to the closure of civic space through programmes providing rapid and practical support for human rights defenders;
Protecting human rights defenders from digital surveillance and tracking, fostering safe and effective use of technology by human rights defenders, indigenous communities, ethnic, religious, linguistic minorities, and others;
Strengthening horizontal cooperation between the Federation’s members, both intra- and inter-regionally, to fully utilise their collective power and capabilities

Gathered in Taipei this week for the Federation’s 40th Congress, member organisations exchanged expertise on a wide array of human rights issues with other human rights experts, diplomats, and representatives of international institutions, and voted on new board members and policy positions.

During the Congress, 16 new organisations were approved to join FIDH, increasing its membership to 192. The newly elected International Board is composed of 22 activists from 21 countries.

Composition of the new FIDH International Board:


Dominique LEDOUBLE

Secretaries general:
Gloria CANO

Vice Presidents
Hafidha CHEKIR
Juan Francisco SOTO
Tola Thompson ADEBAYOR

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.

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.

Read more