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© Pierre-Yves Ginet
CAR. Survivors of sexual violences supported in the Bemba case

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04 President’s Letter

06 The Federation

07 184 Member Organisations

09 International Board

10 International Secretariat

12 Priority Supporting Human Rights Defenders


Priority Fostering an Environment Conducive to Democracy
and Freedom

26 Priority Promoting Women’s Rights


Priority Fighting Discrimination and Violence Based on Sexual
Orientation and Gender Identity

36 Priority Promoting the Rights of Migrants

40Priority Fighting Impunity and Protecting


Populations from the Most Serious Crimes


Priority Promoting Respect for Human Rights
by Economic Players

60 Financial Report 2018

61 Acknowledgements

The ILVA plant, completely embedded in the city of Taranto. © FIDH

President’s Letter


FIDH is a non-partisan association in terms of non

affiliation to, and distance from, political parties.
Our trademark is our commitment to a fair and just
world, to social and international justice for victims
of human rights violations, and for the most serious
international crimes. We remind ourselves of the old
Dear friends, motto: no peace without justice. Our commitment
to the struggle against impunity, holding individual
perpetrators of crimes against humanity to account
It is my pleasure to share with you FIDH’s Annual through the international criminal justice system
Report for 2018. must remain unshakable, so that justice and
accountability, including for non-State actors and
Αlexis De Tocqueville, in his book “Democracy in companies, becomes a defining element of our era.
America”, rightly observed that if governments Otherwise, it will be governed by impunity and war.
take the place of civil society, people will become
dependent on governments and that will have Moreover, the fight against fascism is inherent to
a negative effect on society. If civil society is FIDH’s historical identity and therefore, we consider
shrinking, as is currently the case, then obviously today the emergence of extreme right movements,
our communities are in trouble. The more civil and parties, in particular in Europe but also in the
society shrinks, the more imperatively it is needed. Americas, as a vital threat to human rights and
democracy that we need to tackle by defending the
The International Federation for Human Rights is political and legislative environment and changing
an international organisation which is made up of our narrative.
civil society member organisations belonging to
different constellations of human rights approaches. This is why the FIDH legacy of equality as a condition
It is by definition an organisation based on a culture to freedom is of vital importance. This is also why
of collective ownership by its members, human FIDH needs to further and deepen its work on
rights defenders. social, economic and cultural rights and seek new
alliances and coalitions with different organisations
Our structure, our bottom-up approach, gives and groups, including social movements, youth
FIDH an advantage, an incomparable international networks, and unions, as well as mainstreaming
legitimacy to strengthen our presence and fight issues such as the environment.
against this shrinking space for civil society. By
consolidating this federative culture, we can respect In this world of change, traditional human rights
our historical legacy and provide effective answers dilemmas persist and new challenges are emerging.
to fill the gap that the shrinking space leaves. The federative alliance of FIDH with local civil
society organisations allows FIDH to articulate an
innovative and unique comprehensive discourse

4 — F I D H ANNUaL R ePORT 2 0 1 8
on human rights universality in our world, based
on the heterogeneity of its components.

More than ever, we need to keep our eyes open,

as our organisation’s motto aptly puts it. Human
rights work is becoming increasingly complicated,
as against us are not just autocratic governments and African regions, while also documenting and
but also new (State or non-State, international or denouncing violations and international crimes.
national) actors that require a more robust and
multifaceted strategy. FIDH has also sought accountability for individual,
State and non-State perpetrators, through national
As defined in our 2017-2022 Strategic Plan, and to and regional justice systems, extraterritorial justice,
contribute to the fight against shrinking space, in hybrid tribunals and before the ICC. Our use of
2018 FIDH concentrated its actions around three community-based human rights impact assessment
strategic axes: defending freedom, promoting methodology, combined with untiring advocacy, has
equality and strengthening accountability. seen progress for victims of violations by corporate
actors in the Americas and Africa.
Releasing and strengthening human rights
defenders – particularly emerging and vulnerable This report details our response, our reaction, our
defenders including environmental and land, trade resistance. This is what paves our way to the 2019
unionists, indigenous, women’s and LGBTI rights Forum and Congress, FIDH’s 40th, in Taiwan, and
defenders – and facilitating regional and inter- the centenary of our existence in 2022.
regional exchanges among them and with local
civil society organisations have been key to the FIDH strongly believes that by uniting those fighting
defence of freedoms and the preservation of civic for a fair and just world, it will contribute to a world
space. Equally important is the promotion of judicial, where dignity and human rights are fully respected
political and legislative environments that protect and implemented. Thank you for being with us.
democratic standards and freedoms guaranteed
by regional and international conventions. The EU’s
activation of the article 7 TEU procedure against both Professor Dimitris Christopoulos,
Poland and Hungary was a key victory in this regard. President (Athens-Paris, June 2019)

FIDH’s promotion of equality is built on its defence of

the universality of rights: all rights for all. In pursuit
of its priorities on women’s, migrants’ and LGBTI
rights, FIDH has opposed anti-liberal social and
government agendas, notably in the Middle East

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 018 — 5

T he Federation

The Executive Board

• Is composed of the President, the Treasurer, 5

Secretaries-General and 5 Deputy Secretaries-
•Prepares and organises the meetings of the
International Board;
• Meets once a month and reports to the International

The International Secretariat

The Congress
• Based in Paris, it is composed of a team of
• Is composed of FIDH’s member organisations: 180 professionals managed by a Chief Executive
as of the end of the FIDH Congress in Johannesburg Officer and an Executive Director, who sit as non-
in 2016; voting advisory members of the International and
• Meets every three years; Executive Boards. The team is structured by regions,
• Discusses the FIDH thematic and geographical action priorities, and delegations. The International
priorities and decides on FIDH’s policy orientations. Secretariat has permanent delegations at the United
Nations in New York and Geneva, at the European
The International Board Union in Brussels, before the International Criminal
Court in The Hague, as well as a regional office
• Comprises 22 volunteers from FIDH member in Tunis; and offices in conjunction with member
organisations. The Board is elected by the Congress organisations in Conakry, Abidjan, Bangui and
and consists of the President, the Treasurer, 15 Vice- Bamako. It also comprises a Communications and
Presidents and 5 Secretaries-General; Public Relations department, and an Administrative
• Determines FIDH’s main strategic goals and and Finance Department.
orientations, according to the policy orientations set • In permanent contact with the actors in the field, the
by the Congress, and approves the annual accounts; International Secretariat implements the decisions
• Meets three times a year and reports to the of the FIDH policy-making bodies in conjunction with
Congress. the member organisations, chargés de mission, and
members of the International and Executive Boards.

6 — F I D H ANNUaL R ePORT 2 0 1 8
Organisations (June, 2019)
184 Member

Promotion Et La Défense Des Droits De L’Homme (ATPDH)

/ CHAD, Ligue Tchadienne Des Droits De L’Homme (LTDH)
/ CHILE, Corporacion De Promocion Y Defensa De Los
Derechos Del Pueblo (CODEPU) / CHILE, Observatorio
Cuidadano / CHINA, China Labour Bulletin (CLB) / CHINA,
Human Rights In China (HRIC) / CHINA (TIBET), International
Campaign For Tibet (ICT) / COLOMBIA, Comite Permanente
Por La Defensa De Los Derechos Humanos (CPDH) /
COLOMBIA, Corporacion Colectivo De Abogados José
Alvear Restrepo (CCAJAR) / COLOMBIA, Instituto
Latinoamericano De Servicios Legales Alternativos (ILSA)
/ COLOMBIA, Organización Femenina Popular (OFP) /
CONGO, Observatoire Congolais Des Droits De L’Homme
(OCDH) / CROATIA, Civic Committee For Human Rights
(CCHR) / CUBA, Comision Cubana De Derechos Humanos
AFGHANISTAN, Armanshahr/Open Asia / ALBANIA, Albanian Y Reconciliacion National (CCHDN) / CZECH REPUBLIC,
Human Rights Group (AHRG) / ALGERIA, Collectif des Human Rights League (HRL) - Liga Lidskych Prav /
familles de disparu(e)s en Algérie (CFDA) / ALGERIA, Ligue DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, Association Africaine
Algérienne de défense des droits de l’homme (LADDH) / Des Droits De L’homme (ASADHO) / DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC
ANGOLA, Associação Justiça Paz e Democracia (AJPD) / OF CONGO, Groupe Lotus / DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF
ARGENTINA, Centro De Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS) CONGO, Ligue Des Électeurs (LE) / DJIBOUTI, Ligue
/ ARGENTINA, Comité De Acción Jurídica (CAJ) / Djiboutienne Des Droits Humains (LDDH) / DOMINICAN
ARGENTINA, Liga Argentina Por Los Derechos Del Hombre REPUBLIC, Comisión Nacional De Los Derechos Humanos
(LADH) / ARMENIA, Civil Society Institute (CSI) / AUSTRIA, Inc (CNDHRD) / ECUADOR, Acción Ecológica / ECUADOR,
Osterreichische Liga Fur Menschenrechte (OLFM) / Comisión Ecuménica De Derechos Humanos (CEDHU) /
BAHRAIN, Bahrain Center For Human Rights (BCHR) / ECUADOR, Fundación Regional De Asesoria En Derechos
BAHRAIN, Bahrain Human Rights Society (BHRS) / Humanos (INREDH) / EGYPT, Cairo Institute For Human
BANGLADESH, Odhikar / BELARUS, Human Rights Center Rights Studies (CIHRS) / EGYPT, Egyptian Initiative for
Viasna / BELGIUM, Liga Voor Menschenrechten (LVM) / Personal Rights (EIPR) / EGYPT, Egyptian Organization For
BELGIUM, Ligue Des Droits De L’Homme – Belgique / BENIN, Human Rights (EOHR) / EGYPT, Human Rights Association
Ligue Pour La Défense Des Droits De L’Homme Au Benin For The Assistance Of Prisoners (HRAAP) / EL SALVADOR,
(LDDHB) / BOLIVIA, Asamblea Permanente De Derechos Comision De Derechos Humanos Del Salvador (CDHES) /
Humanos De Bolivia (APDHB) / BOTSWANA, The Botswana ETHIOPIA, Human Rights Council (HRCO) / EUROPE,
Centre For Human Rights – Ditshwanelo / BRAZIL, Justiça Association Européenne Pour La Défense Des Droits De
Global (CJG) / BRAZIL, Movimento Nacional De Direitos L’Homme (AEDH) / FINLAND, Finnish League For Human
Humanos (MNDH) / BURKINA FASO, Mouvement Burkinabé Rights (FLHR) – Ihmisoikeusliitto / FRANCE, Ligue Des
Des Droits De L’Homme Et Des Peuples (MBDHP) / BURMA, Droits De L’Homme (LDH) / FRANCE (FRENCH POLYNESIA),
Altsean Burma / BURUNDI, Ligue Burundaise Des Droits Ligue Polynésienne Des Droits Humains (LPDH) / FRANCE
De L’Homme (Iteka) / CAMBODIA, Cambodian Human Rights (NEW CALEDONIA), Ligue Des Droits Et Du Citoyen De
And Development Association (ADHOC) / CAMBODIA, Ligue Nouvelle Calédonie (LDHNC) / GEORGIA, Human Rights
Cambodgienne De Défense Des Droits De L’Homme Center (HRIDC) / GERMANY, Internationale Liga Fur
(LICADHO) / CAMEROON, Maison Des Droits De L’Homme Menschenrechte (ILMR) / GREECE, Hellenic League For
(MDH) / CANADA, Canadian Centre for International Justice Human Rights (HLHR) / GUATEMALA, Centro De Acción
(CCIJ) / CANADA, Ligue Des Droits Et Des Libertés Du Legal En Derechos Humanos (CALDH) / GUINEA-BISSAU,
Québec (LDL) / CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC, Ligue Liga Guineense Dos Direitos Humanos (LGDH) / GUINEA-
Centrafricaine Des Droits De L’Homme (LCDH) / CENTRAL CONAKRY, Mêmes droits pour tous (MDT) / GUINEA-
AFRICAN REPUBLIC, Observatoire Centrafricain des Droits CONAKRY, Organisation Guinéenne De Défense Des Droits
de l’Homme (OCDH) / CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC, De L’Homme Et Du Citoyen (OGDH) / GULF, Gulf Center for
Organisation Pour La Compassion Des Familles En Détresse Human Rights (GCHR) / HAITI, Centre Oecumenique Des
(OCODEFAD) / CHAD, Association Tchadienne Pour La Droits Humains (CEDH) / HAITI, Réseau National De Défense

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 018 — 7

Commission Of Pakistan (HRCP) / PALESTINE, Al Haq /
PALESTINE, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights (Al Mezan)
/ PALESTINE, Palestinian Centre For Human Rights (PCHR)
/ PALESTINE, Ramallah Centre For Human Rights Studies
Des Droits De L’Homme (RNDDH) / HONDURAS, Centro De (RCHRS) / PANAMA, Centro De Capacitación Social De
Investigación Y Promoción De Los Derechos Humanos Panamá (CCS) / PERU, Asociacion Pro Derechos Humanos
(CIPRODEH) / HONDURAS, Comité de Familiares de (APRODEH) / PERU, Centro De Derechos Y Desarrollo
Detenidos-Desaparecidos en Honduras (COFADEH) / INDIA, (CEDAL) / PERU, Equidad / PHILIPPINES, Philippine Alliance
Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) / INDIA, Of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) / POLAND, Polish
People’s Watch / INDONESIA, KontraS / IRAN, Defenders Society of Anti-Discrimination Law (PSAL) / PORTUGAL,
Of Human Rights Center In Iran (DHRC) / IRAN, Justice for Liga Portuguesa dos Direitos Humanos - CIVITAS /
Iran (JFI) / IRAN, Ligue Pour La Défense Des Droits De ROMANIA, The League For The Defense Of Human Rights
L’Homme En Iran (LDDHI) / IRELAND, Free Legal Advice (LADO) / RUSSIA, Anti-Discrimination Center Memorial
Centres Limited (FLAC) / IRELAND, Irish Council For Civil (ADC Memorial) / RUSSIA, Citizens’ Watch (CW) / RUSSIA,
Liberties (ICCL) / ISRAEL, Adalah / ISRAEL, Association Memorial HRC – Moscow / RWANDA, Association
For Civil Rights In Israel (ACRI) / ISRAEL, B’tselem / ISRAEL, Rwandaise Pour La Défense Des Droits De La Personne Et
Public Committee Against Torture In Israel (PCATI) / ITALY, Des Libertés Publiques (ADL) / RWANDA, Ligue Rwandaise
Lega Italiana Dei Diritti Dell’uomo (LIDU) / ITALY, Unione Pour La Promotion Et La Défense Des Droits De L’Homme
Forense Per La Tutela Dei Diritti Dell’uomo (UFTDU) / IVORY (LIPRODHOR) / SENEGAL, Ligue Sénégalaise des Droits
COAST, Ligue Ivoirienne Des Droits De L’homme (LIDHO) / Humains (LSDH) / SENEGAL, Organisation Nationale Des
IVORY COAST, Mouvement Ivoirien Des Droits Humains Droits De L’Homme (ONDH) / SENEGAL, Rencontre Africaine
(MIDH) / JAPAN, Center For Prisoners’ Rights (CPR) / Pour La Défense Des Droits De L’Homme (RADDHO) / SOUTH
JORDAN, Amman Center For Human Rights Studies (ACHRS) AFRICA, Lawyers for human rights (LHR) / SOUTH KOREA,
/ KAZAKHSTAN, International Legal Initiative (ILI) / People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD) /
KAZAKHSTAN, Kazakstan International Bureau for Human SPAIN, Asociacion Pro Derechos Humanos De Espana
Rights and Rule of Law (KIBHR) / KENYA, Kenya Human (APDHE) / SPAIN, Federacion De Asociaciones De Defensa
Rights Commission (KHRC) / KUWAIT, Human Line Y Promocion De Los Derecho (FDDHH) / SUDAN, African
Organisation (HLO) / KYRGYZSTAN, Human Rights Center For Justice And Peace Studies (ACJPS) / SUDAN,
Movement (Bir Duino-Dyrgyzstan) / KYRGYZSTAN, Kylym Sudan Human Rights Monitor (SUHRM) / SWITZERLAND,
Shamy / KYRGYZSTAN, Legal Clinic Adilet / LAOS, Ligue Suisse Des Droits De L’homme (LSDH) / SYRIA, Al
Mouvement Lao Pour Les Droits De L’Homme (MLDH) / Marsad / SYRIA, Committees For The Defense Of Democracy
LATVIA, Latvian Human Rights Committee (LHRC) / Freedoms And Human Rights (CDF) / SYRIA, Damascus
LEBANON, Centre Libanais des Droits Humains (CLDH) / Center For Human Rights Studies (DCHRS) / SYRIA, Syrian
LEBANON, Palestinian Human Rights Organization (PHRO) Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM) /
/ LIBERIA, Regional Watch For Human Rights (LWHR) / TAIWAN, Taiwan Association For Human Rights (TAHR) /
LIBYA, Human Rights Association for Recording and TAJIKISTAN, Tajik “Bureau on Human Rights and Rule of
Documenting War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity / Law” (BHR) / TANZANIA, The Legal And Human Rights
LIBYA, Libyan League For Human Rights (LLH) / LITHUANIA, Centre (LHRC) / THAILAND, iLaw / THAILAND, Union For
Lithuanian Human Rights Association (LHRA) / MALAYSIA, Civil Liberties (UCL) / THE NETHERLANDS, Liga Voor De
Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) / MALI, Association Rechten Van De Mens (LVRM) / TOGO, Ligue Togolaise Des
Malienne Des Droits De L’Homme (AMDH) / MAURITANIA, Droits De L’Homme (LTDH) / TUNISIA, Association
Association Mauritanienne Des Droits De L’Homme (AMDH) Tunisienne Des Femmes Démocrates (ATFD) / TUNISIA,
/ MEXICO, Comision Mexicana De Defensa Y Promocion Doustourna / TUNISIA, Forum tunisien pour les droits
De Los Derechos Humanos (CMDPDH) / MEXICO, Liga économiques et sociaux (FTDES) / TUNISIA, Ligue
Mexicana Por La Defensa De Los Derechos Humanos Tunisienne Des Droits De L’Homme (LTDH) / TURKEY,
(LIMEDDH) / MOLDOVA, Promo-LEX / MOROCCO, Human Rights Foundation Of Turkey (HRFT) / TURKEY,
Association Démocratique des Femmes du Maroc (ADFM) Insan Haklari Dernegi (IHD) Ankara / TURKEY, Insan Haklari
/ MOROCCO, Association Marocaine Des Droits Humains Dernegi (IHD) Diyabakir / UGANDA, Foundation For Human
(AMDH) / MOROCCO, Organisation Marocaine Des Droits Rights Initiative (FHRI) / UKRAINE, Center for Civil Liberties
Dos Direitos Humanos (LMDDH) / NICARAGUA, Centro AMERICA, Center For Constitutional Rights (CCR) / UNITED
Nicaraguense De Derechos Humanos (CENIDH) / NIGER, STATES OF AMERICA, Center For Justice & Accountability
Association Nigerienne Pour La Défense Des Droits De (CJA) / UZBEKISTAN, Human Rights Society Of Uzbekistan
L’Homme (ANDDH) / NIGERIA, Civil Liberties Organisation (HRSU) / VIETNAM, Comité Vietnam Pour La Défense Des
(CLO) / NORTHERN IRELAND, Committee On The Droits De L’Homme (CVDDH) / YEMEN, Human Rights
Administration Of Justice (CAJ) / NORWAY, Norwegian Information And Training Center (HRITC) / YEMEN, Sisters’
Helsinki Committee (NHC) / PAKISTAN, Human Rights Arab Forum For Human Rights (SAF) / ZIMBABWE,
Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (Zimrights)

8 — F I D H ANNUaL R ePORT 2 0 1 8
Dimitris Jean-François
Greece France

Guissou Artak Adilur
International Board


Afghanistan Armenia Bangladesh

Elise Mohamed Aly Maryse

Ecuador ZAREA France

Juan Francisco Drissa Tolekan

Guatemala Ivory Coast Kyrgyzstan

Gerard Gloria Margarita Rosemarie

Netherlands Peru Philippines

Hafidha Sheila Arnold

Tunisia Uganda Zimbabwe


Dan Alice Debbie

Belgium Botswana Malaysia

Pierre Shawan
Esperance JABARIN
Haiti Palestine


Patrick Michel Daniel Karim Sidiki Souhayr

BaudoUin Blum Jacoby LAHIDJI Kaba Belhassen
France France France Iran Senegal Tunisia

and in cooperation with:


Nabeel Paul Florence Bertha

Rajab NSUPU Bellivier OLIVA
Bahrain Democratic France Honduras
of Congo


Dobian Mabassa Jomary

Assingar Fall ORTEGON
before the Economic and before the African before the Organization
Monetary Community of Union (AU) of American States (OAS)
Central African States

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 018 — 9

International Secretariat Updated May, 2019

FIDH – International Secretariat

Éléanore MOREL
Chief Executive Officer
Paris Executive
Juliane FALLOUX Directorate
Deputy Chief Executive Officer


10 — F I D H ANNUaL Re PORT 2 0 1 8
Cyril BLIN
Director of Operations Anne ARNOLD Mathieu PICARD
Paris Financial and Administrative Technical and Human Resources
International Advocacy Director Communications Director Fundraising Director
Director Director
Patricia HUYGHEBAERT Paris Paris Paris
Paris Paris Paris
Deputy Director of Operations


Justine DUBY
Programme Officer, «Rule of Law » Project New York

Yasmine LAVEILLE Maddalena NEGLIA

Head of Desk Head of Desk Marie-France BURQ Sarah LERENARD Audrey COUPRIE
Programme Officer Permanent Representative to the Head of Desk Head of Head of
Middle East & North Africa Globalisation & Human Rights Head of Human Resources Attachée to the Directorate Congress Coordinator Geneva
Middle East & North Africa Desk EU Press Relations Cost Controlling Desk Development
Desk Desk Paris Paris Paris
Paris Brussels Paris Paris Paris
Paris Paris

Maria-Isabel CUBIDES
Yosra FRAWES Programme Officer Recruitment underway Eva CANAN Lidya OGBAZGHI
Programme Offcer Accountant Officer Partnerships Officer
FIDH Delegate / Tunisia Globalisation & Human Rights Delegate to the EU Press Officer Administrative Assistant Tunis
Tunisia Tunisia Cost Controlling Desk Fundraising Desk
Tunis Desk Brussels Paris Paris
Tunis Tunis Paris Paris

Jimena REYES Natalia YAYA MARTELLO José Jans CARRETERO Talya SWISSA Catherine ABSALOM Samia MERAH Recruitment underway
Head of Desk Programme Officer Jurist Consultant, Globalisation & Liaison Officer Delegation to Finance Officer Programme Officer
IDHEAS/FIDH joint Publications Manager Head of The Hague
Americas Desk Americas Desk CAJAR/FIDH joint Programme Human Rights Desk the EU Cost Controlling Desk Fundraising Desk
Programme Paris Informations System
Brussels Paris Bogota Paris Brussels Paris Paris
Mexico City Paris


Karine BONNEAU Stéphanie DAVID Samba LASA Aloïs CABRER
Head of Desk Programme Assistant Anne VESQUE Consultant
Head of Desk Permanent Representative to the Head of Technician and System
Eastern Europe & Central Eastern Europe & Central Asia Digital Communication Officer Fundraising and Abidjan
International Justice Desk UN Security Council Accounts Desk Administrator
Asia Desk Desk Paris Women’s Rights
Paris New York Paris Paris
Paris Paris Paris


Head of Desk Deputy Head of Desk Permanent Representative Assistant, Digital
Accountant Facilities Management Assistant Bangui
Western Europe Desk International Justice Desk to the UN Communication
Paris Paris
Brussels Paris Geneva Paris

José Carlos THISSEN

Manon KARATAS Communication Consultant
Programme Officer Permanent Representative to Head of Project, Optimising of
Delegate to the UN for Latin America and the Bamako
Southern & Western Asia Desk the ICC Finance and Account Processes
Geneva Caribbean
Paris The Hague Paris
Delegate to the UN for Latin America and the Bamako
Southern & Western Asia Desk the ICC Finance and Account Processes
Geneva Caribbean
Paris The Hague Paris

Florent GEEL Tchérina JEROLON Hassatou BA MINTE Sarah FINNIN Mohamed BOUADJENEK
Head of Desk Deputy Head of Desk Programme Officer Project Coordinator, Assistant of Accounts & Cost
Africa Desk Africa Desk Africa Desk EU Victims' Rights Directive Controlling (alternating)
Paris Paris Paris The Hague Paris


Programme Officer Programme Officer
Africa Desk Women’s Rights Desk
Paris Paris

Alexandra POMEON
Antonin RABECQ
Head of Desk Observatory for the
Deputy Head of Desk
Protection of Human Rights
Africa Desk
Defenders Desk

Alseny SALL Amadou BARRY Deputy Head of Desk
Recruitment underway
Project Officer, Project Officer, Observatory for the Protection
Guinea Project Coordinator
OGDH/FIDH joint Programme OGDH/FIDH joint Programme of Human Rights Defenders
Conakry Conakry Desk

Aboubacar SYLLA Ousmane SOUMAH Mohamed DIOUBATE
Consultant, Observatory for the
Head, Administrative & Finance, Administrative Assistant, Jurist, Legal Clinic
Protection of Human Rights
OGDH/FIDH joint Programme OGDH/FIDH joint Programme OGDH/FIDH joint Programme
Defenders Desk
Conakry Conakry Conakry

Halimatou CAMARA
Juriste Projet conjoint


Recruitment underway Project Officer Project Officer
CAR Project Coordinator LCDH/FIDH joint Programme LCDH/FIDH joint Programme
Bangui Bangui Bangui

Nicolas GBAGBE
Elisabeth MBAYA
Programme Assistant
Administrative & Finance,
LCDH/FIDH joint Programme

Drissa TRAORE Mamoutou TAOU Yacouba WOYOKOTE

Coordinator, Programme Assistant, Accountant,
AMDH/FIDH joint Programme AMDH/FIDH joint Programme AMDH/FIDH joint Programme
Bamako Bamako Bamako

Willy NETH
Coordinator, MIDH/FIDH joint

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 8 — 11

Supporting Human Rights Defenders


FIDH conducted activities to support and protect

human rights defenders at risk in close to 30 country- Each of these situations requires adapted means
specific situations. FIDH intervened in various of actions – whether fact-finding, documentation
contexts including in totalitarian States, countries and alerts to denounce human rights violations and
governed by authoritarian regimes, even in so-called challenge authorities for legislative reforms, advocacy
“democracies” as well as conflict situations. for the release of imprisoned defenders, emergency
assistance or support for urgent relocation, and finally
For decades , human rights defe nde rs and capacity building or institutional grants. In Asia, for
independent human rights NGOs have been a driving instance, the escalation of attacks against human
force to promote freedom of opinion and expression, rights defenders, including members of FIDH, by both
pluralism, and the freedoms of thought, speech, State and non-State actors, has led to a significant
religion and conscience. They have also successfully increase in requests for material and other assistance
advocated for an international legal order that provides for human rights defenders at risk with beneficiaries
remedies and protection for human rights. Yet, and notably in Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Thailand.
particularly in recent years, the rise of the extreme
right, nationalism and religious fundamentalism Human rights defenders supported in 2018 have
has developed, together with the strengthening mainly been defenders of women’s rights (such as in
of unruled economic globalisation, leading to the Iran and Saudi Arabia), LGBTI defenders (Chechnya),
curtailing of women’s rights and migrants rights, the human rights lawyers (such as in Belarus, Sudan),
repression of pro-democracy protests, the capture of land and environmental rights defenders (such as in
natural resources, the multiplication of social and land Chile, Ecuador, Honduras and the Philippines), as well
conflicts and the misuse of security and anti-terrorist as defenders of rights violated by business activity
laws against peaceful dissent. The consideration of (such as in Colombia and South Africa). A greater
human rights to address internal and external issues demand has been reported for support through trial
has eroded, including in Western countries and in a observations (Belarus, South Korea) by trade unionists
large number of regional powers, generating negative as a result of an increase or perpetuation of attacks,
impacts in their areas of influence. judicial harassment, and criminalisation against
them, especially in economies under autocratic
Rather than recognising the contribution human rights rule. Reports were published documenting fair trial
defenders make to the well-being of their people, States violations in Belarus, Chile and the UAE.
have increasingly targeted them, depicting them as
foreign agents, terrorists, threats to national security, Five fact-finding missions were conducted on the
opponents of development or “traditional values”. situation of human rights defenders (Colombia, Belarus,
Numerous States have passed legislation aiming to Israel/Occupied Palestian Territories, Peru, Philippines).
hinder or deny the right to enjoy and defend human An additional mission was conducted in Zimbabwe
rights. The rights to organise and protest individually in the pre-election context. In 2018, the topics of the
or collectively and to express oneself freely, have been reports revolved around three main issues :
curtailed and rolled back in many countries, at a time - the protection of lawyers defending human rights
when illegal surveillance is growing exponentially. In an and the fight against their judicial harassment
increasingly perilous environment, HRDs are subject (Belarus, Sudan),
to criminal charges, arbitrary imprisonment, fines, - the protection of women human rights defenders
administrative closures, illegal surveillance, smear (Saudi Arabia),
campaigns, restrictions on freedom of movement, - t he protection of the freedom of association
and the inability to finance their activities. (Morocco)
12 — F I D H ANNUaL Re PORT 2 0 1 8
communication support, transportation support,
When faced with urgent requests for support because humanitarian assistance (including family support),
of threats – whether new or permanent – different urgent relocation, legal support, and digital security.
means of action are used: 439 urgent alerts (urgent In 2018 requests for emergency grants, material
appeals, press releases, statements, open letters) were and solidarity support aiming to improve their
dispatched to thousands of stakeholders, influencers situations (14 temporary relocation grants allowing
and decision-makers, followed by advocacy dialogue HRDs to escape harassment and threats, 19 material
at national, regional and international levels to end assistance grants, five solidarity support) came
harassment of human rights defenders. mainly from HRDs and human rights organisations
outside FIDH’s network.
Following the publication of urgent appeals or of fact
finding reports, FIDH systematically transmits the FIDH has allocated 11 grants to local human rights
information to relevant institutional stakeholders, organisations and groups to support, consolidate and
such as the EU delegations in the field, the UN expand their operational capacities, develop sensitive
Special rapporteur on the protection of human initiatives and to prevent and respond to increasing
rights defenders as well as other relevant UN infringements faced by human rights defenders
Special procedures (see below on Saudi Arabia). and their organisations. Five grants were allocated
On numerous occasions, the urgent appeals are to strengthen the capacities of local human rights
followed up with phone-calls to human rights focal defenders’organisations to prevent and respond to
points at EU delegations to ensure an appropriate developments adversely affecting human rights and
followup as part of the EU’s guidelines on human human rights defenders’ situations (Honduras, Israel,
rights defenders. Appeals and reports are also sent Occupied Palestinian Territories, Sudan). Six grants
to the European Parliament and EU Member States, were allocated to strengthen the protection of local
participating to the mobilisation of these institutions organisations confronted by contexts of hostility
and countries. As such, numerous urgent resolutions for their human rights activities, allowing them to
of the European Parliament echo concerns on the maintain operations (Cambodia, Iraq, the Maldives,
safety and security of human rights defenders. Uganda, Syria, Yemen).
As a result of all these advocacy efforts, nine key
statements, decisions, and/or resolutions were issued Outreach missions took place to meet human rights
by the European Parliament (on Saudi Arabia, Iran, defenders working on Algeria, Bangladesh, North
Egypt, Bahrein, United Arab Emirates) and the UN Korea, the Maldives, and Venezuela. They also took
(Burundi, Thaïland, Saudi Arabia, Iran) to protect place in countries not initially planned (Sri Lanka,
human rights defenders. Uzbekistan), where HRDs face challenges in terms
of connectivity with international advocacy groups
Follow-up of pending cases included a case filed before and mechanisms and their ability to document past
the African Court on Human and People’s Rights against human rights violations. The flexibility of outreach
Rwanda for violating the freedom of association of missions is essential to identify potential new partners
human rights defenders. FIDH also followed up on and assess existing risks and needs for HRDs in terms
an amicus curiae submission request before the East of documentation, support and security.
African Court of Justice (EACJ) concerning Burundian
NGOs. In Colombia, an amicus curiae was submitted to Regional strategic and capacity-building workshops
the Constitutional Court of Colombia on the exclusion in Ecuador and Johannesburg have allowed FIDH to
of defenders from being appointed as judges at special strengthen the capacities of defenders, NGOs and
jurisdictions for peace. FIDH’s mobilisation contributed member organisations, to protect themselves and
to key amendments to the law. Trial observations took to develop expertise on the issue of criminalissation
place in Bahrain and Chile. Additional trial observations of HRDs.
were conducted to respond to emergencies (Belarus,
Honduras, South Korea). The protection of human rights defenders worldwide
requires strong and strategic partnership. Under
FIDH continued with a long-term approach to support the Consortium, the European
human rights defenders from members organisations Union Human Rights Defenders mechanism, FIDH
as well as outside the federation, in order to plead strengthened synergies with the other 11 international
for their release when under arbitrary detention. A and regional partners on various defender protection
positive response was received from the UN Working related components.
Group on Arbitrary Detention regarding the release
of HRDS in Sudan. In 2018, FIDH contributed to the Since 1997, FIDH partners with the World Organisation
release of 116 HRDs (see below). against Torture under their programme entitled the
Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights
FIDH also provided emergency grants to 30 human Defenders that seek to provide urgent support and
rights defenders and 3 NGOs notably in the Democratic protection to human rights at risk via documentation,
Republic of Congo, Honduras, the Maldives, Mexico, mobilisation, emergency grants, missions, advocacy
Nicaragua, Pakistan, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and global analysis of trends and contexts.
Uganda and Yemen. Emergency grants covered
in particular costs relating to physical security,
FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 8 — 13
Supporting Human Rights Defenders

Objective 1 – Protect human rights defenders in situations of insecurity

Expected outcome 1.1: Defenders escape repression and are better protected

Highlights oF release of human rights defenders

Abdolfattah Soltani, lawyer and founding member of member organisation Defenders of Human
Rights Centre (DHRC) in Iran was released after spending more than seven years in jail. But,
on 13 June 2018, prominent Iranian attorney Nasrin Sotoudeh, a major figure in the fight for
human rights, was arrested and detained. Months later, in March 2019, she was handed a 33-year
prison sentence and 148 lashes, following an unfair trial. FIDH continues to tirelessly demand
the inconditional release of Nasrin and of all other human rights defenders imprisoned in Iran.

Throughout 2018 FIDH has continued its mobilisation, particularly before various EU institutions
and EU member States, on the case of its Deputy Secretary General Nabeel Rajab, imprisoned
in Bahrain since 2016 for having denounced, in various tweets, interviews and articles, human
rights violations committed during the war in Yemen led by the Saudi coalition, and the use of
torture in Bahraini prisons. The press conference that FIDH organised in Beirut in January 2018
on Nabeel Rajab and the state of human rights in Bahrain resulted in a very large international
media coverage (Reuters; Associated Press; AFP FR; AFP Eng; AFP AR; EFE; Prensa Latina;
AntaraNews; EuropaPress; Al Jazeera Arabic; Al Jazeera English; Al Akhbar News; Bahrain
Mirror; Waki Online; Press TV). In 2018, the European Parliament called for sanctions against
Bahrain. Besides the awareness raising on his situation at the international level, intense
advocacy led the City of Paris to name Nabeel an honorary Citizen.

In Chile, FIDH monitored the trials against several Mapuche activists prosecuted under anti-
terrorism legislation. In May 2018, FIDH welcomed the acquittal of human rights defender
Machi Francesca Linconao.

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders was strongly invested in its
support to Human rights defender OyubTitiev, who was detained since his arrest on 9 January
2018. Titiev and the human rights NGO for which he was working, Memorial, have long been
a thorn in the side of the local authorities due to their key role in documenting grave human
rights violations in Chechnya. He was released on parole in June 2019 after serving 17 months
of a four-year prison sentence on fabricated charges.

FIDH issued a number of urgent appeals for the release of labour rights defender and former
KCTU Secretary General Lee Young-joo in South Korea. In order to ensure that the European
Commission takes on its responsibilities correctly, raising their cases and actively engaging with
the South Korean authorities, a joint letter was addressed to trade commissioner Malmstrom
to this effect. FIDH was the only international organisation to observe the trial for the whole
three days and gave interviews to the local media to share its findings. The combination of
all these means of action contributed to the release of Lee Young-joo on 14 June 2018 after
being sentenced to a three-year suspended prison term and a fine.

14 — F I D H ANNUaL Re PORT 2 0 1 8
Expected outcome 1.3: Decision-makers take more action to protect defenders

The international community and the Human Rights

Defenders World Summit
With Amnesty International,, Front Line Defenders and several other organisations,
FIDH co-organised the Human Rights Defenders World Summit 2018, which was held in Paris inOctober to
mark the 20th anniversary of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. The Summit brought together
a diverse group of more than 150 human rights defenders from around the world for three days of meetings,
panel discussions, networking and workshopping. These activists, who are at the forefront of struggles for
social, political and environmental changes in their countries, had the opportunity to connect and engage
with regional and international human rights organisations, global government leaders, the United Nations,
donors and the private sector.

The first Human Rights Defenders World Summit took place 20 years ago in 1998 at the Palais de Chaillot,
Paris, the same location where this year’s closing ceremony was held. After three days of discussions and
strategy development spanning regional and global issues, environmental rights and women human rights
defenders and the increasing attacks on human rights defenders everywhere, the momentum culminated
in the presentation of a landmark Action Plan which was presented to the UN General Assembly during a
plenary session held in December 2018. Alice Mogwe, FIDH Vice-President, was nominated to make the
speech and introduce the action plan.

The ambitious Action Plan proposes a concrete set of measures and calls for a lasting commitment from States,
businesses, financial institutions, donors and intergovernmental institutions to act to protect human rights
defenders and to take concrete actions to offer better protection and create a more favourable environment for
their work. The Action Plan stresses that it is everyone’s responsibility to create an environment in which it is
truly possible and safe to claim our human rights. However, it emphasises that those with power, State and non-
State actors, must take the lead in creating a safe and enabling environment for those who defend human rights.


The report Condemned to Silence, the situation of women human rights defenders in Saudi Arabia, which documents
discrimination and analyses the architecture of the Saudi repression system, was launched in early 2018. The
findings were crucial to advocacy in a situation where fact-finding missions and dialogue with key stakeholders
are impossible. It was the first research produced by FIDH organisation on Saudi Arabia. The report was widely
covered in the media, and was presented to the CEDAW Committee where FIDH’s concerns and recommendations
were echoed by the Committee members on the occasion of their review of Saudi Arabia. On 31 May 2018, the
European Parliament voted a strong resolution on the situation of women’s rights defenders in Saudi Arabia
following key advocacy meetings on the basis of the report.

Later on and as the mobilisation increased around the UN Human rights Council in Geneva (through side events,
joint NGO letters, advocacy and NGO statements in the Human rights Council), a cross-regional group of 36
States, issued a joint statement at the Council on 7 March 2019, calling for the release of detained women
right defenders in Saudi Arabia and sending a strong signal to the Saudi authorities that the Council will hold
its members accountable.

Following this important mobilisation, on 28 March, the Saudi authorities provisionally released two women
human rights defenders, Aziza Al Yousef and Eman Al-Nafjan. On 2 May, four other women human rights
defenders were provisionally released: Hatoon Al-Fassi, Amal Al-Harbi, Maysaa al-Manea and Abeer Namankani.

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 8 — 15
Supporting Human Rights Defenders
Objective 2: Strengthen human rights defenders’ capacity to take action

Expected outcome 2.1: Defenders and NGOs have additional means and are better equipped


In the Americas: In July the Observatory organised a workshop in Ecuador with the participation
of 10 lawyers from member organisations in eight Latin American countries and 20 local
partners who had been criminalised. On the basis of each individual case, the workshops made
it possible to reflect on the strategies of action using, in particular, those described in a draft
guide of the Observatory. The workshop also provided training on regional and international
human rights standards related to criminalisation. The Observatory is committed to follow
up on some of the cases. Participation was balanced between human rights lawyers and
grassroots HRDs from remote areas. Attention was also paid to gender balance. The main
objective of the training was to discuss the growing phenomenon of criminalisation in the
region in relation with industrial projects, and to define strategies to counter multifaceted
harassment from the authorities and/or non-State actors. The training allowed the participants
to outline various national contexts of hostility specifically related to the defence of territory
and the environment. All the cases presented highlighted the root causes of criminalisation
stemming from weak or dysfunctioning institutions, and notably the grip of the executive – but
also pressure from private actors – over the judiciary. From the diversity of cases presented in
the workshop, the participants chose four emblematic cases to be followed up with possible
strategies from a legal and advocacy perspective. This training led to greater networking
among participants from different countries and regions, to greater knowledge of country
situations and criminalisation, and to concerted strategies to push back and regain civic
space for communities confronted with harassment in contexts of unbridled development
violating human rights.

In South Africa: Following the Community-Based Human Rights Impact Assessment

conducted in 2017 in South Africa, revealing the devastating human and environmental toll
of inadequate mine closure, a strategic and capacity-building workshop was conducted in
2018 in Johannesburg. Co-hosted by member organisation Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR),
the workshop was attended by more than 60 delegates from mining-affected communities
and grassroots mineworkers’ committees from each of the major mining regions of South
Africa. This workshop put the issue of HRDs and especially of women HRDs affected by the
mining at the center of the debate. The member organisation is now much more involved at
national, regional and international level and regarded as an expert in business and human
rights issues.

16 — F I D H ANNUaL Re PORT 2 0 1 8
South Korean labor leader Han Sang-Gyun was charged with incitement to violence following an anti-government demonstration
and faced arbitrary detention. © Danny Kim/AFPTV/AFP

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 8 — 17

In recent years, democratic standards and the Rule

of Law (RoL) have been increasingly challenged in
all regions of the world. The space for civil society
has been progressively shrinking. An extremely
polarised political discourse has also contributed to
building a narrative which openly defies democratic rights and LGBTI+ people’s rights. The report entitled
standards.To address these challenges, action took “All Downhill from Here” launched in November 2018
place at national, regional and international levels highlighted the downgrading of the Rule of Law in the
during 2018. country, and underlined the negative consequences
of attacks against the judiciary in the protection
The threats to the Rule of Law and the related afforded to women’s rights and LGBTI+ persons’
shrinking space for civil society were addressed rights. This documentation was used for advocacy
under different angles and different means of action purposes at the European Union and UN levels and
in 2018, as FIDH adapted its approach to different at the level of EU Member States (see below).
Electoral processes have remained a source of
In a number of European Union Member States, tensions or extreme violence in many countries. In
there has been a sharp increase in legislative 2018, FIDH monitored such processes in countries
initiatives and laws seeking to restrict civil liberties. that include Russia, Democratic Republic of Congo
As these situations are extremely problematic for (DRC), Burundi, Cameroon, Kenya. In DRC, ahead
the effectiveness and future of fundamental rights, of the general elections held in December 2018,
democracy, and the Rule of Law in the EU, our main FIDH and its member organisations (LE, ASADHO
focus was on Poland and Hungary (see below) in and Groupe Lotus), mobilised intensely to ensure
2018. In Poland, under the pretence of promoting that this process did not result in serious human
Catholic and traditional values, changes triggered rights violations. Throughout the year, FIDH and its
for the past three years by the Law and Justice Party members published at least 30 public documents
(PiS) have had direct impacts on access to sexual (position papers, press releases, op-ed, urgent
and reproductive rights and LGBTI+ persons’ rights, appeals) containing concrete recommendations
under a broader context of liberated hate speech, for the organisation of free, transparent and secure
stigmatising discourse against minorities, and elections ; they intervened on several occasions in
harassment of human rights NGOs. Documentation the media and conducted multiple advocacy actions
on the threats to the Rule of Law were therefore towards regional and international institutions
addressed through the lens of violations of women’s (ACHPR, AU, UNSC, HRC, EU) to ensure that they
echoed such recommendations. In October 2018,
FIDH also provided a dedicated training to Congolese
human rights defenders on the documentation
of election-related human rights violations.
Such multifaceted mobilisation led to increasing
pressure from civil society organisations, regional

18 — F I D H ANNUaL Re PORT 2 0 1 8
and international institutions on DRC authorities.
Violence (including sexual violence by defence and
security forces) during election processes were
documented in Kenya, following the 2017 general
elections (see priority on promoting women’s People wearing black bands on their eyes and mouth demonstrate in Stolen Justice silent protest at the Main
Square in Krakow, Poland on 21 January, 2018. ©Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto, Krakow, Poland, 21/01/2018
rights). In Burundi, FIDH and the ITEKA League
issued a position paper in May 2018 , ahead of a
referendum vote on a constitutional amendment A further focus for FIDH was the repression of
that would allow President Pierre Nkurunziza to dissidents and crackdown on freedom of expression
run for additional terms, extending his increasingly and assembly, targeting media, students, activists,
dictatorial presidency. FIDH held a press conference and political opposition. In reaction to killings by
presenting its position paper analysing the content police and para-state groups of about more than
of the proposed reform and how the regime had 3100 demonstrators in Nicaragua, FIDH carried out
used its campaign promoting the reform as a tool advocacy missions in Geneva, Paris and Brussels
of terror. The press conference also launched a viral with member organisation CENIDH, and issued press
campaign I Love / I Leave Burundi, which parodied releases calling for the international community
a travel advertisement campaign to call attention to condemn President Daniel Ortega’s repression
to the fate of 400,000 Burundians who had had to and demand the release of more than 700 political
flee their country over the past years due to political prisoners. FIDH also denounced the adoption by the
violence. In Cameroon, considering the deteriorating Putin regime of laws that contradict international
security situation ahead of the presidential election human rights provisions and aim to silence any
of October 2018, in particular in the anglophone kind of protest against its policies (see below). On
regions of the country, FIDH, and its member (MDHC) the same theme, an urgent resolution was adopted
and partners (REDHAC and CHRDA) called upon in November 2018 by the European Parliament on
all parties to refrain from any acts of violence the human rights situation in Bangladesh, informed
and respect the Rule of law. This action resulted, by grassroots information provided by FIDH and
among others, in a resolution taken by the African its member organisation Odhikar. FIDH further
Commission echoing the recommendations. denounced, jointly with its member organisation from
Sudan (ACJPS), the repression of massive protests
Thailand was also under scrutiny in 2019, ahead of that broke out in the country in December 2018.
the general elections scheduled for March 2019.
FIDH continued to monitor individuals arrested on In addition to documentation, several rounds of
lèse-majesté charges since the serious human rights advocacy meetings were conducted in Brussels by
violations resulting from the repressive policies and FIDH and its partners concerning Burundi and DRC
actions implemented by the ruling military junta in order to call on the EU to keep up pressure on
following the May 2014 military coup.. Regarding the authorities ahead of the referundum/elections
crimes of lèse-majesté, arrests completely stopped and to maintain individual sanctions (asset freeze
after several years of successful documentation and and visa bans) against targeted perpetrators of
international advocacy from FIDH. Also, in 2018, the human rights violations and/or acts undermining
UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) democracy (see below).
issued its fifth opinion on a case of lèse-majesté
detainee – all five cases were triggered by FIDH

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 8 — 19
In Europe, in the context of the article 7 of the
Treaty of the European Union (TEU) procedure,
new targets for advocacy were also identified to
shift from the European Parliament to Member
States and the Council of the EU(see below). To
increase pressure on EU Member States as the
main advocacy target, FIDH also identified the preservation of the independence, and de facto
need to work in parallel in Brussels and in capitals. effectiveness, of the African Commission on Human
FIDH also started to explore avenues to better and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR).
support CSOs in a context of shrinking space by
building and strengthening alliances with local and
regional NGOs and networks and by contributing On the front of the fight against terrorism while
to reflection around new mechanisms under respecting human rights, FIDH and its member
elaboration at EU level. o rganisatio n , A MDH , lau nc he d a re p o r t in
November 2018 on the situation in Central Mali
In light of blockages at national level, FIDH also which emphasised the entrenchment of terrorist
addressed the threats to the Rule of Law at regional armed groups, the intensification of inter-communal
level. In the Americas, for instance, in many cases violence and the abuses committed in the context of
massive corruption aggravates attacks on the Rule anti-terrorism operations for the sake of “security”.
of Law and human rights. FIDH and a Coalition of The report called on the Malian government to
25 human rights organisations from the region prosecute the perpetrators of serious crimes and
attended the eighth Summit of the Americas in April abuses committed in the region – including those
2018 to call on the continent’s States to address, committed by the military. This report was the first to
effectively and as a priority, the issue of corruption detail the spiral of inter-communal violence triggered
from a human rights perspective. A document was by jihadist attacks, the army’s punitive operations,
published to present the coalition’s proposals for and the government’s withdrawal of public services
lines of action to achieve democratic governance from the region. Receiving widespread media
in the Americas. attention, the report’s grim predictions about the
“new epicentre of the Malian and regional conflict”
were unfortunately confirmed in the months that
FIDH also continued advocacy to address attacks followed. The bloody cycles of reprisals, between
on the independence of multilateral mechanisms, in Dogon and Fula civilians, intensified and the conflict
particular at the regional level in Africa. Throughout expanded to neighbouring Burkina Faso. At UN level,
2018, FIDH has continually expressed its concerns the report was disseminated to UN Security Council
on the consequences of the foreseen institutional Member States, the Executive Office of the Secretary
reforms of the African Union for the African human General, the Office of the High Commissioner for
rights system, and mobilised intensely, for the Human Rightst, the Department of Peacekeeping
Operations, and the Special Rapporteur. The report
contributed to the reflection at the UN in New York
around the renewal of MINUSMA’s mandate to
the fight against impunity in Central Mali, through
assistance to the Malian authorities, and its re-

20 — F I D H ANNUaL Re PORT 2 0 1 8
adjustment in the asymmetric context in which it

At the global level, intensive advocacy was conducted

on the basis of FIDH’s report entitled The UN counter-
terrorism complex: bureaucracy, political influence and
civil liberties, first published in October 2017. The and Triggers for the abolition of the death penalty in
report and its findings and recommendations were Africa: a Southern African perspective, published by
presented to a large number of Member States and to FIDH and Distshwanelo). As capital punishment
the Permanent Representative of Peru and his team is often ordered following unfair trials, and its use
before they started their two-year mandate in the is often discriminatory, new leverages have to be
Security Council as Chair of the Counter-Terrorism considered in these countries in the absence of
Committee. The report was also presented in 2018 political and legislative progress to foster moratoria
to the newly established Office of Counter-Terrorism, and abolition of the death penalty. A briefing note
the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directive (CT / and accompanying press release ahead of the EU-
PVE), the OHCHR and other relevant UN bodies and Pakistan Human Rights Dialogue were issued by
Human Rights Special Procedures. This report had FIDH to address human rights violations, as well as
an unprecedented impact throughout the UN system the situation of death penalty of the country, one of
as it was circulated widely by FIDH as well as by the the world’s top executioners. A fact-finding mission
Executive Office of the Secretary General and the by FIDH and its member orgnisation in Pakistan was
OHCHR. Other Special procedures (on Extrajudicial conducted in November 2018 (see below).
executions, Freedom of Expression, and Human
Rights Defenders, among others) also made very At the international level, FIDH is a founding
positive comments about the report, whilst the member of the World Coalition against the Death
community of academic experts and NGOs active Penalty. FIDH was actively mobilised with its
at the UN acknowledged the timely relevance of member organisations on 10 October, the World
the first research on the UN counter-terrorism Day Against the Death Penalty, aiming, in 2018, to
architecture from a human rights perspective by raise awareness on the inhumane living conditions
a human rights NGO. The OHCHR welcomed the of people sentenced to death (publication of op-ed
report and enhanced its cooperation with FIDH on and press release). FIDH and “Viasna” also jointly
CT /PVE issues through consultative meetings and participated in a hearing of the Council of Europe
brainstorming sessions. on the death penalty in Belarus, the only country
in Europe that still carries out capital punishment.
On the death penalty, in 2018, FIDH’s main focus Throughout the year, FIDH continued its mobilisation
continued to be on retentionist States (Bahrein, to ensure adoption, by the African Union, of the
Botswana, Pakistan, Belarus) to follow up on draft protocol on the abolition of the death penalty
recommendations and reports issued in 2017 in Africa, submitted by the ACHPR. At the United
(The Death Penalty in Belarus: Murder on (Un) Nations level, following a campaign led by Amnesty
lawful Grounds, published by FIDH and Viasna, International, to which FIDH contributed through its
advocacy work with Member States at the UN, a total
of 123 UN Member States – the highest number on
record to date – voted at the General Assembly in
favour of resolution for a moratorium on executions.

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 8 — 21

Objective 1 – Counter Authoritarianism

Expected outcome 1.1: Member and partner organisations with enhanced capacity to act for freedoms
and democratic principles

A Pact for Equality and Individual Freedoms in Tunisia

FIDH, leading more than 90 organisations and civil society groups, issued a Pact for Equality and Individual Freedoms in
Tunisia on 24 July 2018, outlining the fundamental rights that all Tunisians should enjoy. The pact calls for strengthening
efforts to end torture and all other forms of violations of human dignity, as well to respect sexual freedom and gender
orientation, inherent in fundamental human rights. It makes the presumption of innocence and the guarantee of access
to a fair trial, as well as a prohibition on arbitrary arrests, central elements of the Rule of Law.

Expected outcome 1.2: Authorities obstructed in their freedom-destroying, arbitrary and anti-
democratic initiatives

Article 7 procedures against Poland and Hungary:

flouting EU founding principles is not without
The work conducted specifically in Poland and in Hungary has brought results, namely by leading for the first time
in EU history to activation for both Hungary and Poland of the article 7 TEU procedure. FIDH has long advocated for
the need for the EU to make better use of existing mechanisms in order to react to threats to its own founding values
by Member States. FIDH research work has also contributed to exposing the shortcomings of existing mechanisms
and political decisions which have had a negative impact on the Rule of Law and human rights in some Member
States, and has encouraged exploration of new avenues by which the EU could hold Member States to account on
their respect for its founding values.

With respect to Poland, FIDH has been documenting and denouncing Rule of Law and human rights violations, with a
focus on women’s rights and LGBTI+ people’s rights, based on findings gathered through field missions and provided by
its member and partner organisations active on the ground. In 2018 FIDH urged the authorities to refrain from adopting
policy and legislation which would further restrict these rights. Impacts generated at the European Parliament included
a letter sent by five MEPs across political groups to First Vice President of the European Commission Timmermans,
raising FIDH’s concerns and recommendations on the need for reforms in Poland.


22 — F I D H ANNUaL Re PORT 2 0 1 8
The Sargentini Report from the European Parliament concluded in September 2018
that there was a clear risk of a serious breach by Hungary of the EU’s founding values
protected under article 2 of the European Treaty on European Union. The report requested
that the European Council activate the article 7 TEU procedure against Hungary. Since
the procedure was launched in September 2018, new measures have been taken by
the Hungarian authorities which further erode the Rule of Law and human rights in the
country, including judicial independence, media freedom, academic freedom, freedom of
expression and association, and civil society space. FIDH has been strongly advocating
for the activation of the Article 7 (1) TEU mechanism against Hungary since 2013 and
continues to call on all EU institutions, particularly the Council (Member States), to hold
the Hungarian government accountable for Article 2 TEU violations.

Objective 2 – Support a Fight against Terrorism that is Respectful of

Human Rights

Expected outcome 2.1: Authorities with heightened awareness of the importance

of respecting human rights while fighting terrorism

Russia 2012-2018: 50 anti-democracy

laws within the last presidential
Ahead of the football World Cup, hosted by Russia, FIDH published a table
documenting 50 laws and regulations that have been adopted between
July 2012 and November 2017 and have been used by Russian authorities
to restrict freedoms and the ability of human rights organisations
to operate in Russia. The table illustrates how broad legislation on
extremism grants authorities the power to crack down on political and
religious freedoms and silence critical voices. This documentation
work was complemented by the publication of op-eds and interviews by
the head of FIDH’s Eastern Europe-Central Asia desk, for international
media outlets including CNN, The Independent, RFI, and Le Monde.
This work was followed by advocacy activities in New York before the
UN, where FIDH followed up on its our analysis of the counter-terrorism
architecture of the UN, introducing human rights defenders from Russia
and Kazakhstan to discuss the counter-terrorism policies and practices
in their countries for the first time with UN counter-terrorism experts.

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 8 — 23

Counter-terrorism, civil society and the UN

On the frontline of the protection of human rights in the context of the fight against
terrorism, FIDH’s mobilisation in New York has resulted in a significant outcome, with the
establishment by the UN Secretary General of a specific unit in charge of relations with
civil society organisations, within the Office on Counter-terrorism (OCT). FIDH was part
of a small group of civil society organisations invited to the first high-level conference
in the General Assembly, organised in June 2018, paving the way to institutionalise civil
society’s participation to such an arena. FIDH, together with Amnesty International,
Human Rights Watch and Rights Watch UK was invited to make a statement during
the plenary session.

The creation of the CSO liaison unit was a significant recognition of the role and value
of civil society in the fight against terrorism. This was fed by a number of initiatives
that FIDH organised: repeated advocacy carried out in New York, notably with highly
sensitive exchanges on Russia; the organisation of a workshop at Columbia university
with human rights organisations and UN officials; and the organisation in early July by
the Observatory, of the Inter-mechanism meeting, assembling human rights defenders
protection mandates from across inter-governmental organisationsto meet with
counter-terrorism mechanisms and institutions.

Objective 3 – Promote the Universal abolition of the Death Penalty

Expected outcome 3.1: Progress towards universal abolition of the death penalty

Concrete recommendations on Pakistan

A joint fact-finding FIDH-HRCP mission was conducted in Pakistan in November
2018 to document the criminal justice system in Pakistan and the numerous
failures that result in such high numbers of death penalty sentences in the
country. The mission resulted in concrete policy recommendations related
to the judicial system, the capacities of defence lawyers, and the scope
of the application of the death penalty, which could drastically reduce the
number of death penalty cases and convictions, if bolstered by strong and
sustained advocacy initiatives. The documentation will be used for advocacy
purposes in 2019.

24 — F I D H ANNUaL Re PORT 2 0 1 8
A man shows his inked finger after casting his vote at a polling station during the parliamentary elections in Herat, Afghanistan on October 20, 2018.
© Mir Ahmad Firooz / Anadolu Agency

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 8 — 25



In 2018, FIDH conducted four fact-finding missions in its investigations and prosecutions, and to ensure
with a focus on sexual violence and sexual crimes accountability for sexual and gender-based crimes.
committed in: Darfur; in Kenya ; in Libya against In this respect, FIDH released a report regarding
migrants on their road to Europe (see priority on Conflict-related Sexual Crimes and Accountability,
migrants); and in Mali (see priority on democracy and submitted an Article 15 communication to the
and freedom). ICC on sexual violence committed in the context
of the conflict in eastern Ukraine (see priority on
In Kenya, FIDH and its member organisation, the Kenya Fighting Impunity).
Human Rights Commission (KHRC), conducted a two-
stage fact-finding mission (in July and December) At national level, victims’ support with a holistic
to document cases of sexual violence committed approach (including legal and psycho-social support)
in the context of post-electoral violence. Interviews was provided in Ivory Coast, Central African Republic,
organised during both missions provided a broad Mali and Guinea during criminal proceedings brought
picture of the extent and different forms of sexual before national courts for acts of sexual violence.
violence perpetrated in Western Kenya, the State’s Progress in establishing responsibilities in the area
response in this region and a better understanding of sexual and gender-based crimes was made on
of survivors’ current situation, including access to the case of Ntaganda (accused of 13 counts of war
legal and medical assistance. The report that will be crimes, including rape and sexual slavery of civilians)
released in 2019 aims to recommend the reforms that before the ICC and, on the basis of extraterritorial
are required to ensure a more effective prevention jurisdiction, on the case of sexual and gender-based
and handling of election-related sexual violence crimes committed in Syria and Iraq against the Yazidi
by Kenyan authorities in preparation for the next community (see priority on fighting impunity). At
presidential election that will take place in 2022. regional level, FIDH continued to work on a complaint
to be lodged before the ACHPR based on testimonies
The documentation work requires a specific of Sudanese refugee survivors of sexual and gender-
methodology when it comes to sexual violence and based violence collected in Eastern Chad.
crimes in conflict-related situations. As FIDH member
organisations are often “generalist” human rights In 2018, FIDH also coordinated the drafting of a
organisations with different levels of expertise on publication on the impact of litigation in the fight
women’s rights, FIDH has worked on strengthening against sexual violence in Africa, with the aim of
their capacity in this regard, through coaching and highlighting how litigation before national, regional
training, workshops, exchanges of experiences – and international courts can bring changes in public
including with partner organisations specialised in the opinion, legal frameworks, as well as in the life of
defence of women’s rights – and through a “learning survivors, and analyse the relevance of this very
by doing” approach during fact-finding missions. As specific mode of action. The publication, which
a result, several subsequent actions were taken by gathers articles from lawyers, experts, women’s
member organisations: a press release and joint Op- rights activists, will be launched in 2019. FIDH and
ed on abortion in Chile and worldwide, and a training its member organisation in South Africa, Laywers
of police forces on sexual violence in Ghana. for Human Rights (LHR), also continued to support
the ACHPR in disseminating the Guidelines on
FIDH also provided expertise on this issue at the Combating Sexual Violence and its Consequences
international level with recommendations and to African Union Member States, AU organs and
advocacy at the ICC, to encourage the Court to institutions, lawyers, civil society organisations and
strengthen its gender strategy both internally and other relevant stakeholders. FIDH and LHR were for
26 — F I D H ANNUaL Re PORT 2 0 1 8
Pro-abortion activists demonstrate in front of the Ministry of Health in Santiago, Chile, on 26 March 2018. © CLAUDIO REYES/AFP

instance invited by the ACHPR to train members situation of women in Saudi Arabia, whereby following
of the judiciary and security forces in Ghana on announcements by Crown Prince Mohammad Bin
concrete ways of implementing, at national level, the Salman of reforms on Saudi women’s rights to drive,
provisions contained in the Guidelines. The training the crackdown on the women’s rights activists was
was provided in October 2018, in cooperation with put into the spotlight. There is an ongoing need for
FIDH member organisation in Kenya (KHRC). multiple forms of advocacy directed at various political,
religious and social players as well as international
On 8 March 2018, International Women’s Rights Day, bodies to ensure that States ratify international and
FIDH launched a webpage presenting 100 shocking regional human rights treaties protecting women’s
statistics on violence and discrimination against rights and human rights and that domestic law is
women worldwide. Visuals on statistics on violence harmonised in line with the ratified treaties.
against women were also produced for the International
Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women In the field of sexual and reproductive rights, activities
(25 November). This communication action attracted addressing the impact on women’s rights of political
about 16 000 visits via social media . and highlighted instrumentalisation of religion were conducted in
the scale of sex-based discrimination and the many 2018, highlighting the influence of the Catholic Church
areas in which these abuses occur: relationships, in Poland and Chile and its impact on women’s access
marriage, health, work, politics, access to land, media to sexual and reproductive rights. This was also an
visibility, and more. Inequalities between women and opportunity for FIDH to strengthen its partnership
men, and particularly discriminatory domestic laws with women’s rights organisations in Poland and
were an FIDH focus in 2018 with a strategic workshop Chile identified in 2017. The report on Poland on the
in Tunisia on equal inheritance rights held together with backlash of the rule of law issued in November 2018
the Association tunsienne des femmes démocrates (see priority on democracy and freedom) included
(ATFD) (see below). FIDH also supported the campaign a focus on the situation of women’s sexual and
‘All Jobs for All Women’ conducted by ADC Memorial reproductive rights. It is also the case for the 2018
to condemn lists of professions forbidden for women report on sexual and reproductive rights in Chile
in Russia and supported Saudi defenders in their highlighting violations of women’s rights despite
advocacy before the United Nations and the European the new law adopted in August 2017, lifting the total
Union, as part of the campaign highlighting the severe ban on abortion in three exceptional cases. FIDH
discrimination against women in Saudi Arabia and the prioritised international human rights protection
appalling situation of women’s rights defenders. This mechanisms (UN treaty bodies, respectively before
resulted in denunciations and recommendations made the CEDAW Committee for Chile and the Working
by the CEDAW committee, UN Special Procedures, Group on Discrimination against Women for Poland)
on the occasion of the Universal periodic review of as a leverage tool for progressive recommendations
Saudi Arabia, and on the occasion of a European to fight discrimination against women and highlight
Parliament resolution on June 2018, addressing States’ responsability to respect, protect and fulfill
some of the serious concerns raised by FIDH and its women’s human rights in line with their obligations
partner organisations about the situation of Women under international law.
Human Rights Defenders (see priority on human rights
defenders). It also fed the media debate about the
FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 8 — 27

Objective 1 – Fighting Violence against Women

Expected outcome 1.2: Greater normative protection of women from violence

A groundbreaking judgement: No more

time limit to prosecute sexual offences
in South Africa
In South Africa, FIDH member organisation Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) – who
partnered with FIDH on developing the ACHPR’s Guidelines on Combating Sexual Violence
and its Consequences – engaged in litigation action at national level in 2018, aiming to bring
about changes to legal norms to better combat sexual violence. Following a complaint
filed by eight victims of sexual violence committed between 1970 and 1989, when they
were between the ages of six6 and 15 years old, the South African Constitutional Court
declared that Section 18 of the Criminal Procedure Act (which provides that sexual violence
offences, other than rape and forced rape are subject to a 20-year prescription period),
was unconstitutional. The Constitutional Court’s decision was taken after more than a
year of proceedings during which LHR made submissions supporting the complaints
filed by the eight victims. In its submission, LHR pointed out that the distinction between
sexual offences, as brought about by Section 18 of the CPA, does not accord with the
theory of punishment, prevention, retribution, and deterrence as principles of criminal
law in South Africa. The practical effect of Section 18 is to shield certain perpetrators
(of non-penetrative sexual offences) from prosecution, while other perpetrators (of rape
and compelled rape) go unpunished due to an arbitrary lapse of time. On 15 June 2018,
LHR and FIDH welcomed the Court’s decision in a joint press release. Considering the
historical significance of the judgment and on what it meant for the prosecution of sexual
violence in South Africa and beyond, LHR and FIDH included an article on this case in
their joint publication on the impact of litigation actions for cases of sexual violence.
This decision is in line with the ACHPR Guidelines, which encourage States to take the
necessary measures to ensure that statute of limitations does not apply to the most
serious sexual offences, to guarantee that victims will have access to justice for these
offences throughout their lives (Guidelines 39.1 and 43.2).

28 — F I D H ANNUaL Re PORT 2 0 1 8
Exptected outcome 1.3: Progress in establishing responsibilities for violence against women
and in victims’ right to reparation

Impact of documentation and advocacy work on

crimes committed in the Kasaï region of DRC
Following a fact-finding mission carried out, in July 2017, on the serious crimes, including sexual
crimes , committed in the Kasaï region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), FIDH and its
members organisations (LE, ASADHO, Groupe Lotus), published a detailed report highlighting
survivors’ testimonies and conducted, throughout 2018, intensive advocacy work aimed at
ensuring that national, regional and international entities take concrete actions to provide justice
and reparation to survivors. In February 2018, the ACHPR followed FIDH’s recommendations
through adoption of a Resolution denouncing the serious crimes, including sexual crimes,
committed in the Kasaï and requested authorisation to dispatch its own fact-finding mission
to the region. In July 2018, the UNHRC team of experts on the situation in Kasaï published a
mission report which extensively refers to the information and testimonies collected by FIDH
and its member organisations, in particular in relation to sexual crimes. The report, which
indicates that the crimes committed in Kasaï may amount to crimes against humanity and
war crimes, echoes recommendations made by FIDH on accountability measures needed for
crimes of such magnitude and gravity.

Objective 2 – Fighting against Gender Discrimination

Expected outcome 2.1: Decision-makers become more engaged in the fight

against discrimination against women

Regional workshop in Tunisia on women’s

equal rights to inheritance
On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against
Women in November 2018, FIDH and its member organisation in Tunisia, ATFD,
organised a Regional Seminar for the promotion of equal inheritance rights for
women and men in the three Maghreb countries. The seminar brought together
experts and women’s rights defenders from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. Other
feminists from Iran, Afghanistan, Mauritania, Egypt and Libya were also invited
to share their views and strategies, and the Special Rapporteur of the ACPHR on
women’s rights attended, providing a valuable continental perspective.

This seminar aimed to coordinate efforts for the promotion of equal inheritance
rights for women and men, in relation to current debates on this issue in the three
Maghreb countries. Proposed reforms in this area have been heavily critised by
conservative Islamist groups.

On the same day as the seminar, the Tunisian Council of Ministers passed a
progressive bill recognising women’s equal rights to inheritance. This is the
first of its kind in the MENA region, where in most countries, women continue to
inherit half of men’s share. Relentless advocacy led by FIDH Tunis desk, but also
our member organisations, especially the Association Tunisienne des Femmes
Démocrates (ATFD), contributed to this great step.

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 8 — 29
Objective 3 – Promote and Protect Sexual and Reproductive Rights

Expected outcome 3.1: Sexual and reproductive rights are better protected in law and in practice

Abortion in Chile: women face countless

A year after the adoption of the Law 21.030 on abortion, FIDH and Observatorio Ciudadado
(Citizen Observatory) rigorously analysed the obstacles that women and girls face in
accessing legal and safe abortion services in Chile, and proposed recommendations
on how to protect the full enjoyment of their sexual and reproductive rights in a 2018
report entitled “Abortion in Chile: women face countless obstacles”. The Law 21.030,
while marking an important step in reforming one of the world’s most backward legal
frameworks which criminalised and totally prohibited the practice of abortion, left much
progress to be made: more than 97% of women, according to some estimates, continue
to be deprived of the right to legal and safe abortion. This report was based on the
findings of an investigative mission conducted in 2017, research and interviews with
women’s rights defenders as well as a thorough analysis of the law and its implementing
decrees regulating conscientious objection. The report received coverage in regional
and international press (such as G1 Grupo Globo, Telesur, RFI).

Earlier in the year, in March 2018, FIDH and its member organisation had submitted an
alternative report to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination
against Women (CEDAW Committee), ahead of its review of Chile’s report. The alternative
report specifically focused on the reform of the legislation on abortion, underlining the
progress made but also the serious shortcomings of the new law. It also highlighted the
urgent need to decriminalise abortion completely, in order to guarantee the protection
of women’s rights. The CEDAW Committee echoed FIDH’s concerns and recommended
the State party decriminalise abortion in all cases. Since then, Chile withdrew a
regressive decree on conscientious objection and worked towards the adoption of a
more progressive one.

30 — F I D H ANNUaL Re PORT 2 0 1 8
Feminists hold banners during a protest against restrictions in Abortion Law in Warsaw on March 23, 2018.
© Maciej Luczniewski / NurPhoto

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 8 — 31

In 2016, Fighting discrimination and violence based on in 2018 at the EU resulted in a letter sent by five
sexual orientation and gender identity was adopted members of the European Parliament across
at the Congress in South Africa and now is part of political groups to the First Vice President of the
FIDH’s Multi-Year Strategic Plan (2017-2022). In European Commission, raising FIDH’s concerns and
addition to the protection of LGBTI+ rights defenders recommendations on the need for reforms in Poland.
in danger (see priority on human right defenders), Further advocacy work will be conducted in 2019
this priority is guided by the aim to: in Poland and in the capitals of the Member States
- p romote political and legislative progress at of the EU in this regard (see priority on democracy
national levels towards positive commitments, and freedom).
bills and laws against violence and discriminations
based on sexual orientation and gender identity; Engaging the responsibility of States for violence
and and discrimination against LGBTI+ persons was also
- a ct towards the withdrawal, suspension, non- sought through other leverages such as the Moscow
adoption of bills that run counter to the rights of Mechanism under the Organisation for Security and
LGBTI+ persons and international human rights law. Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) umbrella. FIDH, in
Human rights instruments prohibit discrimination partnership with various organisations including
on several grounds, including on sexual orientation the Russian LGBT Network, advocated support
and gender identity. Under international law, the in favour of the activation of such a mechanism
State has an obligation to prohibit discrimination in Russia. In September 2018, OSCE activated a
in the enjoyment of human rights. mechanism in the case of Russia, upon the request
of 16 Member States requesting a fact-finding
In 2018, advocacy was conducted in order to engage mission to document violations of human rights
decision-makers in the fight against violence and committed in Chechnya since 2017, notably against
discrimination against LGBTI+ persons. It was based LGBTI+ persons and human rights defenders.
on fact-finding documentation such as in the case of
Poland or on a thorough legal analysis of a number of FIDH’s work on strategic litigation also allowed
laws in a specific State such as Tunisia (see below). advancement on LGBTI+ rights at both the legal and
In Poland, although the conservative government the political level. FIDH, through the Litigation Action
has not yet introduced further restrictions to LGBTI+ Group, continued to follow-up their involvement via
people’s rights, the political climate does not favour third-party interventions in five ongoing proceedings
changes that would further liberalise the country’s before national and regional courts. In 2018, FIDH
legal framework and address protection gaps. On welcomed the favourable decision from the Court
the contrary, the conservative discourse promoted of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Coman
by the ruling party has provided fertile ground for & Hamilton (Case C-673/16) (see below).
discrimination and violence against LGBTI+ people
and organisations working on LGBTI+ rights. As a
consequence, attacks against LGBTI+ people and
organisations have multiplied over the past few
years and LGBTI+ rights organisations have seen
their space shrinking. Advocacy work conducted

32 — F I D H ANNUaL Re PORT 2 0 1 8
The LGBTI+ flag flies over a demonstration against impunity in Guatemala. © Orlando Estrada / AFP


Objective 1 – Fight against discriminatory laws and policies

Expected outcome 1.2: Decision-makers become more engaged in the fight against violence and
discrimination against LGBTI+ persons

COLIBE’s report on Tunisia paving the way

for decriminalisation of homosexuality
On 24 July 2018, FIDH, leading more than 90 organisations and civil society groups,
issued a Pact for Equality and Individual Freedoms, outlining the fundamental rights
that all Tunisians should enjoy. The pact called notably for respect for sexual freedom
and gender orientation and to repeal Article 230 of the Tunisian Criminal Code, which
criminalises homosexuality. Echoing FIDH’s concerns, an official report from the
Commission des libertés individuelles et de l’égalité (COLIBE) took into account most of
the recommendations. In October 2018, members of the Parliament, although at the end
of their mandate, submitted a draft bill in this regard.

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 8 — 33
Objective 2 – Fight against violence, discrimination and stigmatisation

Expected outcome 2.1: Engaging the responsibility of States for violence and discrimination against
LGBTI+ persons

A landmark decision of the

CJEU: EU free movement law
should apply to same-sex
FIDH is involved via third-party interventions in five ongoing
proceedings before national and regional courts in relation
to LGBTI+ rights. On 5 June 2018, in a landmark decision in
the Coman & Hamilton Case (Case C-673/16), the Court of
Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that a spouse
of a same-sex marriage must enjoy the same freedom of
movement rights as a spouse of a different-sex marriage.
Defining for the first time “spouse” within the EU Directive
on the exercise of freedom of movement as gender-neutral,
the CJEU decision made it clear that same-sex spouses of
EU citizens must now be granted residence rights in the
same way as different-sex spouses. FIDH, with other NGOs,
intervened as a third party with an amicus brief submitted
to the Romanian Constitutional Court in 2016 providing
comparative case-law and European jurisprudence regarding
the right to private life, the right to non-discrimination and
the recognition of same-sex marriage concluded abroad.

34 — F I D H ANNUaL Re PORT 2 0 1 8
People take part in Pride Walk, in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on 28 July 2018.
© Arroyo Fernandez/Nur Photo

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 8 — 35



Through its network of members and partners in

countries of departure, transit and arrival, FIDH
documents violations of the human rights of migrant
persons throughout their journeys, strengthens the
capacity of its member organisations to document
such situations, and calls on national authorities of the rising number of deaths in the Mediterranean,
to adopt legal and political reforms. Fact-finding the need to address the consequences of the EU’s
missions were conducted in 2018, in Cox’s Bazar migration policies, to shape its potential reform, and
refugee camps in Bangladesh regarding the situation to ensure migrants’ and refugees’ rights are placed
of Rohingya migrants, as well as on the living at its core each time, is more crucial than ever.
conditions and detention of migrants in Libya and
the crimes committed against them. Concerning Over the course of 2018, FIDH continued to denounce
Bangladesh, the significant amount of information the failure of European migration policy and called
collected during these visits required considerable on the EU to overhaul its approach in order to
processing as well as verification through multiple protect human rights. Five years to the day after
sources. The situation of the Rohingya, particularly the Lampedusa tragedy in which at least 368 people
women, will remains a focus in 2019. died, FIDH, jointly with Amnesty International, the
European Council on Refugees and Exiles, Human
In the face of migratory flows and repeated tragedies Rights Watch and the International Commission of
in the Mediterranean, which have claimed thousands Jurists, called on European leaders to ensure the
of victims these past twenty years, the approach of Aquarius continues to save lives at sea.
the European Union’s and its member States remains
focused on security and border monitoring rather than Following the strategic regional seminar in Athens in
on respect for fundamental rights and saving lives. July 2017 on litigation avenues in favour of migrants’
The reception crisis has revealed the urgent need to rights, FIDH and its member organisation in Belgium
address the inherent shortcomings of the current filed an amicus curiae as a third-party intervention -
approach. Despite the commitments undertaken by M.N. and others v. Belgium - in a case of a Syrian family
the EU and its member States, their response has applying for a visa at a Belgian embassy in Beirut
largely remained insufficient and lacks respect for the (Case 3599/18) (see below). The case was declared
fundamental rights of migrants and refugees. In light admissible by the EctHR and sent to Grand Chamber.
This could have potential impact on other ongoing
procedures. Follow-up of cases was also undertaken
in 2018, notably the “left-to-die case” and other cases
(Hirsi v. Italy, MT v. France, JB v. Greece).

36 — F I D H ANNUaL Re PORT 2 0 1 8
Migrant workers looking at job advertisements in a market in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. November, 2017. © ADC Memorial


Objective 1 – Support Laws and Policies that Protect the Rights of Migrants

Expected outcome 1.1: Member and partner NGOs supported to build their capacity to act

Documentation of crimes committed

against migrants in Libya
Between November 2017 and February 2018, FIDH, with the assistance of Medici per i
Diritti Umani (MEDU) and Associazione Ricreativa Culturale Italiana (ARCI), carried out
a fact-finding mission on the living conditions and detention of migrants in Libya and
the crimes committed against them. In this context, FIDH collected testimonies in Italy
and France from 33 migrant persons who had travelled through Libya and were detained
in Libyan prisons between 2011 and January 2018. The documentation established a
clear pattern of crimes against humanity, including sexual and gender-based crimes,
against migrants in Libya.

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 8 — 37
Expected outcome 1.3: Engaging the responsibility of the perpetrators of violations of the
rights of migrants

Use of third-party interventions to advance the

rights of migrants in Europe
The M.N. and others v. Belgium case relates to the refusal by a Belgian embassy in Beirut to grant
a visa to a Syrian family, and the concerns application of article 3 of the European Convention on
Human Rights which prohibits torture, and “inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”. A
third-party intervention was submitted in September 2018 by FIDH with its member organisation in
Belgium aiming to engage the Belgian state’s responsibility to comply with their obligations under
the Convention, under which Contracting States are prohibited from refusing to issue visas to travel
to their territory when requested by those who have an arguable claim that he or she is at real risk
of an Article 3 violation in a third State. This is particularly the case if no other legal route to safety
exists and where if denied such visas, refusal would leave the applicants at a real risk of exposure
to violations of Article 3. FIDH will continue to pursue this case in 2019.

Objective 2 – Promote the Rights of Migrant Workers

Expected outcome 2.1: Decision-makers more mobilised for protection of the rights of migrant workers

Report Sheds Light on the Plight of Kyrgyz

Migrant Workers
The report Invisible and exploited in Kazakhstan: the plight of Kyrgyz migrant workers
and members of their families, published on 27 June 2018, detailed numerous human
rights violations affecting Kyrgyz migrant workers in Kazakhstan, drawing particular
attention to the situation of vulnerable persons including women migrant workers and
minor migrants accompanied by their parents or travelling alone. The report also contained
numerous recommendations to the Kazakh and Kyrgyz authorities, as well as regional and
international organisations including the European Union and the International Labour
Organisation (ILO), with the view to increasing their protection of labour migrants. In
September 2018, FIDH also submitted a communication to the ILO on forced labour. By
ratifying the ILO conventions, Kazakhstan has agreed to guarantee certain labour rights
for workers, including migrants. But these international obligations remain unfulfilled.
The report was also used as a support for advocacy at the OSCE and at the UN to the
Special Rapporteur on Human Trafficking, to advocate for a communication to be sent to
the Kazakh authorities. It resulted in a December 2018 letter from the Special Rapporteur
on Human Trafficking, directed to authorities of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan and raising
the issues identified in the report.

38 — F I D H ANNUaL Re PORT 2 0 1 8
African migrants settle under the bridge of a motorway on the outskirts of Algiers, Algeria, July 24, 2017.
© Billal Bensalem / NurPhoto

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 8 — 39
Fighting Impunity and Protecting
Populations from the Most
Serious Crimes

I n 2 018 , F I D H h a s c o n t i n u e d t o s u p p o r t
implementation of the right to an effective remedy for
victims of international crimes, as a first exercise of
their rights to truth, justice and reparation. Fighting has just been established and constitutes the main
impunity for the most serious crimes is a key element remedy for victims of international crimes. In Peru,
in preventing their repetition, through the judgement the Special Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court
of those responsible, the implementation of victims’ of Justice affirmed that the pardon granted to former
rights and, ultimately, strengthening the rule of law. President Fujimori was unconstitutional, following
a judgement of the Interamerican Court for Human
Documentation of international crimes aiming to Rigts, to which FIDH and others had submitted
establish facts and responsibilities regarding the an amicus curiae. Meanwhile in Mexico, efforts
most serious crimes continued as planned in 2018 of victims supported by FIDH and civil society
with fact-finding missions in various countries, in organisations aimed to qualify the most serious
situ (Ukraine, Mali, Bangladesh, Georgia, Sudan, crimes committed in the country as crimes against
Kenya, Mexico, Colombia) or outside of the country humanity.
when it was not possible to access the victims in
the country at stake (Turkey for crimes committed Following various missions in Haïti, FIDH and its
in Syria, France and Italy on crimes committed in partners RNDDH and CEDH published a report on the
Libya). Political missions were also organised in proceedings against those responsible for crimes
particular in Haiti, Ivory Coast and Georgia. committed under Jean-Claude Duvalier’s regime,
calling on the Haitian authorities to demonstrate a
Before national juridictions, in the countries real will to prioritise justice, the fight against impunity
where the crimes have been committed, FIDH and the rule of law, guaranteeing the independence
and its Litigation Action Group (LAG) continued of the judiciary while giving it sufficient resources
to play an active role, together with FIDH member to carry out its mission, as well as to lift the omerta
organisations, to represent victims of international on the crimes of the past and actively participate
crimes, in particular in Ivory Coast, Mali, Guinea in the duty of memory and the right of victims to
Conakry and Central African Republic (see below). the truth. On the duty of memory, the history of
political violence in Guinea, particularly under
Stronger focus has been made on Latin America Ahmed Sékou Touré’s rule, has long been taboo,
in relation with some positive developments in the with archives destroyed or hidden. Sixty years after
region: in Colombia, the Special Court for Peace Guinea’s independence, FIDH and RFI published a
book, written with Guinean authors, to offer new
interpretations of this history and stimulate debate.
Two thousand people were present at the book’s
launch at the Palais du Peuple in Conakry, the same
place where Sékou Touré had given his inflammatory

40 — F I D H ANNUaL Re PORT 2 0 1 8
speeches. Several publicly recorded RFI programs
and the extensive national coverage allowed the
launch to become a major topic of national debate.

In France, following the judgement of the French

Supreme Court (Cour de Cassation), confirming the
continuity of the crime of enforced disappearances, institutional developments. In 2018, the ICC
the Prime Minister signed the extradition order for conducted investigations and prosecutions in 11
Mario Sandoval. This is the last of the numerous situations, nine of which are in Africa (Uganda,
steps in the proceedings in France since 2014, DRC, CAR I and II, Kenya, Sudan, Libya, Ivory
when Argentina requested the French authorities to Coast I and II, Mali, Burundi), and one in Georgia.
extradite Mario Sandoval to face trial in Argentina It is conducting preliminary examinations in the
for the enforced disappearance of Hernan Abriata situations of Bangladesh/Myanmar, the Philippines,
during the military dictatorship. Venezuela, Palestine, Iraq/UK, Ukraine, Colombia,
Guinea, and Nigeria. In 2018, FIDH continued
When national proceedings in the country where to submit communications to the Office of the
the crimes have been committed are not available, Prosecutor pursuant to Article 15 of the ICC Statute,
using extraterritorial jurisdiction may be the ultimate to contribute to initiating or advancing preliminary
remedy for victims of international crimes. In France, examinations, investigations and prosecutions.
FIDH and its partners within the French Coalition These communication related to international
for the International Criminal Court led advocacy crimes and the ICC’s juridiction in Ukraine, Mexico,
in support of the reform of French legislation on Colombia, Georgia, Central African Republic. FIDH’s
extraterritorial jurisdiction for crimes of genocide, submissions also aimed to encourage positive
crimes against humanity and war crimes, to repeal complementarity efforts through the ICC process,
some of the criteria prohibiting its application. when possible.
However, the French government opposed the
suggested amendments and the law finally passed Following a novel request for ruling to assert
in early 2019. This recent development illustrates jurisdiction by the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) over
the strong reticence of French authorities to allow a specific crime committed against the Rohingya,
broader access to victims of international crimes the Pre-Trial Chamber I decided, in September 2018,
to French courts. FIDH also led strong advocacy that the Court has jurisdiction over the alleged
towards French political and judicial authorities, deportation of members of Rohingya from Myanmar
in the context of the creation of a new National to Bangladesh, and potentially over other crimes
Prosecution Office merging the antiterrorism against humanity as long as an element of these
prosecution office and the war crimes prosecution crimes occurred on the territory of a State Party
unit, to alert on the possible risks of dilution and to the ICC (in this case, Bangladesh). In 2018-2019,
lack of visibility of the war crimes prosecution unit three suspects allegedly responsible for crimes
within this new structure. committed in the ‘CARII’ and Mali situations were
transferred to the ICC and the charges against them
In 2018, FIDH continued to use the ICC as an are yet to be confirmed.
accountability tool when national justice systems
were unable or unwilling to genuinely investigate In contrast to these positive developments, the
and prosecute perpetrators of international crimes. acquittal of Jean-Pierre Bemba on appeal on 8
FIDH continued to monitor the ICC’s judicial and June 2018 raised serious concerns relating to the
qualification of ICC judges and to the OTP’s standards
of evidence collection and case presentation. FIDH
and its members organisations largely denounced
the standards applied. The scathing response of
FIDH, which had supported many of the victims,
was widely quoted and discussed in the press. In
September 2018, FIDH and its member organisations
in the Central African Republic (CAR), LCDH and

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 8 — 41
Fighting Impunity and Protecting
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OCDH, who have accompanied victims since 2002,
completed a new mission with victims of the Bemba
case. Rejection of the ICC, lack of understanding,
gap between the acquittal of Jean Pierre Bemba
and what they actually lived through, and hope for
assistance from the ICC Trust Fund for Victims, were
among the feelings and expectations of victims. of political support, resources, staffing, expertise
FIDH was also active in the facilitation of exchanges and prosecutorial strategies) that the Special
between victims and member organisations and Criminal Court in Central African Republic faces,
organs and units of the Court. FIDH continued, through its permament presence
in the country, to advocate for the setting up of
These judicial developments still took place in a the Court and the first investigations to start, and
context of ongoing budgetary restrictions, lack to support victims and their legal representation.
of States’ cooperation and support to the ICC, in Other announced initiatives (in South Sudan, Sri
particular when new ICC situations face additional Lanka) are at a standstill.
cooperation-related challenges. Additionally,
political threats to the Court and positions taken
against its work were part of the increasingly In 2018, FIDH intensified its interaction with the
diverging views on multilateralism and on how to International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism
tackle global problems. (IIIM) for Syria, in the context of FIDH’s ongoing
litigation. FIDH also advocated for accountability
On the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the ICC efforts on Myanmar and the creation of a second IIIM
Statute, FIDH published a report on consolidating for Myanmar to be set up by the UN Human Rights
and expanding on the 10 main challenges to an Council. At the European level, several rounds of
effective and independent International Criminal advocacy meetings were conducted in Brussels by
Court. The challenges were also discussed during FIDH and its partners concerning Burundi and DRC
the 17th session of the Assembly of States Parties, in order to call on the EU to keep up pressure on the
where an FIDH delegation organised and supported authorities ahead of the referendum and elections
the organisation of seven side events (see below). and to maintain individual sanctions (asset freeze
and visa bans) against targeted perpetrators of
FIDH also participated in the international event human rights violations (see below).
organised by the Mukwege Foundation, “From words
to action: repairing the wounds of wartime sexual In countries confronted with significant violence,
violence” and the presentation of the Survivors’ the fight against impunity contributes significantly
Reparations Initiative, in the Hague. to the resolution of crises or conflicts. However, the
urgency of protecting people in these situations
In parallel, FIDH also supported victims’ access is all too often hampered by the United Nations
to hybrid courts. Despite the real difficulties (lack Security Council being paralysed, the lack of action
or resources of regional intergovernmental bodies,
and by unilateral or coalition military interventions,
including those of emerging regional powers. In such

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an environment, other means of actions have to be
undertaken, and other means of influence identified.

It is in this context that FIDH developed its work on

Yemen: in order to address the crisis, FIDH focussed
on France as a strong ally and partner of the Arab-led Egypt is detaining over 60,000 political prisoners. On
coalition waging war in Yemen. FIDH released in April the same subject, FIDH filed a lawsuit and became a
2018 a report entitled French arms sales: ‘Indicators of civil party in a judicial investigation opened in France
presence’ in Yemen and the necessary reform of control against the former managers of Amesys, a French
mechanisms, which became the first report to clearly company which was involved in surveillance and
establish ‘indicators of presence’ of French military tracking of opponents to Muammar Gaddafi in Libya.
material used by the Saudi coalition in Yemen, and At FIDH’s request, the scope of the investigation was
as such not only highlighted France’s violation of widened to include the Egyptian case.
its legal obligations under the Arms trade treaty, but
also rendered France potentially complicit of war The sale of surveillance equipment is, at the
crimes and crimes against humanity committed time of this report, not yet suspended, but FIDH’s
by the Arab coalition. Documentation was made advocacy efforts have contributed to a shift in the
possible via an investigation carried out online and French government’s public statements, notably
interviews with arms industry professionals. In the by French President Emmanuel Macron, in support
months following its publication, journalists and of Egyptian civil society, notably in the context
other NGOs (notably Amnesty International and of the fight against terrorism. FIDH’s work also
Disclose) uncovered additional information. The contributed to the drafting of a list of detained and
report was widely covered by the press, including: prosecuted human rights defenders and activists
AFP, Reuters, Al Jazeera, Le Monde, Middle East to be transmitted by the French authorities to the
Eyes, RFI, FR24, Arte. A significant effort to influence Egyptian authorities, at the Presidential level, in
and mobilise public opinion and legislators is still support of a call for their release and the suspension
underway to improve Parliamentary control over the of their prosecution.
sale of French weapons, which remains under the
responsibility of the executive authority.
Similarly, in July 2018, the FIDH report “Egypt:
Repression Made in France” denounced how
several French companies sold—with the approval
of the French government—surveillance equipment,
vehicles, and weapons to the Egyptian regime, which
used them to repress civil society. Identified and
tracked on social media networks, with the help of
French companies, many citizens were arrested,
tortured, and some were summarily executed. Today,

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 8 — 43
Fighting Impunity and Protecting
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Objective 1 – Document the most serious crimes

Expected outcome 1.1: Establishing the facts and responsibilities regarding the most serious crimes

Supporting Yazidi victims of sexual and gender-based

crimes committed by ISIS
In October 2018, the findings of FIDH’s two documentation missions was made public in a report on “Sexual and gender-
based crimes against the Yazidi community: the role of ISIL foreign fighters” that sets out clear recommendations addressed
to national and international stakeholders on justice and accountability for ISIS crimes. The report called for prosecution
of foreign fighters by national and international courts on charges of sexual crimes amounting to genocide and crimes
against humanity, in a context where the response of the authorities thus far has been limited to the fight against terrorism.
Wih the attendance of Nobel Prize laureate Nadia Murad, herself a Yazidi survivor, the press conference launching the
report presented the occasion to reiterate the demand that certain jihadists be tried not only for belonging to a terrorist
organisation, but also for crimes against humanity and genocide.

Objective 2 – Support access to justice for victims

Expected outcome 2.1: Engaging criminal responsibility of the perpetrators of the most serious crimes

Before national jurisdictions : Support to victims of

grave human rights violations in West Africa
FIDH and the LAG have a longstanding commitment to victims of grave human rights violations in West Africa.

In the Central African Republic, FIDH and its LAG’s strategy to fight against impunity has been implemented by
continued work documenting crimes committed by all parties to the conflict (including recent and ongoing crimes),
and outreach to victims and their communities. This work will materialise in criminal complaints to be filed with the
newly created hybrid Special Criminal Court. The LAG is accompanying local lawyers as well as victims and victims’
groups and will provide legal representation, enabling them to act as civil parties in the proceedings. In parallel and
to enhance the effectiveness of the LAG’s work before the Court, FIDH has continued to reach out to and engage
with Court representatives and international organisations active in CAR.


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In Mali, FIDH continued to follow up its support programme for the victims of the most
serious crimes committed during the occupation of the North before the national justice
system, and advocated for further ICC action on the situation in Mali. FIDH also continued
to support the victims in the Sanogo putschist trial before the national justice system.

In Ivory Coast, FIDH continued its upport for victims of the most serious crimes committed
during the electoral crisis (2010-11) before the national justice system, while advocating
for further ICC action. In Guinea, FIDH’s support continued for victims of the 28 September
2009 massacre, 2010 torture and the repression of the 2007 demonstrations before the
national justice system.

In mid-October 2018, the yearly LAG West Africa meeting was held in Bamako, Mali,
building on the positive exchange and outcomes of the strategic meetings that were held
in Ivory Coast and in Senegal. The follow-up meeting brought together LAG members
from countries where FIDH accompanies victims of grave human rights violations before
national jurisdictions (i.e. Central African Republic, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Senegal and Mali)
and LAG lawyers with experience of representing victims before the Extraordinary African
Chambers for the trial of Hissène Habré, and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of
Cambodia (ECCC). This strategic meeting, held on a yearly basis, is key to develop strategies
and processes on the issues of trial strategy, communication strategy and how to ensure
victim and witness safety as well as effective reparations and is of growing importance
in light of the increasing number of national proceedings that FIDH is engaged in in the
region, as well as of the growing challenges and obstacles faced by victims before national
justice systems in the region.

Continued support to Syrian civil society

and victims in search of accountability
The justice gap for Syria, where the only avenue for activating accountability
mechanisms remains national courts applying extraterritorial jurisdiction, has
remained a key preoccupation for FIDH and the LAG. In March 2018, to mark the
conflict entering its eighth year, the LAG launched a dedicated webpage entitled
“Syria: in search of justice” to draw attention to the extent of the violations
committed since March 2011, the need for and obstacles to accountability,
including the various issues and challenges facing victims seeking to access
extra-territorial justice, and also to highlight the work of FIDH and the Syrian
Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM) to fight against impunity
through litigation while presenting realistically to affected communities what
the outcomes of such intiatives could be. FIDH’s investment over the course
of the project in building strategic relationships with key Syrian groups active
on documentation and justice has led to concrete results in 2018. Working
closely with SCM, FIDH and the LAG have been documenting crimes committed
by a non-State actor: Jaysh al Islam, a salafist group and one of the largest
armed factions in Syria that effectively controlled the eastern Ghouta, close
to Damascus, for a number of years before the area was retaken by the regime
earlier this year. Given the pattern and extent of violations observed, it is a priority
for FIDH and SCM to shed light on the actions of such actors in Syria, and to
ensure that accountability initiatives relating to Syria target all perpetrators for
all crimes committed. Work is ongoing to identify potential suspects in other
European jurisdictions.

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FIDH has also continued its active support to Syrian civil society groups and in particular
groups representing victims, as they are an important leverage for reaching out to victims and
witnesses who can provide vital information to investigators and prosecutors. In September
2018, FIDH hosted a delegation from SCM and the Cesar Families Association, for a series of
meetings with French political and judicial authorities focused on ensuring accountability for
crimes committed against civilian detainees and disappeared. These activities complement
the LAG’s ongoing contribution to the French Prosecutor’s preliminary investigation relating to
the Cesar photos, notably through identifying key witnesses. Since the opening of a criminal
investigation based on the Cesar photographs in France in 2015, FIDH and its Syrian member
organisation, SCM, have actively contributed by identifying key witnesses who have testified
as well as by sharing documents and material evidence on systematic torture of detainees
by the Syrian regime.

International arrest warrants were issued by French judges in October 2018 targeting three
high-ranking regime officials (who are still in office inside Syria) in the Dabbagh case (initiated
by FIDH in 2016, with LAG lawyers representing the Dabbagh family). These developments
affirm FIDH and SCM’s joint strategy to fight against impunity for grave violations committed
in Syria since March 2011 through recourse to extraterritorial jurisdiction, which today
represents the only avenue for justice open to Syrian victims.

Finally, FIDH has continued its active contribution to three cases under judicial investigation
before the French war crimes unit concerning serious international crimes in Syria, including
war crimes, crimes against humanity, torture and enforced disappearance, in which LAG
lawyers represent FIDH and victims as civil parties. This work has included filing key
documents and other pieces of information with investigating judges, requesting them to
take certain steps to advance the investigations, identifying key witnesses, documenting
their testimony and organising their travel to Europe to formally testify in the investigations,
and communicating publicly on cases.

Before the ICC : Ukraine and sexual crimes

Since 2014, FIDH and its Ukrainian partners have called for the opening of an ICC investigation,
providing key information and testimonials both on crimes committed during the Maidan events and
in the Donbass region, conducting advocacy missions before relevant stakeholders in The Hague
and Kijv, and organising training workshops in Ukraine. In September 2018, FIDH and its partner
organisation EUCCI submitted an extensive confidential communication to the ICC Prosecutor’s
Office on previously underreported sexual crimes committed in the conflict in Eastern Ukraine. These
findings are specifically echoed in the annual report of the Office of the Prosecutor on preliminary
examination. More than 60 newspaper articles, mainly in Ukraine, were published, and several
interviews with TV (Current Time) and radio (Deutsche Welle) were done.

46 — F I D H ANNUaL Re PORT 2 0 1 8
Before the ICC : focus on Mexico
Since 2014, FIDH and its partners in Mexico have submitted information and documentation to the
Prosecutor of the ICC to open a preliminary examination on the alleged crimes against humanity
committed in Mexico, in particular Baja California and Coahuila. In June 2018, FIDH and its partners
published a report “Article 15 Communication under the Rome Statute to the International Criminal
Court regarding the alleged commission of crimes against humanity in Chihuahua, Mexico, between
2008 and 2010”, with the support of more than 80 Mexican organisations. This communication,
together with confidential annexes, were presented to the OTP on 11 June 2018, followed by a press
conference in The Hague (with representatives of FIDH, CMDPDH and Paso Del Norte) and meetings
with the Mexican Embassy. It must be highlighted that this action contributes to the increasing
visibility of the effects of the war on drug trafficking, particularly those created by the militarisation
of public security. The publication of the report received both national and international media

Objective 3 – Strengthen Justice Mechanisms

Expected outcome 3.1: Mechanisms to fight impunity created or strengthened

Spotlight on extraterritorial jurisdiction

Key results can be highlighted in 2018 in European States on cases initiated by FIDH
and its member organisations. Proceedings against alleged perpetrators of international
crimes committed in Syria and Iraq have multiplied in particular in Europe on the basis of
extraterritorial jurisdiction. Through its Litigation action group, FIDH has played an active
role in supporting member and partner organisations to activate extraterritorial justice
in France, Switzerland and, going forward, aims to do so in Germany, The Netherlands
and Belgium. This is the result of a strategic decision to narrow the situations of focus in
order to test the potential of universal and other forms of extraterritorial jurisdiction as
an effective tool to fight impunity when other avenues for victims’ access to justice are
blocked. In addition, the EU Genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes Network
of contact points (created following strong advocacy from civil society organisations
including FIDH) played a key role to support investigation and prosecution of international
crimes in Europe, in particular through the specialised war crimes units. Though, the
mandate and resources of these specialised units continued to be challenged.

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Spotlight on the ICC and 17th session of the ASP

In a week-long 17th session of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) to the Statute of the ICC that took place in
The Hague from 5 to 12 December 2018, States renewed their support to the ICC in the face of strong attacks
against the Court its credibility and universality and hampering potential future investigations. An FIDH delegation
actively participated throughout the ASP and defended five key recommendations to States Parties and the
Assembly for a strong and effective Court of last resort. While FIDH welcomed such collective political support
for accountability, it noted the paradox of States’ inadequate financing of the Court’s operations. That said, FIDH
welcomed with great appreciation the statement made by ten States Parties expressing their disappointment
at the budget and the need for the Court to be financed in accordance with its real needs. During that session,
FIDH co-organised seven side events, on the Bemba Case, challenges in preliminary examinations, some
country situations, victims’ participation, drug trafficking and crimes against humanity. FIDH also launched a
collection that examines both setbacks and success on victims’ participation at the ICC taking stock of the past
20 years, based on experiences of lawyers and NGOs working in support of victims from Afghanistan, Burundi,
Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Georgia, Kenya, Myanmar, Palestine and Uganda.

FIDH released a report entitled Unheard, Unaccounted: Towards Accountability for Sexual and Gender-Based Violence
at the ICC and Beyond. In this report, FIDH gives a critical assessment of the investigation and prosecution of
perpetrators of sexual crimes by the ICC and others. FIDH provides a series of recommendations to the Court,
civil society and States to better adopt a gender perspective in investigations and prosecutions conducted by
the ICC, and in its support for victims. This report is based on investigations and consultations conducted over
three years with NGOs, victims of sexual violence and their lawyers, international experts and ICC representatives.
It was released in English, French and Spanish, and accompanied by an explanatory short promotional video
screened in the presence of numerous SGBV experts, ICC Deputy Prosecutor and other ICC representatives,
representatives of embassies and many NGOs.

Objective 4 - Support the protection of populations in situations of conflict and crisis

Expected outcome 4.1: Populations in situations of conflict and crisis better protected

SANCTIONING perpetrators of human rights violations

through individual restrictive measures
Several rounds of advocacy meetings were held in Brussels to call on the EU to keep up the pressure
on the authorities and to maintain individual sanctions against targeted perpetrators of human rights
violations. In October 2018, EU Member States renewed the individual restrictive measures (asset freeze
and visa ban) against four individuals in Burundi. In the same vein, the EU Member States decided on
December 2018 to keep 14 individuals on the list of targeted sanctions. This included sanctions against
Mr Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary who was topping the chain of command of security forces responsible
for the massacre of around 3000 persons in the Kasai in 2017. The rounds of advocacy meetings and
the regular information provided on the DRC by FIDH and its leagues contributed to the EU decision,
despite the strong opposition of the DRC authorities.

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© Pierre-Yves Ginet

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 8 — 49



Promoting respect for human rights by economic Brazil), and to challenge the State duty to protect
players has been a long-standing priority for human rights on its territory, including against
FIDH with the objective to defend human rights business-related human rights abuses (as in the case
in the context of global economic development. of ILVA in Italy). A 2018 report, submitted by FIDH
International human rights law and norms lay down and more than 20 NGOs from Latin America, at the
the obligations of governments to protect, respect, UN during the UPR on China, was used for advocacy
and fulfill human rights of both individuals and purposes to challenge Chinese investments in five
groups. In recent years, however, the role of non- countries in Latin America where they do not comply
State actors, particularly transnational corporations, with international law (see below).
in respecting and protecting these rights has seen
fast-moving developments. Today, together with Like companies, investors have a responsibility
the State’s duty to protect, respect and fulfil human to respect human rights in line with the 2011 UN
rights, the responsibility to respect human rights Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
is a global standard of expected conduct for all (UNGPs) and the OECD guidance on Responsible
business enterprises, wherever they operate. Business Conduct for Institutional Investors. This
means, among other things, that investors should
Individuals and communities affected by economic identify and address human rights risks and impacts
activities also face major difficulties in documenting in their investment portfolios, and use their leverage
violations of their rights and struggle to access to influence investee companies to respect human
and secure effective redress for the harm suffered. rights. FIDH, in the framework of its work on the
Libertés et Solidarité ethical mutual fund, managed
In 2018, FIDH organised investigative missions by LBPAM Asset Management, further developed in
in close cooperation with its local member and 2018 its methodology based on a qualitative analysis
partner organisations to document violations of of corporate behaviour on human rights (using
human rights by companies, using the human both public information and its network) to assess
rights impact assessment methodology that companies on their human rights performance.
promotes participation of affected communities
(C o m m u nit y-B ase d H u m a n Ri g hts Im p ac t This exercise contributes human rights expertise
Assessments, or COBHRIA). In response to needs to improve the measurement of human rights
expressed by member organisations, FIDH has performance of companies and to engage dialogue
conducted missions for example in Brazil regarding with companies and investors as a way to shape
the activities of Vale, one of the the world’s leading practices and advice for implementation of effective
mining companies (see below). human rights due diligence in supply chains. At least
five major French companies and one business
Documentation work was mainly focused on the association, including major companies targeted
negative impact of business on human rights, by the 2017 French Duty of Vigilance Law, asked
especially on the right to live in a healthy environment FIDH to provide a space for dialogue and feedback
and on connected economic, social and cultural on effective implementation. This also shows that
rights. It was used for different purposes: to pressure FIDH is recognised by companies as a credible and
companies to withdraw from economic projects authoritative stakeholder on this issue. In March,
which violate human rights international law (as in FIDH also organised a public event with investors
the case of the tramway project in Jerusalem); or and stakeholders to present its biannual report
to mitigate the negative impacts of such projects assessing the way in which European Union Member
on individuals and communities (as in the case of States fulfil their human rights obligations. This
50 — F I D H ANNUaL Re PORT 2 0 1 8
Third session of the open-ended intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations
and other business enterprises with respect to human rights, October 2018, Geneva. © FIDH

the centrality of victims, the obligation to adopt

mandatory due-diligence legislation and the focus
on liability – but highlighted that many other facets
needed further development, such as the provisions
on scope, jurisdiction or the rights of victims and
study enabled the manager of the Libertés & Solidarité access to justice.
fund to select the top 15 bond issuers among those
States ranked most highly by FIDH. Beyond the UN, advocacy work was conducted
at the European level towards a European Union
In 2018 FIDH also continued to challenge the action plan to strengthen national and European
impunity of European companies supplying legal frameworks governing the responsibility
surveillance equipment to repressive regimes, a of economic actors and towards human rights
topic on which it has been active for several years provisions in EU Trade and Investments treaties
through documentation, litigation and advocacy. and Free Trade Agreements with third countries,
In November 2017, FIDH, with the support of its including Cambodia, South Korea and Myanmar.
French and Egyptian member organisations, filed a In 2018, the FIDH Peruvian member organisation
complaint with the French war crimes unit that led to Equidad solicited FIDH to advocate for a more
the opening of a criminal investigation into the sale cross-cutting approach on Human Rights within
of surveillance equipment to the Syrian, Egyptian the OECD policies and practices, in particular in the
and Libyan regimes, which was then used to crack accession procedure. This lead to a reflection on new
down on opponents and human rights defenders (see entry points for leverage at the OECD. A mapping
below). FIDH also followed up the cases previously exercise on the OECD conducted in 2018 showed
brought before the African Court on Human and that the Public Procurement Committee is the most
Peoples’ Rights concerning toxic waste dumping by accessible entry point to start to diffuse human rights
the Trafigura company in Ivory Coast, and concerning advocacy beyond the Responsible Business Conduct
lead contamination of workers in Mali. (RBC) Working Party of the Investment Committee.
This exercise has been useful to strengthen the
At the global level, FIDH continued to actively relationship with the OECD and with OECD Watch. In
contribute to the UN Forum on Business and 2018, the OECD also adopted the General Guidance
Human Rights, organising panels and participating on Human Rights Due Diligence, written with the
in discussions, and to the work of the UN working contribution of several stakeholders including
group on Business and Human Rights. FIDH civil society organisations. FIDH also brought a
also hugely contributed to the work of the UN case, with Iranian member organisation Justice For
Intergovernmental working group on the issue Iran and partner organisations Redress and OECD
of transnational corporations and other business Watch, to the Italian National Contact Point (NCP,
enterprises with respect to human rights (IGWG) as part of an OECD mechanism) regarding an Italian
with detailed legal observations and propositions company’s contribution to human rights violations
on the zero draft of a UN binding instrument on in Iran. Despite a negative response of the Italian
Business and Human Rights (see below), presented NCP in June 2018, dialogue is still open with the NCP
by the Chair of the IGWG. FIDH acknowledged the and with the company, notably to provide answers
positive aspects of the draft instrument – such as to the arguments found in the initial assessment.

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 8 — 51

Objective 1 – To promote economic players’ accountability

Expected outcome 1.1: Member and partner organisations supported in documenting human rights
violations by economic actors

COMMUNITY-BASED Human Rights Impact

Assessments (COBHRIA)
Brazil: A fact-finding mission was conducted in March in support of communities affected
by the activities of Vale, the world’s leading mining company, in the state of Maranhão.
The documentation work followed a study done in 2011 by FIDH partner Justiça Nos
Trilhos and member organisation Justiça Global, using the COBHRIA methodology. This
methodology was also shared at a special event at the World Social Forum in Brazil in
March 2018. On 26 November 2018, Justiça nos Trilhos was announced as the first-ever
recipient of the Business and Human Rights award for their “outstanding work” with
local communities in Brazil to address human rights and environmental abuses by
mining and steel companies. The award was presented at the UN Forum on Business
and Human Rights.

The mission followed up whether the recommendations made by the 2011 COBHRIA
were taken into account by the company and the authorities to redress the human rights
violations suffered by the inhabitants of Piquià de Baixo as a consequence of the mining
and steel industry operations. A significant recommendation from the communities
was followed up in September 2018: representatives of the Piquiá de Baixo community
signed the contract launching the construction of a new district where 312 families will
be relocated.

South Africa: FIDH followed up its work on previous COBHRIA with its member
organisation Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) regarding the impacts of a mining
company (Blyvooruitzicht Mine) on the environment and the access to basic services
of a village composed of 6000 people.

The COBHRIA methodology has also been promoted in light of a new program aiming
to identify countries in Africa or Asia where such an approach could be further used.
A call for proposals has been launched to select the countries where such COBHRIA
could be conducted in 2019.

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Documentation used to support litigation
AND advocacy
The ILVA case: The European Court of Human Rights adopted a decision of 24 January
2019 asking the Italian government to immediately adopt all the necessary measures
needed to stop and prevent pollution in the area of Taranto created by ILVA. The decision
referred verbatim to one of the recommendations of the report published by FIDH and
its member organisation UFTDU and partner organisations HRIC and Peacelink (Italy)
in April 2018. The report is a key legal analysis, inter alia, of the EU jurisprudence on the
right to a healthy environment and will be used also in the future to frame the work in
that direction in other EU countries.

On the same note, in the Latin American and Caribbean region where Chinese presence in
global extractive and infrastructure industries has increased sharply in the last decade,
FIDH and more than 20 NGOs from Latin America submitted a report during the pre-session
of the UPR in September that revealed systematic violations of environmental and human
rights by Chinese banks and private or state companies (in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil,
Ecuador and Peru). The report concludes that these are not isolated incidents, but reveal
a recurring pattern of behaviour of human rights violations. The joint submission to the
UPR of China regarding the impact of Chinese corporations in Latin American countries,
along with a side-event to launch the report at the UPR pre-session, and several advocacy
meetings with State delegations to advocate for the inclusion of recommendations on
extraterritorial HR obligations, resulted in four States (Kenya, Peru, Ecuador, Palestine)
taking up the main recommendation on China’s extraterritorial obligations. China has
decided in March 2019 to accept these recommendations.

T ramway in J erusalem: J oint

documentation and advocacy to
pressure companies
FIDH with French member organisation LDH, Palestinian member
organisation Al-Haq and French partners CFDT, Solidaires, AFPS and
Plateforme des ONG Françaises pour la Palestine highlighted the
participation of three French companies in the Jerusalem light-rail
construction, which aims to connect West Jerusalem to the Israeli
settlements in the Palestinian territory of East Jerusalem in violation
of international law. Advocacy around this joint report resulted in the
disengagement from the tramway project by two companies targeted
by the report (Systra in 2018 and Alstom in early 2019). It should be
noted that the broad impact of this report and the advocacy is also due
to the fact that the activities were lead in coalition, the third initiative
of its kind (the first two concerned Orange and a French bank), with
the involvement of human rights and international solidarity NGOs as
well as trade unions.

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 8 — 53
Expected outcome 1.2: Member and partner NGOs with enhanced capacity to act for the protection
and promotion of economic, social and cultural rights

South Africa: strategic and capacity-building

Following the COBHRIA conducted in 2017 with member organisation Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR),
revealing the devastating human and environmental toll of inadequate mine closure, a strategic and
capacity-building workshop was conducted in 2018 in Johannesburg. Co-hosted by LHR and FIDH
Secretary-General from member organisation DITSHWANELO (the Botswana Centre for Human Rights),
the workshop was attended by more than 60 delegates from mining-affected communities and grassroots
mineworkers’ committees from each of the major mining regions of South Africa. This workshop managed
to put the issue of HRDs and especially Women HRDs affected by mining at the center of the debate.

The communities’ concerns and requests were summarised in a document submitted to government
officials, with 17 recommendations regarding participation and access to information, environmental
and social rehabilitation, basic services and infrastructure, closure certification process, employment
and housing.

Since working on this case, LHR is now much more involved at national, regional and international
levels and regarded as an expert on Business and Human Rights issues.

Expected outcome 1.3: Companies and investors more engaged in protecting human rights
and the environment

Focus on methodology for further engagement

with companies and investors
In 2001 FIDH, together with La Banque Postale Asset Management (LBPAM), established the
Freedoms and Solidarity Fund. The Fund is a ground-breaking example of cooperation between a
human rights organisation and an investor in order to measure and support the improvement of
respect for human rights by companies and States. The Fund provides FIDH with the opportunity
to directly influence investment strategies and choices of LBPAM while allowing more effective
engagement with companies in order to improve their human rights practices. To achieve this
objective, FIDH has developed its own methodology with a human rights based approach to assess
the human rights performance of investors. In 2018 the methodology has been updated and around
140 companies were screened.

All bonds and equities that are part of the Fund are selected on the basis of respect for human
rights by the States and companies that issue them. The Fund has set principles and a dedicated
methodology that govern its investments in bonds and equities. The basic human rights that FIDH
wants to promote within countries and companies include, but are not limited to, gender equality and
women’s rights, non-discrimination, eliminating corruption, better governance, social and economic
rights and freedom of expression/right to information. Bonds can be issued by governments/sovereign
countries or by non-sovereign entities (companies). Equities are specific to listed companies.

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Objective 2. To support access to means of recourse/redress

Expected outcome 2.1: A normative environment more favourable to the

protection of human rights by States, companies and international organisations

Focus on advocacy at the UN on the draft Treaty on

Business and Human Rights
FIDH has persistently advocated for a UN binding instrument on Business and Human Rights.
With the first draft treaty issued in June 2018, FIDH has conducted extensive consultations
and advocacy work before, during and after the fourth session of the UN Open-ended
Intergovernmental Working Group mandated to elaborate the treaty.

Before: FIDH commissioned Dr Irene Pietropaoli, Research Fellow in Business and Human
Rights at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, to write a briefing paper
on advocacy strategies regarding the treaty in order to give member organisations some
concrete suggestions to leverage their own authorities’ positions. In September 2018, in
a meeting in the Philippines, ESCR-Net members of the Corporate accountability working
group (CAWG) held strategic discussions around business and human rights issues, including
strategic discussions on the UN Treaty, corporate capture, protection of human rights
defenders, and documentation strategies. FIDH also supported member organisation LHR
and partners CALS and Action Aid to organise a preparatory conference in South Africa in
August 2018 with the objective to prepare for the fourth session of the IGWG.

During: FIDH gave a number of oral statements at the session and held a multitude of
bilateral meetings with diplomats, to provide inputs to the first draft of the treaty. During
the fourth IGWG session in Geneva, FIDH participated with a delegation composed of six
members of the International Secretariat and four representatives of member organisations
from South Africa, Peru, Myanmar, and Armenia. Strategic meetings were held with seven
FIDH members present in Geneva: LHR from South Africa, Equidad from Peru, Justiça Global
from Brazil, Al-Haq from Palestine, ALTSEAN Burma, Kenya Human Rights Commission and
CSI from Armenia. Three additional members attended, from Kenya, Brazil and Palestine.
An in-depth analysis of the draft treaty presented by the Working Group was published in
September. FIDH held direct advocacy meetings with six States during the fourth session
(Mexico, France, Italy, Peru, Canada, Switzerland) and with the EU. A blog article was written
by FIDH on the draft on the Business and Human Rights Resource centre’s website. Member
organisations Al-Haq from Palestine and Justiça Global from Brazil autonomously wrote a
blog article on the draft treaty on the Business and Human Rights Resource centre’s website.
FIDH was invited to speak on an expert panel on liability in front of the fourth session. In
addition, two side events were organised on the issues of 1) State Owned Enterprises and
the scope of the treaty, and 2) Human Rights Defenders in the treaty. FIDH also co-sponsored
three other side events.

After: Five advocacy position papers were published on the treaty addressing the issues
of corporate capture, human rights defenders, indigenous peoples, feminist and gender-
responsive lens, and conflict-affected areas.

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 8 — 55

After several years of struggle, positive case

law and a new bill in South Africa
In September 2018, the Constitutional Court of South Africa dismissed an appeal against
an order that, among other decisions, prevented the disconnection of the piped water
supply to the Blyvooruitzicht village. The decision brought to an end the multi-year struggle
by the community, represented by LHR, to retain access to water after the Mine initiated
liquidation proceedings in 2013. The company’s sudden abandonment of the site meant
that many of its environmental and socio-economic closure obligations went unfulfilled,
and the community’s access to basic services – previously provided by the Mine – was
threatened. A bill to amend the National Environmental Management Act of South Africa
was recently proposed, to strengthen mechanisms for financial provisioning and to provide
for a “sustainable closure solution” and the possibility of establishing new industries on
rehabilitated mine sites, thereby avoiding the prevalence of ghost towns which are often
associated with mine closures.

Expected outcome 2.2: Trade and investment agreements that take protection of human rights better
into account

Advocacy to release human rights defenders under

the EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement

FIDH continues to position itself as a key interlocutor in the area of human rights business and trade
before the European institutions and has acceded to the status of member organisation of the Trade
expert group launched by the European Commission in February 2018, to advise the EC’s trade policies
from a human rights expert point of view. FIDH is also part of the Domestic Advisory Group (DAG) set up
to monitor the economic and sustainable development chapter of the EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement.
In that framework, FIDH raises cases of human rights violations documented in the context of the
implementation of the trade agreement.
In this context, FIDH echoed appeals of its Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders,
urging for the release of the former KCTU Secretary General Ms Lee Young-joo, detained and sentenced
to a three-year suspended prison term and a fine, as well as former KCTU president Han Sang-gyun.


56 — F I D H ANNUaL Re PORT 2 0 1 8
In order to ensure that the European Commission take on its responsibilities correctly,
raising their cases and actively engaging with the South Korean authorities, a joint
letter was addressed to Trade Commissioner Malmstrom to this effect. Following
these activities, Ms Lee Young-joo was released on 14 June 2018 and Han Sang-
gyun was released on parole on 21 May 2018.

EU launches an investigation into human rights violations in Cambodia

Cambodia currently benefits from the most favourable trade regime available
under the EU’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) through an “everything
but arms” (EBA) scheme, which gives duty-free access to the EU for exports of all
products from Cambodia, except arms and ammunition. This scheme foresees the
possibility to suspend trade preferences should grave and systematic human rights
violations be documented.

FIDH and its member organisations in Cambodia documented grave and systematic
human rights violations, notably repressive legislation limiting the space for civil
society, as well as grave violations in the context of land grabbing.
Advocacy was then deployed to the EU to call for an EU investigation into those
violations in the context of the trade preferences. As such, on the occasion of the
EU-Cambodia human rights dialogue of 13 March, FIDH released a briefing paper
calling for a specific EU investigation into EBA trade preferences until repressive
legislation and amendments are repealed and Rule of Law and democracy are restored
and guaranteed in line with international standards. These recommendations were
also shared with the European Parliament, the EU Member States, The European
External Action Service and the European Commission on several occasions.

This mobilisation resulted in an important decision of the European Commission to

launch an investigation into the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms
to ensure that the conditions under the EU’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences
(GSP) Regulation 978/2012 are fulfilled. A dedicated GSP monitoring mission was
thus launched in 2018.

Expected outcome 2.3: Responsibilities shouldered by companies in relation to human rights violations

Corporate accountability through litigation

and reporting
Three criminal complaints for complicity in acts of torture and (in the case of Egypt) enforced
disappearances filed by FIDH’s Litigation Action Group (LAG) against French-headquartered
companies – accused of supplying surveillance equipment to the Libyan, Syrian and
Egyptian regimes – are currently under judicial investigation by the French war crimes
unit. In July 2018, FIDH published a report highlighting the role of French arms and other
businesses in human rights violations perpetrated by Al-Sissi’s regime. (See also Priority
on fighting impunity). Some of the findings of the research conducted in preparation of this
report were used by the LAG to file the Egypt complaint, which is the first extra-territorial
investigation in France concerning crimes committed in Egypt.

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 8 — 57

Complicity in crimes against

humanity and Chiquita in
2018 saw a significant impact on the Chiquita case in
Colombia following actions undertaken in 2017. In May
2017, FIDH’s President went to Colombia for a fact-finding
mission on the progress of the peace process and to present
a communication to the ICC concerning the individual
responsibility of executives from the company Chiquita
Brands, for complicity in crimes against humanity committed
by paramilitaries. The report was issued with the International
Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law School, and member
organisation Corporación Colectivo de Abogados José
Alvear Restrepo (CAJAR). On this occasion, FIDH provided
the Attorney General of Colombia with thousands of internal
documents from Chiquita that constituted the evidence of
this communication. In September 2018, the Attorney General
of Colombia decided to indict 15 Chiquita employees and
board members using FIDH’s arguments and evidence on
the existence of a contribution to crimes against humanity.

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Residents celebrate a success after a 30-hour demonstration in front of the entry of a steel factory. © Marcelo Cruz

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 8 — 59
FINANCIAL report 2018

Total Expenses per Priority Amount 2017 % Amount 2018 %

Supporting human rights defenders 1 019 016 11.5% 724 041 8.6%
Fostering an environment conducive to democracy 1 057 133 12.0% 1 483 900 17.7%
and freedoms
Promoting women’s rights 208 494 2.4% 171 499 2.0%
Fighting discrimination and violence based on sexual - 13 112 0.2%
orientation and gender identity
Promoting the rights of migrants 99 912 1.1% 57 507 0.7%
Fighting impunity and protecting populations from 3 056 637 34.6% 2 523 002 30.1%
the most serious crimes
Promoting respect of human rights by economic 370 674 4.2% 167 939 2.0%
FIDH Network 1 050 928 11.9% 1 080 722 12.9%
External Network / Outreach 535 579 6.1% 573 688 6.8%
Logistics 313 277 3.5% 241 558 2.9%
Fundraising and Admin. Costs 1 121 152 12.7% 1 164 035 13.9%
Other Expenses - 188 003 2.2%

Total Expenses 8 832 803 100% 8 389 005 100%

INCOME 2017 % 2018 %

Membership fees and contributions 153 271 1.7% 123 380 1.4%
Earmarked grants and donations 5 641 159 63.5% 5 459 447 63.0%
Non-earmarked grants and donations 2 598 874 29.3% 2 439 647 28.2%

Other income 422 876 4.8% 456 563 5.3%

Financial and extraordinary income 64 436 0.7% 181 622 2.1%

Total income 8 880 616 100% 8 660 659 100%

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Foundations, associations and other institutions

Open Society Foundations; Oak Foundation; Sigrid

Rausing Trust; Ford Foundation; Bread for the World;
an anonymous foundation; MacArthur Foundation;
Our Supporters Fondation de France; Heinrich Böll Stiftung; Trust
FIDH thanks all of its donors and supporters, as
well as the investors in its ethical fund, Libertés Corporate supporters
& Solidarité.
Carrefour; Hermès; La Banque Postale Asset
During 2018, FIDH was particularly grateful to the Management (LBPAM); We Are Social.
support of the following institutions, foundations
and corporations: FIDH would also like to thank:
• its interpretors, translators and other volunteers;
International and national institutions • a s well as all the individuals, national and
international non-governmental organisations and
The European Commission; Swedish International intergovernmental organisations who responded
Development Cooperation Agency (Sida); Agence to its requests for support.
Française de Développement (AFD); Ministry for
Foreign Affairs of Finland; Ministry of Foreign
Affairs of Norway; Ministry for Europe and Foreign
Affairs of France; Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the
Kingdom of the Netherlands; Irish Aid; Mairie de
Paris; International Organisation of La Francophonie
(OIF); Belgium Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and
Development Cooperation; Ligue des Droits de
l’Homme; Embassy of Switzerland in Thailand.

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 8 — 61
FIDH is an international human rights NGO federating

184 organisations from 112 countries

17, passage de la Main d’Or
75011 Paris - France
Phone: +33 (0)1 43 55 25 18
Twitter: @fidh_en /@fidh_fr /@fidh_es