INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS (FIDH)
The International Federation for Human Rights (Fédération Internationale des Droits de l'Homme, FIDH), established in 1922, is a federation of currently 155 national, non-governmental human rights leagues and organisations in some 100 countries. FIDH is based in Paris, France (FIDH Website, http://www.fidh.org/rubrique.php3?id_rubrique=349, accessed on 8 May 2008).
“FIDH’ s mandate is to contribute to the respect of all the rights defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. FIDH aims to obtain effective improvements in the protection of victims, the prevention of Human Rights violations and the sanction of their perpetrators. Its priorities are set by the triennial World Congress and the International Board (22 members), with the support of the International Secretariat (30 staff members).” (FIDH Website, http://www.fidh.org/rubrique.php3?id_rubrique=350, accessed on 8 May 2008)
Country/government of concern, victims of human rights violations, intergovernmental organisations, NGOs, the media, general public.
FIDH’s main task consists in denouncing human rights violations through distribution of reports, FIDH Letters (which present activities of FIDH and its member organisations, analyses, results of research) and media releases to its target groups.
These publications constitute the basis of FIDH’s campaign work, which includes addressing courts and other pertinent institutions, direct lobbying, urgent appeals, raising the awareness of the media, and mobilisation of the international community.
FIDH periodically conducts international research and observation missions (including election monitoring). Besides their task of gathering information in the field, these missions aim to strengthen local human rights activists through international presence. The research/observation results are documented and published in reports (FIDH Website, http://www.fidh.org/rubrique.php3?id_rubrique=349, accessed on 9 May, 2008; FIDH Website, http://www.fidh.org/rubrique.php3?id_rubrique=350, accessed on 4 June 2008).
FIDH draws the majority of its financial resources from grants and donations. However, its sources are not disclosed in the FIDH’s financial statements. Smaller sources of income are, amongst others, membership fees and subscriptions (FIDH: Financial Statements, http://www.fidh.org/spip.php?rubrique725, accessed on 4 June 2008; see also: FIDH: Rapports du Commissaire aux Comptes, 10 April 2007, http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/cac2006f.pdf, accessed on 4 June 2008).
Scope of reporting:
Geographic focus: All countries worldwide.
Thematic focus: Human rights defenders; international justice; impunity; human rights and the fight against terrorism; death penalty; enforced disappearance; globalisation and economic, social and cultural rights; migration and asylum policies; women’s rights.
FIDH conducts fact-finding-missions at the request of national human rights organisations, victims and their families. These missions “are aimed at giving elements of judgment on human rights violations to the public opinion and the international community, at contributing to improve human rights promotion and protection standards, the protection of victims and the strengthening of the work of human rights’ advocates.” (FIDH: United States – Mexico: Walls, Abuses, and Deaths at the Borders. Flagrant Violations of the Rights of Undocumented Migrants on their Way to the United States, March 2008, http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/USAMexiquemigran488ang.pdf, accessed on 9 May 2008).
The missions are conducted in cooperation with national/local human rights organisations and activists. According to FIDH, the missions consist of independent volunteer experts from different regions of the world. Their task consists in meeting and interviewing victims, detainees, NGO/civil society representatives, local authorities, military and police officials, parliamentarians and opposition groups (FIDH Website, http://www.fidh.org/rubrique.php3?id_rubrique=349, accessed on 9 May 2008).
Printed sources cited in reports include material from intergovernmental organisations, international and local NGOs, government, and media. FIDH reports are intended “to be balanced, pragmatic and amenable to practical implementation by law and policy-makers.” Reports contain policy/action recommendations addressed to the government in question, non-state-actors, intergovernmental bodies (eg United Nations, European Union, African Union), and international judiciary (FIDH: Undocumented migrants and refugees in Malaysia: Raids, Detention and Discrimination, March 2008: http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/MalaisieCONJ489eng.pdf, accessed on 9 May 2008; FIDH: Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): Breaking the Cycle of Impunity, March 2008: http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/DRCsexualcrimeseng2008.pdf, accessed on 9 May 2008).
FIDH reports are published without a fixed publication cycle, but frequently. Reports on fact-finding-missions are published from a few weeks to more than a year after completion of the respective mission.
Furthermore, FIDH infrequently publishes alternative reports on countries for the UN Human Rights Committee, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, etc.
FIDH Letters are published bi-monthly.
FIDH also publishes a monthly newsletter, The Observatory, which contains brief information on urgent appeals, interventions, open letters, released reports on the situation of human rights defenders in specific countries, threats, etc.
The FIDH Website is available in French, English, Spanish, Arabic, Farsi. Reports are written in English or French and sometimes translated into the other language. Depending on the regional focus of a report, versions in other languages may be available.
Navigation of website:
FIDH reports are accessible via the homepage (after choosing one of the language versions), by selecting News/Actualités from the menu bar. A list of relevant reports (in reverse chronological order) can then be accessed either by world region or thematic issue.
Browsing through at least the English and the French language version of FIDH’s Website is advisable, as publications may only be available in one language (and not be shown in the other language version).