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ANNUAL REPORT

2019
FIDH participates to the Gay Pride in Taïwan, October 2019.

ANNUAL REPORT
2 0 19
04 President’s Letter

06 The Congress

08 The Federation

09 192 Member Organisations

11 International Board

12 Priority Supporting Human Rights Defenders

18

Priority Fostering an Environment Conducive to Democracy
and Freedom

26 Priority Promoting Women’s Rights

34

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

38 Priority Promoting the Rights of Migrants

42Priority Fighting Impunity and Protecting


CONTENTS

Populations from the Most Serious Crimes

52

Priority Promoting Respect for Human Rights
by Economic Players

60

International Secretariat

61 Financial Report 2019

62 Acknowledgements

A gathering in solidarity to human rights defenders under arbitrary detention during the 40th FIDH World Congress in Taipei, October 2019.
President’s Letter
Human rights organizations around the world were,
in 2019, actively engaged in challenging this status
quo by using the courts and functioning institutions
of democracy; by denouncing violations of human
rights; by increasing public awareness through
the media; by using regional and international
Dear friends, mechanisms – all aimed at seeking redress,
enforcing decisions, and encouraging States to
guarantee the protection of their citizens.
Dear friends,
Over the past year, as popular uprisings have
It is my pleasure to share with you FIDH’s Annual multiplied, repression against human rights
Report for 2019. defenders has only increased, particularly in cases
where they have demanded social, economic or
2019 has been marked by popular uprisings occurring environmental justice. Yet, these defenders are the
in all regions of our world. Although seemingly agents of change in and for our societies. They are
disparate and unconnected, these movements the observers, the whistleblowers and the watchdog
have a common backdrop - the rejection of an of human rights. Of all human rights for all, without
elitist socio-economic model which generates discrimination : civil and political rights as well as
inequalities, corruption, discrimination, abuses of economic, social and cultural rights.
power and violations of human rights. In response,
the call is to build more resilient, more inclusive, However, due to the State capture of independent
more respectful, and equitable societies in order regional and international investigative mechanisms
for communities and people to thrive. and judicial institutions, the ability of defenders
to protect human rights has been curtailed. The
These popular uprisings are expressions born political blockage within multilateral systems
of lived experiences of exclusion. Generally not (especially the UN Security Council), the weak
structured around an ideology, or a political party, commitment to human rights and accountability
they transcend existing political movements. They expressed by key powers, the closing space for
provide a voice for those who have felt silenced and civil society groups across the global North and
excluded by systems of governance. We must pay South, attacks against established accountability
tribute here to the courage of people, from all origins, mechanisms, including the ICC, as well as the UN
all generations, regardless of their gender identity, Special Procedures and Treaty Bodies, and regional
who have taken to the streets, in many cases, in human rights mechanisms, and the tendency to put
countries where the right to demonstrate or the justice processes behind economic reconstruction
right to claim rights are contested and suppressed. and diplomatic arrangements in the context of
conflict resolution are just some of the shifting
dynamics that have characterized 2019.

4 — F I D H ANNUaL R ePORT 2 0 1 9
To address these and many other issues and
challenges, FIDH and its member and partner
organizations have used various means of action.
To give a few examples in figures for 2019: 282
urgent appeals were addressed to thousands
of stakeholders and decision-makers followed attacks. Universality and indivisibility of human
by advocacy dialogue at national, regional and rights which are at the core of FIDH’s mandate since
international levels to end harassment of human 1922 are more than ever in our agenda as FIDH will
rights defenders. Both sessions of the African celebrate its Centenary in 2022.
Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights
allowed a joint mobilization of FIDH with 14 member At the Congress in Taipei on 24 October 2019, I
organizations from Africa. In 2019, based on 17 fact- was elected as the new President of FIDH for the
findings reports following international investigation next coming three years. My commitment to human
missions, and on a significant number of policy rights is rooted in the Botswana value of botho: the
briefs, FIDH conducted about 45 rounds of advocacy conviction that one’s humanity is bound up with the
meetings before the EU and the UN allowing close humanity of each and every person in the world, that
to 125 human rights defenders, men and women, every person has the right to be treated with dignity.
from 60 member or partner organizations, from This personal conviction is closely aligned to the
37 countries from all regions of the world, to be values of equality, solidarity, liberty and justice that
in direct interaction with EU and UN officials at FIDH upholds every day in its work.
diplomatic level to advocate for change towards
the respect, the protection and the fulfillment of Let us work together – both citizens' movements
human rights. In 2019, FIDH was also engaged and civil society organizations - to consolidate the
in 102 strategic litigation proceedings relating to three essential pillars of a global human rights-based
violations committed in 45 countries. You will learn public order: the defense of universal human rights
much more on all of our actions in the report. standards; the protection of human rights defenders;
and the strengthening of independent institutions
The 4 0 th FIDH Congress held in Taïwan in which monitor the implementation of human rights.
October 2019, which addressed the overall theme This three-pronged approach will allow to guide us
of universality of human rights, was a unique achieving thriving societies in which the dignity of
opportunity to bring together close to 450 human every person is respected and upheld. Keep your
rights experts - including, but not only, FIDH member eyes open. Thank you for being with us.
organizations – from a wide range of countries
and contexts to network and discuss these global
threats to human rights at the national, regional and Alice Mogwe,
international levels and the best ways to thwart these President

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 019 — 5


T he C ONGRESS

Opening session of the 40th FIDH World Congress in Taipei, with Taiwan indigenous community
representative Ms Seredew Tariyajan, October 2019.

40th FIDH Congress: Our rights, Our fi-


ght, Our future – Reclaiming the uni-
versality of human rights

FIDH holds its Congress every three years—a global


event which amplifies the voices of human rights
defenders the world over.
The opening of the Congress illustrated these
Universality of human rights implies that human contemporary challenges, notably benefiting from
rights apply to all human beings – they concern all interventions from Taiwan President, Ms Tsai Ing-
of humanity. Almost 100 years since the creation Wen, former death row convict and director of
of FIDH (founded in 1922), and more than 70 general affairs for the Judicial Reform Foundation
since the adoption of the Universal Declaration Mr Cheng Hsing-tse, Taiwan indigenous community
of Human Rights, the universality of human rights representative Ms Seredew Tariyajan, International
has never been more compromised and called into Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor Ms Fatou Bensouda,
question. This is even the case in many democracies, and Human Rights in China Executive Director Ms
becoming a dangerous trend. Sharon Hom.

The 40th FIDH Congress, co-hosted by FIDH and its A two-day public forum on “Reclaiming Universality:
member organization in Taiwan, Taiwan Association challenges and solutions for the human rights
for Human Rights (TAHR), was held in Taipei, Taiwan movement ” brought together close to 4 50
from 21 to 25 October 2019. It was the first time the representatives of FIDH member and partner
Congress had been held in Asia. organizations, local, and regional civil society, as
well as international experts, official representatives
Why Taiwan? of national and international authorities, donors and
A democracy with a vibrant civil society, Taiwan members of the International Secretariat.
stands in stark counterpoint to many of its regional
neighbors. The country has made steady human “I felt that the 2019 Forum & Congress was
rights progress in recent years, notably with the extremely valuable for me as someone working in
recognition of same-sex marriage. Taiwanese human rights focused on issues and events in my
civil society is thoroughly mobilized and has been own country. The Forum gave me the opportunity
instrumental to these successes. It remains strongly to expand my understanding of global human
active to defend human rights defenders in mainland rights issues, share my experience from my home
China and Hong Kong, the recognition of indigenous country and to make connections with human rights
people’s rights, and the abolition of death penalty. defenders across the world. It made me feel part of
a global community and gave me a lot of inspiration
and drive for my work.”
Feedback from a participant
6 — F I D H ANNUaL R ePORT 2 0 1 9
Opening of 40th FIDH World Congress in Taipei, with former death row convict and director of general
affairs for the Judicial Reform Foundation Mr Cheng Hsing-tse, October 2019

With 12 round-table discussions and 11 “one speaker,


one story” pitches, which gathered some 70 speakers
from around the world, the Forum presented local geopolitical contexts, to share good practices
solutions from local human rights organizations within our movement, and to identify strategies for
to address attacks against the universality of human regaining the universality of human rights.
rights and against the human rights movement in
its diversity, around three streams of discussions: “The organization was excellent. The public Forum
• Is the universality of human rights in decline? was successful in the themes and
Challenges and solutions to countering attacks methodology, it allowed participants to go deeper in
to the universal agenda; the themes and had excellent
• E xpanding our horizons: broadening human rights presenters.”
reach and norms; Feedback from a participant
• Consolidating the roots of our movement: making
human rights a reality for all. The Forum was a unique moment to:
• connect: build new alliances, share experiences
A variety of topics, challenges and best practices with each other and other stakeholders, and
were presented and discussed: Defending a human strengthen their resilience;
rights-driven multilateralism through innovative • learn: from new information, expert interventions,
strategies; Surveillance, censorship, artificial new strategies and best practices on existing and
intelligence: Human rights in the digital era; emerging topics; and
Democracies in crisis: Poverty, Extreme Right, Rule • solve: propose responses to the challenges facing
of law, and human rights; strategic litigation as a tool human rights defenders and civil society, and share
to uphold the universality of human rights; attacks innovative tools and practices.
against human rights defenders increasingly seen as
new ‘terrorists’; Fighting against the death penalty: Following the two-day public Forum, the FIDH internal
Global solutions for abolition; Climate change, Congress met to further strategic discussions at
environment, and human rights: Linkages and the regional level and on thematic issues. They
responses; Combating discrimination: Challenges resulted in the adoption of political positions through
and solutions for the LGBTI Movement; Changing the 27 resolutions on the protection of human rights
narrative on refugees and migrants; Accountability concerning specific countries, regions or themes.
at the ICC: will the Court hold major powers into
account?; Communities and Indigenous peoples The Congress also approved the membership of 16
affected by investment projects: How to fight back? organizations, bringing the number of members of
Women’s rights: Responding to threats to their the Federation to 192 in 117 countries:
universality. H u m a n R i g h t s c l u b ( H R C) ( A ze r b a i d j a n);
Observatoire Centrafricain des Droits de l’Homme
The discussions provided an oppor tunity to (OCDH) (Central African Republic); Solidarité
update our analyses of the global, regional and Fanm Ayisyèn (SOFA) (Haiti); Hungarian Helsinki
Committee (HHC) (Hungar y); Association of
Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) (India);

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 019 — 7


Maldivian Democracy Network (MDN) (Maldives);
Idheas, Litigio Estratégico en Derechos Humanos
(Mexico); Myanmar Alliance for Transparency and
Accountability (MATA) (Myanmar); Women Peace days of the Forum and Congress), which reached
Network (WPN) (Myanmar); Helsinki Foundation more than 200,000 people and generated more than
for Human Rights (HFHR) (Poland); ALQST (Saudi 5,000 reactions, comments and shares. Seventy
Arabia); Covenants Watch Taiwan (CWT) (Taiwan); Tweets published across FIDH’s three official Twitter
Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) (Tailand); accounts reached more than 250,000 people.
Manushya Foundation (Thailand); Programa
Venezolano de Educación – Acción en Derechos An article published on FIDH’s website presenting
Humanos (PROVEA) (Venezuela); Mwatana for the event in five languages (French, English, Spanish,
Human Rights (Yemen). Farsi and Mandarin) received 8,000 visits. Thirty-
five journalists attended the Forum, including
“[The event] renewed the importance of an journalists for local and national media such as the
internationalist approach to my work.” Taipei Times, China Times, United Daily News and
Feedback from a participant Central News Agency. In addition, correspondents
for international media included Radio Free Asia,
Lastly, the Congress elected a new FIDH International Radio Television Hong Kong, Getty Images, and
Board (composed of representatives from member Japan Broadcasting Corporation.
organizations) with 10 new members, gender
balance and composed of eminent personalities “I am convinced of the importance of the Congress
from all regions. Alice Mogwe, a renowned activist every three years. It demonstrates
from Botswana was elected to succeed Dimitris in itself the universality of human rights. It is also an
Christopoulos (Greece) as FIDH President. important place of learning, of
training. And this is an important support for the
FIDH communicated through a Facebook event defenders who then return home in
page (13 posts in three languages during the five their respective countries.”
Feedback from a participant
T he Federation

The International Board The International Secretariat

• Comprises 22 volunteers from FIDH member • Based in Paris, it is composed of a team of


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

8 — F I D H ANNUaL R ePORT 2 0 1 9
Organisations
192 Member

/ 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
Y Reconciliacion National (CCHDN) / CZECH REPUBLIC,
Human Rights League (HRL) - Liga Lidskych Prav /
AFGHANISTAN, Armanshahr/Open Asia / ALBANIA, Albanian DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, Association Africaine
Human Rights Group (AHRG) / ALGERIA, Collectif des Des Droits De L’homme (ASADHO) / DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC
familles de disparu(e)s en Algérie (CFDA) / ALGERIA, Ligue OF CONGO, Groupe Lotus / DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF
Algérienne de défense des droits de l’homme (LADDH) / CONGO, Ligue Des Électeurs (LE) / DJIBOUTI, Ligue
ANGOLA, Associação Justiça Paz e Democracia (AJPD) / Djiboutienne Des Droits Humains (LDDH) / DOMINICAN
ARGENTINA, Centro De Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS) REPUBLIC, Comisión Nacional De Los Derechos Humanos
/ ARGENTINA, Comité De Acción Jurídica (CAJ) / Inc (CNDHRD) / ECUADOR, Acción Ecológica / ECUADOR,
ARGENTINA, Liga Argentina Por Los Derechos Del Hombre Comisión Ecuménica De Derechos Humanos (CEDHU) /
(LADH) / ARMENIA, Civil Society Institute (CSI) / AUSTRIA, ECUADOR, Fundación Regional De Asesoria En Derechos
Osterreichische Liga Fur Menschenrechte (OLFM) / Humanos (INREDH) / EGYPT, Cairo Institute For Human
Azerbaidjan, Human Rights club (HRC) / BAHRAIN, Rights Studies (CIHRS) / EGYPT, Egyptian Initiative for
Bahrain Center For Human Rights (BCHR) / BAHRAIN, Personal Rights (EIPR) / EGYPT, Human Rights Association
Bahrain Human Rights Society (BHRS) / BANGLADESH, For The Assistance Of Prisoners (HRAAP) / EL SALVADOR,
Odhikar / BELARUS, Human Rights Center Viasna / Comision De Derechos Humanos Del Salvador (CDHES) /
BELGIUM, Liga Voor Menschenrechten (LVM) / BELGIUM, ETHIOPIA, Human Rights Council (HRCO) / EUROPE,
Ligue Des Droits De L’Homme – Belgique / BOLIVIA, Association Européenne Pour La Défense Des Droits De
Asamblea Permanente De Derechos Humanos De Bolivia L’Homme (AEDH) / FINLAND, Finnish League For Human
(APDHB) / BOTSWANA, The Botswana Centre For Human Rights (FLHR) – Ihmisoikeusliitto / FRANCE, Ligue Des
Rights – Ditshwanelo / BRAZIL, Justiça Global (CJG) / Droits De L’Homme (LDH) / FRANCE (FRENCH POLYNESIA),
BRAZIL, Movimento Nacional De Direitos Humanos (MNDH) Ligue Polynésienne Des Droits Humains (LPDH) / FRANCE
/ BURKINA FASO, Mouvement Burkinabé Des Droits De (NEW CALEDONIA), Ligue Des Droits Et Du Citoyen De
L’Homme Et Des Peuples (MBDHP) / BURUNDI, Ligue Nouvelle Calédonie (LDHNC) / GEORGIA, Human Rights
Burundaise Des Droits De L’Homme (Iteka) / CAMBODIA, Center (HRIDC) / GERMANY, Internationale Liga Fur
Cambodian Human Rights And Development Association Menschenrechte (ILMR) / GREECE, Hellenic League For
(ADHOC) / CAMBODIA, Ligue Cambodgienne De Défense Human Rights (HLHR) / GUATEMALA, Centro De Acción
Des Droits De L’Homme (LICADHO) / CAMEROON, Maison Legal En Derechos Humanos (CALDH) / GUINEA-BISSAU,
Des Droits De L’Homme (MDH) / CANADA, Canadian Centre Liga Guineense Dos Direitos Humanos (LGDH) / GUINEA-
for International Justice (CCIJ) / CANADA, Ligue Des Droits CONAKRY, Mêmes droits pour tous (MDT) / GUINEA-
Et Des Libertés Du Québec (LDL) / CENTRAL AFRICAN CONAKRY, Organisation Guinéenne De Défense Des Droits
REPUBLIC, Ligue Centrafricaine Des Droits De L’Homme De L’Homme Et Du Citoyen (OGDH) / GULF, Gulf Center for
(LCDH) / CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC, Observatoire Human Rights (GCHR) / HAITI, Solidarite Fanm Ayisyèn
Centrafricain des Droits de l’Homme (OCDH) /CENTRAL (SOFA) / HAITI, Centre Oecumenique Des Droits Humains
AFRICAN REPUBLIC, Observatoire Centrafricain des Droits (CEDH) / HAITI, Réseau National De Défense Des Droits De
de l’Homme (OCDH) / CHAD, Association Tchadienne Pour L’Homme (RNDDH) / HONDURAS, Centro De Investigación
La Promotion Et La Défense Des Droits De L’Homme (ATPDH) Y Promoción De Los Derechos Humanos (CIPRODEH) /
/ CHAD, Ligue Tchadienne Des Droits De L’Homme (LTDH) HONDURAS, Comité de Familiares de Detenidos-

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 019 — 9


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

10 — F I D H ANNUaL Re PORT 2 0 1 9
International Board

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 9 — 11
PRIORITY

Supporting Human Rights Defenders


1/ ANALYSIS OF PL ANS, CHALLENGES AND and propagation of slander against defenders (such
PROGRESS as in China, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Egypt, Hungary,
Iran, Israel-Palestine, Morocco, Philippines, Poland,
Under the programs of the Observatory for Human Thailand) have led to more attacks against HRDs:
Rights Defenders (FIDH and the World Organisation assassinations, forced disappearances, torture,
Against Torture (OMCT)) and the ProtectDefenders.eu ill-treatment, death threats, arrests, arbitrary
European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism detention, slander campaigns, and repressive laws
implemented by international civil society, FIDH and practices. Draconian laws continued to be used
conducted activities in 2019 for the support and to limit the ability of civil society, including NGOs and
protection of human rights defenders (HRDs) in more human rights organizations, to operate.
than 90 countries and territories in all regions of the
world. HRDs continued to be particularly vulnerable In 2019, FIDH and its member organizations actively
notably in totalitarian States, in countries governed mobilized and advocated to decision-makers to
by authoritarian regimes, in “illiberal” democracies, in respond to HRDs’ challenges in given countries. This
conflict situations as well as in countries where human advocacy work is based on regular urgent alerts
rights activism is restricted or criminalized, where allowing documentation of urgent situations in given
human rights defenders continue to be stigmatized, contexts and through specific in-depth documentation
threatened and where they are openly attacked in following international fact-finding missions. In 2019,
their public statements or on social networks. Attacks three international fact-finding missions on the situation
against HRDs often remain unpunished while defending of HRDs were conducted in Cambodia, Azerbaijan
human rights is increasingly perceived as a crime. and Venezuela. Several reports were also published
denouncing judicial harassments faced by lawyers and
In 2019, FIDH supported about 500 HRDs confronted women’s rights defenders in Saudi Arabia, in Iran with a
with security risks and harassment. Defenders of report titled Indefensible: Iran’s systematic criminalisation
populations most exposed to harassment – women of human rights defenders, and in Tajikistan with a report
(such as in Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Cambodia), LGBTI+ titled Their last stand? How human rights defenders are
persons (such as in Poland, Russia, Ouganda, Kenya), being squeezed out in Tajikistan. In the Philippines,
migrants (such as in Thailand, Italy), indigenous and following the joint report entitled I’ll kill you along
rural populations, supporters of land and environmental with drug addicts, a national advocacy mission was
rights (such as in Cambodia, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, conducted to present it to the Commission on Human
Uganda), workers and union leaders (such as in Thailand, Rights, the Philippine National Police, the Department
Cambodia) – are especially prone to repression. of Interior and Local Government, as well as diplomatic
Further, people fighting against impunity of State and representatives, and the media.
economic actors were subjected to particularly violent
attacks (Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras). In 2019, Two hundred and eighty-two urgent appeals were
many journalists and freedom of expression activists addressed to thousands of stakeholders and decision-
were prosecuted or convicted for their statements on makers followed by advocacy dialogue at national,
social networks, in the media, or simply because of regional and international levels to end harassment
the legitimate exercise of their freedom of expression. of HRDs. HRDs continued to be arbitrarily detained
Among them are a number of members of FIDH member and imprisoned for months or even years. Their
organizations (Egypt, Turkey, Venezuela). situation was especially worrisome and required
special attention in 2019 mainly in China, Hong Kong,
Faced with all these issues, guaranteeing an enabling Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, the
environment for the defense of rights and freedoms Russian Federation and Turkey. FIDH continued with
has become critical for the global human rights a long-term approach to support HRDs from members
movement. The rise of extremism, nationalism and organizations as well as outside the Federation, in
populism; the increasing number of social and land- order to plead for their release when under arbitrary
related conflicts based on economic issues; the use of detention. As a result of these actions, 124 human
the media and new technologies as tools of repression rights defenders were released in 2019 (see below).
12 — F I D H ANNUaL Re PORT 2 0 1 9
At UN level, FIDH organized international advocacy In terms of emergency support, 99 HRDs and families
rounds with HRDs in Geneva and in New York related to benefited from relocation grants allowing HRDs to
the situation of HRDs, and also on civic space and the temporarily relocate in order to escape harassment
use of counter-terrorism legislation to target dissenting and threats. Twenty-three material support grants
voices in different States and regions (Sudan, Cambodia, were allocated in favor of 142 HRDs and six NGOs, and
China, Iran, Kashmir, Vietnam, Egypt, Saudi Arabia). This five capacity-building and institutional support grants
was the case for Egypt, for instance, when prior to the were directed to NGOs working in or on the Gulf region,
universal periodic review session of Egypt, the case of Uganda, Russia, Azerbaijan, and Israel. These grants
Mr Ramy Shaath, detained for his human rights activities were allocated to strengthen the protection of local
in Egypt, was raised, as well as the broader situation of organizations confronted with contexts of hostility
HRDs and civic space in Egypt. This was also the case for their human rights activities, allowing them to
for Cambodia. During the 42nd session of the Human maintain work and to strengthen HRDs’ capacity to
Rights Council, FIDH and its member organizations take action. Outreach missions took place to meet
conducted advocacy rounds with HRDs from Cambodia HRDs working in Hong Kong and Nepal.
in Geneva, by addressing oral statements to States
during the sessions; and by advocating throughout the Faced with the use or instrumentalization of justice
year on the basis of the findings of a fact-finding mission, to obstruct or criminalize the work of defenders, FIDH
and joint NGO letters and urgent alerts. Concerns were deploys judicial observation missions throughout the
expressed on the persisting impunity over the killing of world. Such missions cover a variety of objectives: to
HRD Kem Ley, over the restrictive Law on Trade Unions provide expert legal assistance in this type of case in
and cases of harassment against union leaders, and support of criminalized defenders; to provide solidarity
on the criminalization of journalists Uon Chhin and and international attention that can contribute to the
Yeang Sothearin. respect of the right to a fair trial; but also to help
shed light on procedural violations in order to elicit
The ninth Inter-mechanism meeting (IMM) was a reaction from the authorities concerned and the
organized in September 2019 in Warsaw, at the invitation international community. In 2019, FIDH conducted
of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and six trial observations. These observations gave rise
Human Rights (ODIHR). Since 2008, the Observatory to publications detailing the violations of the right to
has been organizing such “inter-mechanisms” meetings, a fair trial found during the hearings.
to facilitate interaction between intergovernmental
institutions equipped with mechanisms or tools Russia / Chechnya: Observation of the trial against
dedicated to the protection of HRDs. Participants Oyub Titiyev, member of Memorial Human Rights Centre
in inter-mechanism gatherings typically include the Peru: Observation of the lawsuit against the community
United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of Las Bambas, involved in the defense of the right to land
of HRDs, as well as regional counterparts at the Honduras: Observation of the trial for the assassination
African, Inter-American, OSCE, Council of Europe and of Berta Caceres, who was involved in the defense of
European Union levels. Those meetings provide a the right to land
platform for participants to exchange on cross-cutting Thailand: Observation of legal actions against migrant
issues affecting the protection of HRDs around the workers defending their rights at the Thammakaset
world, and to provide a concerted response to the company
main challenges faced by civil society. The ninth Morocco: Two trial observations in the case against
meeting focused on the impact of national security and journalist Omar Radi
counter-terrorism laws and policies on the protection Algeria: Two trial observations in the context of the
of HRDs, the issue of restrictions on – and reprisals lawsuits brought against the leaders of the peaceful
against – civil society participation in the work of protest movement “Hirak”.
intergovernmental organizations, as well as the need
to support the legitimacy, achievements and positive In a context of increasing criminalization of HRDs
role of HRDs worldwide. throughout the world, FIDH regularly mobilizes the
United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention
At European level, a number of advocacy rounds with (WGAD), as well as, when necessary, various national
HRDs (from Belarus, Burundi, Bangladesh, Cambodia, or regional courts, through referrals or third-party
Colombia, DRC, Iran, Egypt, Pakistan, Myanmar, interventions on individual cases or on cross-cutting
Philippines, Vietnam) were organized to the European issues relating to HRDs. In 2019, FIDH developed a
Union in Brussels in order to advocate on the human quasi-judicial action before the Colombian national
rights concerns and recommendations to be addressed justice system, to challenge developments restricting
by the targeted State’s authorities. On each of these the scope of action of HRDs in the country (see below).
occasions, HRDs met with relevant stakeholders. These
meetings were supported by written submissions, The protection of HRDs worldwide requires strong
position papers, briefing notes and advocacy letters and strategic partnerships and alliances. Under the
that were produced in preparation for these activities. ProtectDefenders.eu Consortium, the European
Echoing FIDH’s advocacy work, eight resolutions were Union Human Rights Defenders mechanism, FIDH
adopted by the European Parliament for the protection strengthened synergies with 11 other international
of HRDs in Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab and regional partners on various aspects related to
Emirates, Chechnya, Guatemala and Singapore. the protection of HRDs.

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 9 — 13
Supporting Human Rights Defenders
2/ SPOTLIGHTS ON IMPACTS & SIGNIFICANT OUTCOMES

Objective 1 – Protect human rights defenders in situations of insecurity

Expected outcome 1.1: Defenders escape repression and are better protected

Highlights on releases of Human Rights


Defenders: a strong and tireless mobilization
In 2019, FIDH contributed to the release of 124 defenders who were arbitrarily detained and
were the subject of urgent alerts. This is a slight increase in the number of defenders released
compared to 2018. Twenty-three defenders also saw their judicial conditions improve, including
five who were prosecuted for exercising their freedom of expression.

This was possible thanks to a strong and tireless mobilization in all regions of the world:
in Africa (such as in Angola, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Togo, Zimbabwe,
Ethiopia, Sudan, Equatorial Guinea, Mozambique, Mauritania, Djibouti, Niger, Republic of
Guinea, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya), in Europe and Central Asia (such as in Bulgaria, Turkey,
Spain, Italy, Cyprus, Croatia, Hungary, United Kingdom, Armenia, Russia, Belarus, Tajikistan,
Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan) in the MENA region (such as in Algeria, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt,
Morocco / Western Sahara, United Arab Emirates, Occupied Palestinian Territory / Israel, Syria,
Iraq, Tunisia, Yemen, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait), in the Americas (such as in Brazil, Guatemala,
Mexico, Honduras, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Haiti, Cuba, Nicaragua, Chile, Ecuador), and
in Asia (such as in Iran, China, Singapore, India, Thailand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Vietnam,
Hong Kong, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Maldives, Malaysia, Afghanistan).

Oyub Titiev, Chechen human rights defender, arrested by police on 9 January 2018 © Rashbrax

14 — F I D H ANNUaL Re PORT 2 0 1 9
Expected outcome 1.2: Defenders and NGOs, especially the most vulnerable, strengthened
in their capacity to protect themselves from risk of repression

Strengthening the participation of women’s rights


defenders in the MENA region
FIDH organized in Tunis a regional seminar in June 2019 bringing together about 25 women HRDs: Algerian
and Sudanese defenders, with defenders from countries facing or having faced similar challenges in Kenya,
Spain, Libya, Iraq, Iran and Tajikistan. This collaboration between women defenders has led to the emergence
of a common roadmap formulating recommendations for action to be taken to ensure the inclusion and
promotion of women’s rights at each stage of the transition, within the feminist movement, with other civil
society actors and in terms of participation of women in transitional bodies.

The roadmap is based on two pillars of actions:

- Strengthen the feminist movement by mobilizing young people to foster inter-generational transmission and
collaboration, and uniting work on freedom of association and protection of women defenders. Involvement
in the transition also entails anticipating the movement’s responses, setting up collective demands and
inter-association working groups.

- Strengthen relations with other civil society actors, by identifying allies (feminist men, professionals, students,
artists, etc.), raising awareness among human rights organizations about the need to promote women’s
equality from the start of the transition, and defending equality as a cross-cutting and non-negotiable value
in the relations with “democratic” political actors.

Demonstration during "Women's Rights Day" in Tunisia.

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 9 — 15
Supporting Human Rights Defenders
Expected outcome 1.3: Decision-makers take more action to protect defenders

Colombia: a proceeding to protect Human Rights


Defenders (HRDs)
In 2019, FIDH filed an amicus curiae application before the Constitutional Court of Colombia to
challenge the legality of articles 100 and 104 of the draft statutory law on the administration
of justice in the Special Court for Peace. In the document presented, FIDH demonstrated the
incompatibility of Articles 100 and 104 of the draft law - excluding defenders from access
to judicial functions within the Special Court - with international human rights law. Both
paragraphs intentionally excluded from the enjoyment of an internationally recognized and
protected right, the right to equal access to public services, a category of persons subject to
special international protection, namely HRDs. The draft law articles banning defenders from
exercising functions in the Special Court for Peace were all the more incomprehensible as
the human rights struggle of many HRDs in Colombia have contributed to the peace-building
process.

In a Sate where HRDs are murdered, persecuted and threatened, FIDH demonstrated in this
amicus that it is a priority to ensure that the exercise of their rights is respected in all cases
and that they are not subjected to new forms of discrimination.

Demonstration during of trial for the assassination of Berta Caceres,indigenous leader, human right and environment activist, Honduras, 2019.

16 — F I D H ANNUaL Re PORT 2 0 1 9
The 19 criminalized land defenders, along with their families and lawyers, in front of the Superior Court of Justice of Apurimac. © APRODEH

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 9 — 17
PRIORITY
FOSTERING AN ENVIRONMENT
CONDUCIVE TO DEMOCRACY AND
FREEDOM
1/ ANALYSIS OF PL ANS, CHALLENGES AND In Asia, FIDH continued to monitor situations
PROGRESS where the most serious human rights violations
were committed (e.g. the Philippines, Thailand,
As checks and balances – which are meant to ensure Cambodia, Kashmir, Bangladesh) and where there
democratic oversight and accountability for public were backsliding of democracy (e.g. the Maldives).
action – have been progressively undermined, human The situation for civil society and HRDs in Kashmir
rights standards have been lowered and the space continued to be extremely difficult and thus required
for civil society has been dramatically shrinking. international organizations to support their advocacy
States have become increasingly defiant to their own and public awareness efforts. FIDH has become a
international human rights commitments and appear well-respected voice on the situation in Kashmir,
reluctant to confront each other on their rule of law resulting in media coverage, and invitations to speak
and human rights record, not only in the context of at events and conferences jointly with its India
electoral processes that have remained source of based member organizations in Indian-administered
tensions or extreme violence in many States, but Jammu and Kashmir. FIDH published a briefing
also in the context of repression of dissidents and note on the situation of human rights in the region
crackdown on freedom of expression, freedom of in March 2019, co-organized and spoke on a panel
demonstration and freedom of assembly, targeting discussion on the human rights situation in Jammu
media, students, activists, and political opposition. and Kashmir, held on the sidelines of the UN Human
Rights Council session in June 2019, and organized
The threats to the Rule of Law and the related an advocacy round in Brussels and Geneva with
shrinking space for civil society were addressed Khurram Parvez of the Associations of Parents
under different angles and different means of action of Disappeared Persons (APDP – FIDH member
in 2019, as FIDH adapted its approach to different since October 2019), during which participants met
situations. with relevant stakeholders at the EU and UN. In
September 2019, FIDH also published a briefing note
In the Americas, FIDH continued to denounce the providing an update on the human rights situation
abusive practices of authoritarian States in the in Jammu and Kashmir following the revocation
region and to highlight the alarming situation of of the State’s special status in August and the
the rule of law in situations such as Guatemala, ensuing communications blockade and other human
Nicaragua, Venezuela. A report from FIDH and rights violations. In China, as 2019 marked the 30th
Guatemalan coalition Convergencia por los Derechos anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre on 4
Humanos, Guatemala: Justice and Rule of Law at a June, FIDH and its member organizations have taken
Crossroads, analyses the outlook for justice and a prominent role to raise in key international fora,
rule of law in Guatemala in light of the expiration of including during the EU-China human rights dialogue
the mandate of the Commission against Impunity in Brussels in April, the issue of the heightened
in Guatemala while this UN-backed investigative repression of ethnic minorities (particularly in Tibet
body has, in partnership with the Public Ministry, and Xinjiang) and civil society. In the Maldives,
contributed to significant progress in the fight FIDH was able to build the capacity of its member
against corruption and impunity in the country over organization, Maldivian Democracy Network (MDN),
the past twelve years, earning wide public support to submit a concise and targeted report for the
and international recognition. third Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the State,
that will be held in May 2020 in Geneva. The report

18 — F I D H ANNUaL Re PORT 2 0 1 9
A brutal detention of a teenager by the National Guard of Russia during a peaceful rally on August 10, 2019.
© Vlad Dokshin / Novaya Gazeta

assesses the extent to which the government of the


Maldives has addressed key human rights issues
since the second UPR cycle, which began in May 2019 was also marked by the repression of
2015, and offers recommendations for the third UPR peaceful protests and the crackdown on freedom
cycle. Despite FIDH communication and efforts, of expression and assembly.
MDN eventually had its registration revoked by the
Maldivian authorities at the end of the year. In Zimbabwe, FIDH and the Zimbabwe Human Rights
Association (ZimRights) alerted the international
In Western Europe, EuroMed Rights and FIDH community about the crackdown perpetrated by
conducted a trial observation mission to the security forces against demonstrators, who had
trial of pro-independence Catalan leaders, in been legitimately expressing their discontent over
February 2019, at the Spanish Supreme Court. the dire socio-economic crisis in the country. In
The sensitive nature of the case and the judicial this context, the European Parliament adopted
proceedings carried out have led EuroMed Rights on 14 February 2019 a resolution which strongly
and FIDH to send a trial observation mission to condemned the violence and excessive use of
ensure the proper conduct of the process, in line force and called for a return to a peaceful national
with international standards on the right for a fair dialogue. During the preparatory phase before
trial. FIDH continued in 2019 to gather relevant the adoption of the resolution, FIDH relayed the
information to feed ongoing (and potential future) recommendations by ZimRights concerning human
processes regarding the Rule of Law, human rights rights violations by security forces, including torture,
and the shrinking civic space in Hungary and in the harassment and criminalization of civil society
Poland. It especially aimed to pressure the EU and actors, the need for immediate and unconditional
member States to monitor the situation in these release of all political prisoners, and the need for an
countries and hold their governments accountable inclusive national dialogue. These recommendations
for violating the EU’s founding principles, through were also made by the European Parliament, which
political dialogue, infringement proceedings and also importantly called for prompt and impartial
via the procedure laid down in Article 7 TEU. FIDH investigations into all allegations of excessive use
and its member organizations organized numerous of force by police and state officials.
advocacy meetings with EU officials and member
State representatives to urge them to take forward In Nicaragua, protests calling for reforms to
the article 7 TEU procedure against Hungary and the social security system have been met with
Poland and to extend its scope so as to include intensif ying governmental repression, with
challenges faced by civil society. Several European thousands of victims. The country has plunged
Parliament resolutions reflected FIDH’s calls in into a serious crisis in which human rights are
relation to shrinking civic space in Hungary. The trampled upon. FIDH demanded the release of
EU Council took further steps towards holding the political prisoners and the reinstatement of legal
Hungarian government accountable for violating status for human rights organizations, including
EU principles by moving forward with the procedure its member organization, Centro Nicaraguense
laid down in Art 7 TEU, launching an infringement de Derechos Humanos (CENIDH). FIDH also
procedure. Further steps were also taken by the organized a demonstration in front of the Embassy
EU Commission and The Court of Justice of the
European Union towards ruling over inconsistency
of Hungarian LexNGO with EU law.

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 9 — 19
FOSTERING AN ENVIRONMENT
CONDUCIVE TO DEMOCRACY AND
FREEDOM

of Nicaragua in Brussels in February in order to


protest against the repression of the State. FIDH In several countries, a fragile process of political
joint advocacy to the UN in New York and Geneva transition has begun, which is prompting civil society
led to the adoption of a resolution on the situation organizations to redefine their strategies, messages
in Nicaragua at the March session of the Human and forms of interaction with the authorities, to
Rights Council. ensure that the “dividends” of political transitions
extend sustainably to human rights protection
In Russia, FIDH authored a report titled “Brutal issues.
Repression of Protests in Moscow: a Complete
Account of Violations” in response to the summer In DRC, following the election of the new President,
2019 peaceful protests where close to 3000 Félix Tshisekedi, on 20 January2019, an FIDH
individuals were arbitrarily detained and dozens delegation, along with the Association Africaine des
tried on fabricated rioting charges. Droits de l’Homme (ASADHO), Ligue des Electeurs,
and Groupe Lotus, carried out mid-March a high
In Africa, whether in crises, conflicts, or fragile level political mission to meet with the President
political transitions, FIDH continued advocating of DRC and to present a roadmap for human
to inter- governmental organizations for an rights. The roadmap described in a report entitled
environment conducive to democracy and Democratic Republic of the Congo: Five priorities for
freedom, especially the UN Security Council a State that respects human rights, has five priorities:
(such as for the renewal of the MONUSCO in the fight for justice and against impunity; respect for
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), see below), fundamental rights and the promotion of an internal
the Human Rights Council and the African Union. policy dialogue; women’s rights and building an
Considering the repeated attacks against the egalitarian society; structural reforms to ensure
African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights the rule of law and democracy; strengthening
(ACHPR), FIDH, together with its partners and cooperation with the international community and
member organizations, continued to lobby during human rights protection mechanisms. Member
the 64th and the 65th sessions of the ACHPR for the organizations subsequently presented the roadmap
preservation of the independence of the ACHPR, in to the Security Council, with the support of the FIDH
accordance with its mandate for the enhancement delegation in New York, and to the European Union,
and the protection of human rights as defined by and UN, through the delegations in Geneva and
the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Brussels, for it to feed the respective institutions’
FIDH drafted several resolutions and delivered mobilization on the State. A concrete result of these
several oral statements prepared with its member actions was the signing of a presidential decree
organizations, notably on upholding respect for ordering the release of 574 political prisoners. This
human rights and the rule of law during democratic mission and the roadmap made it possible to position
transitions (focus on Algeria, Democratic Republic FIDH and its members as leading interlocutors on
of Congo, Sudan and Tunisia), on the abolition the measures and reforms to be undertaken for
of the death penalty and in supporting Egyptian the establishment of the Rule of Law in DRC. FIDH
civil society in denouncing the serious violations and its DRC member organizations continue their
committed in Egypt, hosting the 64 th session. efforts to ensure that the new Congolese authorities
FIDH supported the petition of the NGO Forum implement the roadmap that promotes protection
against the poor treatment accorded to civil society and respect of human rights.
organizations during the preparation of the 64th
session.

20 — F I D H ANNUaL Re PORT 2 0 1 9
In Morocco, on 4 June 2019, King Mohammed VI
pardoned 60 protesters jailed for the mass Hirak
Rif protests in 2016 and 47 for the Hirak Jerada
protests in 2017. The royal pardon was granted on
the grounds that they did not commit violence or
grave acts during those events. The Hirak protests,
triggered by the tragic death of fish vendor Mohcine
Fikri in 2016, highlighted the deprivation and neglect
Zimbabwe: Riot police monitor a group of citizens arrested after violence on the sidelines of a demonstration.
of Morocco’s marginalized regions, calling for basic © Jekesai NJIKIZANA
economic and social rights. The repression of these
social movements by the authorities was particularly
violent. During a mission in Morocco in February 2019, between Algerian HRDs and renowned figures of
FIDH systematically raised the release of protesters the Tunisian transition to share their experience
with the Moroccan authorities, and engaged them and lessons learned. Algerian HRDs also met with
on the fundamental issues of economic and social representatives of the Algerian diaspora in France
rights underpinning the protest movements. active in the ongoing protest movement, and
various journalists, to reinforce the international
On 24 March 2019, after almost five years of visibility of the movement in Algeria. In memory
repressive military rule, Thailand returned to the of the victims of violations of individual freedoms
polls amid uncertainty over the possibility of in Tunisia, mainly in the post-Ben Ali era, FIDH,
restoring democracy and human rights in the country with its member organizations and partners the
through a democratically elected government. FIDH Association Tunisienne des Femmes Démocrates
engaged the political parties contesting the election, (ATFD), Ligue Tunisienne pour la Défense des Droits
surveyed their commitments on key human rights de l’Homme (LTDH), and Association Tunisienne de
issues and published a report More shadows than Défense des Libertés Individuelles (ATDLI) launched
lights to provide a benchmarks that can be used in March 2019 a book devoted to this issue, calling
to monitor policies and actions implemented by for the protection of individual freedoms at a time
Thailand’s political parties and their adherence troubled by the upcoming elections. The event
to their stated human rights commitments. The was attended by 60 journalists and 150 people,
report also allowed FIDH to establish itself as a contributing to enhancing the visibility of this
legitimate and credible interlocutor for any future issue. The book has been serving FIDH’s advocacy
engagement with Thailand’s political parties and campaign aiming to mobilize Tunisian Members of
elected members of Parliament. In June 2019, Parliament in support of a draft law on individual
Siraphop Kornaroot, a writer and blogger arbitrarily freedoms. Acknowledging the peaceful 2018-2019
detained for almost five years under Thailand’s revolution and the defiance of the Sudanese people
draconian lèse-majesté law, was finally released. in their quest for freedom, peace, and justice, and
FIDH and its partner organization Thai Lawyers saluting the peaceful methods that protesters
for Human Rights (TLHR) notably brought his case adopted since December 2018, FIDH organized in
before the attention of the United Nations Working December 2019 a strategic workshop in Nairobi with
Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD) concluding its Sudanese member organizations, African Centre
that his detention resulted from his peaceful exercise For Justice And Peace Studies (ACJPS) and Sudan
of the right to freedom of expression, was thus Human Rights Monitor (SUHRIM) on the political
arbitrary, and called on the Thai government to transition in Sudan. The renewed context offered
immediately release him. an opportunity to contribute to bringing Sudanese
civil society together, defining priorities for joint
The wave of demonstrations that began in Algeria action, and to carrying out targeted advocacy to
on 22 February 2019 was an historic opportunity to strengthen respect for human rights and the Rule
move towards a democratic transition. To discuss of Law in Sudan. A joint strategic action plan will
challenges arising for human rights organizations be finalized in 2020.
and defenders in the political transition processes,
FIDH organized a meeting in Paris in July 2019 Following coordinated activities to denounce anti-
democratic initiatives for the Universal Periodic
Review (UPR) of China, FIDH and its member
organizations have been feeding information to
States, the OHCHR and Special Procedures on the
human rights situation in China and contributed

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 9 — 21
FOSTERING AN ENVIRONMENT
CONDUCIVE TO DEMOCRACY AND
FREEDOM

to joint targeted advocacy at the Human Rights


Council and directed at key stakeholders, in order
to ensure scrutiny at the international level of
the human rights violations committed by the for advocacy purposes in 2019 and a report will be
State apparatus and successfully contributing to published in 2020.
several public statements condemning the Chinese
authorities. FIDH also advocated against a China- On the death penalty, FIDH and its member
led resolution which aimed to weaken international organizations contributed to the 7th World Congress
human rights standards by prioritizing development Against the Death Penalty, organized in Brussels by
over the human rights approach. The initiative Together Against the Death Penalty (Ensemble contre
passed, although with a large increase of no votes la peine de mort, ECPM) in partnership with the World
in comparison to previous Chinese initiatives. FIDH Coalition Against the Death Penalty (WCADP). FIDH
and its members also submitted several shadow is an active member of WCADP’s steering committee
reports for the UPR of Cambodia, Nicaragua, Iran, since its creation in 2002 and, together with its
Laos, Vietnam, Egypt and Yemen. member organizations, advocates for the universal
abolition of the death penalty. FIDH and its member
On the front of the fight against terrorism while organizations from Algeria, Bangladesh, Belarus,
respecting human rights, at the global level, Botswana, Indonesia, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan,
FIDH along with OMCT, under the umbrella of the Senegal, Thailand, Uganda and Sudan actively
Observatory for the Protection of human rights participated to the Congress. FIDH organized and
defenders, started in 2019 to document extensively facilitated two panels: on Belarus (the only European
at national and international levels, the misuse country that violates human rights at all stages
of counter-terrorism measures against HRDs of judicial proceeding when applying the death
worldwide, reaching out to information through penalty) and on Pakistan (one of the world’s top
respective networks of local human rights member executioners which continues to impose the death
organizations on the ground. This followed on from penalty for 33 crimes). A panel discussion “Why the
FIDH’s report entitled The UN counter-terrorism death penalty continues to be applied in Belarus? ”
complex: bureaucracy, political influence and civil was organized in partnership with Belarussian
liberties, published in 2017, which was the first FIDH member organization Viasna, the Council of
research on the UN counter-terrorism architecture Europe and ECPM . The discussion, enriched by the
from a human rights perspective by a human viewpoints of relatives of executed convicts whose
rights NGO. A new report is planned to be launched rights as victims’ family members were violated,
in 2020. Following the re-election of President provided the Congress with a new perspective. With
Muhammadu Buhari in Nigeria and the arrest of regard to Pakistan, FIDH highlighted the ongoing
suspected members of Boko Haram in the Chadian use of the death penalty and its impacts on the
capital, FIDH with the Ligue Tchadienne des Droits poorest and most vulnerable communities during
de l’Homme (LTDH) conducted a fact-finding mission a side event at the World Congress Against the
to Lake Chad in February 2019 to inquire about Death Penalty in Brussels, entitled “Pakistan: how
the resurgence of Boko Haram in the region, the to get back on the road to abolition”. The side event
consequences for civilian populations and the anti- presented the preliminary findings of a mission
terrorist measures taken by the Chadian authorities FIDH and its member organization, the Human
against these threats. A briefing note was drafted Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) conducted
to Pakistan in November 2018.

22 — F I D H ANNUaL Re PORT 2 0 1 9
2/ IMPACTS and SIGNIFICANT OUTCOMES

Objective 1 – Counter Authoritarianism

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

Capacities of member and partner organizations


strengthened during ACHPR sessions
ACHPR sessions 64 and 65 allowed a joint mobilization between FIDH’s International Secretariat,
14 member organizations, and members from the International Board. For many participants,
these sessions were an opportunity to “learn by doing”. As an example, the Tunisian member
representatives participating in the 65th session with the support of FIDH were sensitized to the
work of the ACHPR in terms of its promotional and protective mandates, and participated in the
NGO Forum where they were able to observe presentations on the human rights situations in
Africa by other civil society organizations. They also participated in thematic discussions and side
events as an arena for networking, and attended an introductory session to the African Human
Rights System which gave them insight on how to pursue advocacy and litigate at the ACHPR.
Finally, they attended the first week of the ordinary session of the ACHPR that introduced them
to the workings of the ACHPR, and allowed them to observe oral statements by civil society, and
state responses and thematic panel discussions by the ACHPR.

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

Egypt: a firm condemnation of the brutal repression


of pacifist anti-governmental protesters
Protests erupted throughout Egypt on the evening of 20 September 2019, in Cairo, Alexandria, Suez and
Mahalla. These protests were sparked by allegations of corruption involving President Abdel Fattah
al-Sisi and high-ranking army officials, in a rare act of defiance to the military junta that has been ruling
the country since the 2013 coup. The following evening, protesters gathered again in several cities and
were met by police officers firing live ammunition and rubber bullets, according to witnesses. High
profile activists, journalists, HRDs, lawyers, and university professors have subsequently been targeted
by enforced disappearance, arbitrary arrests and detention, and some of them subjected to torture.

Echoing FIDH’s advocacy at the EU level, the European Parliament firmly condemned in an urgent
resolution of October 2019 the brutal repression of human rights in Egypt against pacifist anti-
government protesters.
Prior to the UPR session on Egypt at the UN, FIDH organized advocacy rounds for the case of Mr Ramy
Shaath, detained for his human rights activities in Egypt. More general issues were also discussed
during the advocacy round such as the situation of HRDs and civic space in Egypt, rights of prisoners,
the absence of fair trial guarantees, arbitrary detention and excessive use of pre-trial detention, and
the use of counter-terrorism legislations to target dissenting voices.

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 9 — 23
FOSTERING AN ENVIRONMENT
CONDUCIVE TO DEMOCRACY AND
FREEDOM

Objective 3 – Promote the Universal abolition of the Death Penalty

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

Punished For Being V ulnerable: How


Pakistan executes the poorest and the most
marginalized
Following a joint fact-finding FIDH-HRCP mission conducted in Pakistan in November
2018, a report entitled “Punished For Being Vulnerable : How Pakistan executes the poorest
and the most marginalized in society” documented the criminal justice system in Pakistan
with concrete policy recommendations related to the judicial system, the capacities
of defense 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. Launched on the occasion of the World Day
against the Death Penalty, on 10 October, in partnership with the World Coalition against
the Death Penalty, the publication was well received and will provide substance for FIDH
and HRCP to continue advocating on these issues in the coming years.

Activists from the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) carry placards during a demonstration
to mark International Day Against the Death Penalty in Islamabad on 10 October 2015. © AAMIR QURESHI / AFP

24 — F I D H ANNUaL Re PORT 2 0 1 9
Protests demanding the resignation of President Jimmy Morales after the congress rejected a request to lift the president’s immunity so that he could face a corruption
investigation on the irregular financing of his party. September 2017. © JOHAN ORDONEZ / AFP

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 9 — 25
PRIORITY

PROMOTING WOMEN’S RIGHTS


1/ ANALYSIS OF PL ANS, CHALLENGES AND
PROGRESS

In 2019, FIDH continued to promote women’s rights workshop, a civil society Network of Actions against
in countries where serious violations of women’s Sexual Violence was created with a roadmap and
rights prevail, continuing with its member and partner an advocacy strategy aiming at combatting sexual
activities and mobilization engaged in the past, and violence and its consequences (see below).
in accordance with the objectives established under
FIDH’s priority on women’s rights in its Multi-Year At the end of 2019, FIDH published a collection of
Strategic Plan. articles on the Impact of Litigation on Combating
Sexual Violence and its Consequences in Africa.
Throughout 2019, FIDH continued to support its This compendium, written by lawyers, experts and
member organizations and partners to strengthen activists, from several countries (Senegal, South
their collective capacities to act through the creation Africa, Tunisia, Sudan, Kenya, Guinea, Liberia) gives
of safe spaces for reflection between feminists and priority to sharing experiences with litigation, at
the sharing of experiences between human rights different levels, carried out for, and by, the victims
organizations and women’s rights organizations. of sexual violence and to present the effects and
challenges of this form of action and make some
In the MENA region, in order to strengthen the tangible recommendations. These litigation actions,
participation of women’s rights defenders in the several of which have been carried out by FIDH,
transition process, FIDH organized in Tunis a regional its members and partners, may lead to victories
seminar in June 2019 bringing together about 25 through emblematic convictions, a freeing of the
women HRDs: Algerian and Sudanese defenders, victims’ voices or even legislative changes. The
with defenders from countries facing or having faced case of Meriem Ben Mohamed is emblematic in this
similar challenges in Kenya, Spain, Libya, Iraq, Iran regard. Along with the report, a short interview video,
and Tajikistan. This collaboration between women viewed 80 000 times on Twitter and Facebook, was
defenders has led to the emergence of a common produced where she describes the impact the trial
roadmap formulating recommendations for action had on her life.
to be taken to ensure the inclusion and promotion
of women’s rights at each stage of the transition, On the other hand, litigation actions are defeated
within the feminist movement, with other civil society when political will is lacking, when the judiciary is
actors and in terms of participation of women in not equipped with sufficient means, or when the
transitional bodies. legal framework remains unsuitable. The report
demonstrates, in particular, how the political
In Côte d’Ivoire, 14 civil society organizations, settlements of several African conflicts have
including FIDH member organizations, the Ivorian enshrined widespread impunity, without any
League for Human Rights (LIDHO) and the Ivorian convictions having been handed down, even though
Human Rights Movement (MIDH), and women’s sexual violence had been organized and committed
rights organizations such as Organisation Femme on a large scale.
en Action de Côte d’Ivoire (OFACI) as well as women’s
rights experts from the region (Senegal, Tunisia, In order to denounce sexual and gender-based
Guinea) exchanged experiences and mobilized in violence (SGBV), FIDH and its member organizations
Yamoussoukro in 2019 around strategies to fight also carried out or consolidated joint documentation
against sexual violence perpetrated both in the on violence against women and girls, in particular
context of electoral violence and in peacetime, and to sexual and gender based violence, in various
provide complete support to survivors. Following this countries. In Bangladesh, FIDH along with its Bengali

26 — F I D H ANNUaL Re PORT 2 0 1 9
Female inmates at a sewing workshop at Phra Nakon Si Ayutthaya Provincial Prison on 21 November 2013. © William Davies / AFP

member organisation ODHIKAR and its member truth, justice and reparation is also at the core of
organisation from Indonesia, KontraS, conducted FIDH and its members’ action.
in 2019 a fact-finding mission on living conditions
of Rohingya refugee women and girls in Cox’s In Sudan, in December 2019, FIDH, the African Center
Bazar refugee camps. The mission focused on the for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) and the Sudan
inequalities suffered by women in the camps in Human Rights Monitor (SUHRIM) held a workshop
their host country. The investigation highlighted in Nairobi for the launch of the report entitled Will
the violations of women’s rights caused by the There Be Justice For Darfur? Persisting impunity in the
emergence of polygamy in Rohingya communities face of political change on the lack of accountability
and the reinforcement of harmful practices, the and the need for justice and reparation for victims
violence inflicted on them, including domestic of atrocities, including crimes of sexual violence. At
violence, and the lack of access to services and international level, echoing the concerns expressed
resources in UNHCR-led humanitarian settings. In and the information provided by FIDH and its member
Kenya, in 2019, FIDH and its member organization organizations in Sudan, the 2019 United Nations
in Kenya, the Kenya Human Rights Commission Human Rights Council resolution on Sudan renewed
(KHRC) continued the joint documentation efforts the mandate of the Independent Expert for another
of 2017/2018 post-electoral sexual violence, with an year, highlighted efforts of national investigation
expected publication for 2020. As direct progress into human rights violations and the importance of
linked to the investigative work and related national accountability. It also emphasized women’s rights and
advocacy, a county government in Kenya adopted encouraged their participation in peace processes.
at the end of 2019 a policy to combat sexual and FIDH coordinated or supported a large number of
gender-based violence (see below). joint NGO activities aimed at the Human Rights
Council in 2019 (five letters, three side events, four
Based on 2015 figures, Thailand had the world’s briefings, and four advocacy rounds with HRDs) to
highest incarceration rate for women. Thai prisons address the rapidly changing national context and
suffer from chronic overcrowding and women are accompany local HRD efforts to ensure greater
disproportionately affected by the authorities’ failure respect of human rights in Sudan. During its fact-
to respect international minimum standards for the finding mission among Sudanese refugees in Eastern
treatment of prisoners. Between April and August Chad in 2018, FIDH also collected the testimony of
2018, FIDH and its member organization Union for a woman victim of sexual violence, on the basis of
Civil Liberties (UCL) were granted access to nine which, together with the International Commission of
‘model prisons’ for women to observe conditions and Jurists and ACJPS, it transmitted a communication
gather preliminary information. The results of this to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’
investigation are presented in a report entitled Flawed Rights against the Government of Sudan.
Models Implementation of international standards in
Thailand’s ‘model’ prisons for women, disseminated Following the joint documentation work conducted
at the end of 2019 through social networks with the by FIDH, in collaboration with the Kinyat Organisation
support of an infographic. for Documentation, based in Dohuk (Iraqi Kurdistan),
in 2017 and 2018 on the sexual violence against
F i g h t i n g a g a i n s t i m p u n i t y, e s t a b l i s h i n g Yazidi women in Iraq and Syria that amounted
responsibilities, and defending victims’ rights to to crimes against humanity and genocide, FIDH

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 9 — 27
PROMOTING WOMEN’S RIGHTS

activated criminal accountability mechanisms in CAR (one) to advocate for the recognition of victims’
2019. Legal representation by FIDH’s Litigation rights. During the missions, such as in Côte d’Ivoire,
Action Group (LAG) lawyers has been provided to FIDH and its member organizations met with dozens
these women in the context of international crimes of women victims of SGBV to provide information on
investigations underway in France and Germany the evolution of the proceedings, to consult them
targeting “foreign ISIS fighters”. In February 2019, on the legal strategy to be adopted, and seek their
LAG lawyers went to Calgary, Canada, to assist four views. According to their wishes, FIDH initiated new
Yazidi survivors during their auditions by French proceedings to request the nullity of the amnesty
investigators in the framework of the preliminary measures and took action to lodge complaints before
investigation opened in 2016. In October 2019, the regional jurisdictions.
French War crimes unit announced the opening of In Mexico, several workshops were conducted with
the first judicial investigation in France targeting a victims, mainly women, in supporting the rights to
French suspect, Sabri Essid, following incriminatory truth, justice and reparation for victims of extra-
evidence shared by two Yazidi survivors represented judicial killings and enforced disappearances.
by LAG lawyers who were able to become civil party
in the proceedings. Gendered violence is rooted in discriminatory laws
and practices. To achieve equality, FIDH and its
At international level, progress in establishing members and partners use a variety of leverages,
responsibilities in the area of sexual and gender- including advocacy and campaigning. In 2019, FIDH
based crimes was made on the case of Ntaganda continued monitoring the draft law adopted by the
accused of 13 counts of war crimes, including rape Tunisian Council of Ministers on 23 November 2018,
and sexual slavery of civilians before the ICC (see aiming to achieve equality in inheritance between
below). FIDH’s member organizations have long called women and men. The first of its kind in the region, this
for an increased focus on accountability for sexual draft law has rekindled a virulent debate in countries
and gender-based crimes, both in the cases at the where the inheritance of men continues to be twice
ICC and at the national level within the Democratic that of women. This draft law is the outcome of the
Republic of Congo (DRC). fierce fight of Tunisian feminist and human rights
organizations for more than three decades and has
In Guinea, Ivory Coast, Mali and Central African led to a public debate on equality in inheritance which
Republic (CAR), FIDH and its member organizations questions discrimination against women and unequal
also support hundreds of victims of serious human social relationships. It largely exceeds the Tunisian
rights violations before national courts, including context since the experience of the Tunisian civil
women victims of SGBV. In 2019, little progress was society fighting for women’s rights and equality can
made and some States took deliberate actions to benefit human rights activists in Algeria, Morocco,
deny access to justice to the victims (amnesties for Egypt, Lebanon and Palestine. On 8 March 2019,
example). However, legal representations of victims International Women’s Rights Day, FIDH launched
continued to be guaranteed and four missions were a campaign highlighting the severe discrimination
conducted in Côte d’Ivoire (two), Guinea (one) and against women in Saudi Arabia and the appalling
situation of women’s rights defenders. It also fed
the media debate about the situation of women in

28 — F I D H ANNUaL Re PORT 2 0 1 9
Saudi Arabia, and the crackdown on the women’s current backsliding has on women’s sexual and
rights activists. reproductive rights, challenging restrictive laws and
policies through advocacy to national authorities
While FIDH’s member organizations and partners and international organizations. This was the case
are advocating for the recognition by States and for Poland with international advocacy meetings
the international human rights system of sexual on the margins of the 41st session of the Human
and reproductive rights (SRR), including the right Rights Council in Geneva with the presentation of
to free, safe and legal abortion, as basic human the report of the UN Working Group on Discrimination
rights, growing pressure from States, including the against Women on women’s rights and women right
United States, has led to setbacks in 2019. In April, defenders, with FIDH’s member organisation PSAL
the Security Council of the United Nations adopted from Poland, in partnership with Human Rights Watch
a resolution to strengthen the fight against sexual and their Polish partner Autonomia Foundation.
violence in conflict, which was largely gutted. Any This is also the case for DRC, for which FIDH, along
mention of “sexual and reproductive health”, which with La ligue des Electeurs (LE), Groupe Lotus and
implied the possibility of abortion in case of rape in Association Africaine de Défense des Droits de
a conflict situation, was removed following pressure l’Homme (ASADHO), submitted an alternative report
from the United States. In response to these attacks, to the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of
FIDH continued combating the impact that the Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) on violations
of women’s rights in DRC, including of sexual and
reproductive rights.

A group of citizens demonstrate for the right to abortion in Chile.

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 9 — 29
PROMOTING WOMEN’S RIGHTS
2/ IMPACTS and SIGNIFICANT OUTCOMES

Objective 1 – Fighting Violence against Women

Expected outcome 1.1. Member and partner organizations supported to build their capacity to act

Côte d’Ivoire: creation of a national


civil society network to combat sexual
violence and support survivors
In October 2019, within the framework of the joint program with FIDH member organizations,
the Ivorian League for Human Rights (LIDHO) and the Ivorian Human Rights Movement
(MIDH), a civil society Network of Actions against Sexual Violence (Réseau d’actions
contre les violences sexuelles – RAVS) was created following a workshop held in
Yamoussoukro with more than ten Ivorian human rights organizations and organizations
specialized in the defense of women’s rights such as Organisation Femme en Action
de Côte d’Ivoire (OFACI) and Association des Femmes Juristes de Côte d’Ivoire (AFJCI),
experts of the FIDH International Secretariat, representatives of national authorities and
international women’s rights experts and feminists from FIDH member organizations in
Guinea, Senegal and Tunisia. The Network was formally constituted and endowed with
legal personality. It aims to ensure better coordination among national and local actors
contributing to the fight against sexual violence, especially in terms of gender-sensitive
data collection and consolidating the advocacy strategy of Ivorian civil society in this
area. A user-friendly handbook was drafted on how to interact and support survivors
of sexual violence, in line with best practices. The Network has focal points deployed
in various regions of the country in charge of collecting information on sexual and
gender-based violence. The collected information will be completed by an international
fact-finding mission of investigation, to be held in 2020 by FIDH and its member and
partner organizations.

30 — F I D H ANNUaL Re PORT 2 0 1 9
Expected outcome 1.2: Greater normative protection of women from violence

A county government in Kenya adopts a policy


to combat SGBV
At the end of 2019, Migori County government, located in the far West of Kenya, adopted a policy to combat SGBV.
This policy provides a framework for the implementation of concrete measures in the prevention and response
to SGBV, aiming to eliminate SGBV in the county. It makes it possible, for instance, to apply a specific legislative
framework to combat such violence, improve victims’ access to care services, and promote the establishment of
a mechanism to coordinate the authorities’ response in this area.

This progress is directly linked to the investigative work carried out in Migori by FIDH and its member organization
in Kenya, the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC), on sexual crimes committed during and after the 2017
national elections. The surveys carried out among survivors of SGBV during the electioneering period have indeed
highlighted the prevalence of these crimes targeting women in particular and the gaps in prevention of and response
to this violence.

Based on FIDH’s research work, an advocacy campaign has been carried out since 2018 to raise awareness among
the authorities about SGBV and its serious consequences on survivors. Discussions that have been undertaken have
also aimed to urge the authorities to take measures to prevent and fight against the recurrence of this phenomenon
and to providing protection and support to the victims. The work carried out contributed to the development of this
policy. In the course of 2019, KHRC met with members of the Migori County Assembly to discuss the situation of
survivors and the draft policy on combating SGBV.

Expected outcome 1.3: Progress in establishing responsibilities for violence against women and in victims’ right to reparation

DRC: ICC sentences Bosco Ntaganda to 30 years for war


crimes and crimes against humanity
On 7 November 2019, a panel of trial judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) unanimously sentenced Bosco
Ntaganda to a total of 30 years of imprisonment, the highest penalty to ever be handed down by the Court. FIDH and several
of its member organizations, ASADHO, Groupe Lotus and the Ligue des Electeurs, documented the crimes committed in
the Ituri region, in the north-eastern DRC, and submitted material to the ICC, leading to Ntaganda’s prosecution.

Earlier in 2019, on 8 July, Ntaganda was found guilty of 13 counts of war crimes and five counts of crimes against
humanity, committed in the 2002-2003 Ituri conflict, in the DRC, the highest amount of charges any defendant before
the ICC has been convicted of Ntaganda held a senior position when the alleged crimes were committed, as deputy
chief of staff and commander of military operations of the Forces patriotiques pour la libération du Congo (FPLC),
and led troops in brutal atrocities against civilian populations.

Both the judgment and the sentencing are currently under appeal. If the decision is upheld by the Appeal Chamber,
it will be the first final ICC conviction for sexual violence.

This case, regardless of the upcoming appeals decision, is key in the recognition of rape and sexual slavery as war
crimes, including when committed within the ranks of the same armed group.

What makes this case a landmark for the prosecution of sexual and gender-based crimes in international law is the Judgment
of the Appeals Chamber rendered in June 2017 which found that the Court had jurisdiction over alleged war crimes of rape
and sexual slavery committed against child soldiers within Ntaganda’s own troops. The ICC hence clarified the interpretation
that must be given to these crimes, ensuring that acts of sexual violence committed within the same armed groups fall under
the protection of the Statute and should not be limited by the status of the victims. The Chamber reached that decision
through a progressive, although debated, analysis of International Humanitarian Law and its purpose.

This case is also important as it contributes to the recognition of sexual violence against men and boys and thus
contributes to the development of an emerging jurisprudence related to sexual and gender-based violence where
both men and women are taken into account.

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 9 — 31
PROMOTING WOMEN’S RIGHTS
Objective 2 – Fighting against Gender Discrimination

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

Decisions makers are trained and sensitized


to fight discrimination and violence against
women in Africa
FIDH and its member organizations in Africa continued to support the African Commission
on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) in disseminating the Guidelines on Combating Sexual
Violence and its Consequences to African Union Member States, AU organs and institutions,
lawyers, civil society organizations and other relevant stakeholders. In 2019, FIDH and its member
organization in Kenya, the Kenya Human Rights Commission, participated in December in an
awareness-raising workshop organized by ACHPR, in Dakar, on concrete ways of implementing,
at national level, the provisions contained in the Guidelines.

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

Chile: a need to continue to protect sexual and


reproductive rights
The 2017 legislative progress made in Chile, with the Law 21.030 authorizing abortion in specific
circumstances, has faced offset in practice by actual or attempted retrograde measures often at the
initiative of anti-choice groups and religious movements.

FIDH and and its member organization in Chile, Observatorio Ciudadano, updated the 2018 report on
abortion issuing a series of recommendations to protect the sexual and reproductive rights of Chilean
women and girls and on the conscientious objection clause, to submit in 2019 an alternative report to
the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural rights with a focus on practical obstacles to access
sexual and reproductive rights for women and girls in Chile. Sexual and reproductive rights was further
taken into account in the 2019 list of issues for the agenda of the Committee of Civil and Political rights
concerning Chile, thanks to the joint efforts of FIDH and Observatorio Ciudadano.

32 — F I D H ANNUaL Re PORT 2 0 1 9
Tunisia. © Catalina Martin-Chico

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 9 — 33
PRIORITY
FIGHTING DISCRIMINATION AND
VIOLENCE BASED ON SEXUAL
ORIENTATION AND GENDER IDENTITY
1/ ANALYSIS OF PL ANS, CHALLENGES AND below) and at bilateral level. In September 2019, FIDH
PROGRESS with its member organisations PSAL and the Finnish
League for Human Rights (FLHR), with the Finnish
In all parts of the world, lesbian, gay, bisexual, Embassy in Poland, co-hosted an international expert
transgender and intersex people (LGBTI+) are victims round-table in Warsaw on the sexual and reproductive
of serious human rights violations: stigmatisation human rights of women and the rights of LGBTI+
and violence, even murder, discrimination, and persons in the context of a Rule of Law backsliding
criminalisation. Besides personal attacks, they and a shrinking civil society space in Poland. A
suffer from differences in treatment and legal status, focus was also visibility, especially before the Polish
especially in relation to family, employment and general elections which took place in October 2019,
freedom of association. Defenders of LGBTI+ rights in order to raise awareness among decision-makers,
are particularly exposed. The protection of HRDs at EU, UN and Member State level, and with media
defending the rights of LGBTI+ persons continued and general public about LGBTI+ rights in Poland.
to be a priority in 2019 (see priority 1). Twenty
urgent appeals were published by the Observatory Regarding Russia, FIDH and IREX Europe hosted seven
on attacks against HRDs of LGBTI+ rights. FIDH LGBTI+-rights activists and journalists from Russia
participated along with its member organization to draw the world’s attention to the crackdown of the
the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) in the regime on the LGBTI+ community. During a round-table
2019 Human Rights Defenders awards ceremony in November 2019, they discussed with representatives
held in Nairobi at the Residence of the French of the French government, civil society, media and the
Ambassador, under the umbrella of the Defenders LGBTI+ diaspora in France, recent developments in
Coalition, which is the National Coalition of Human the field of LGBTI+ rights in Russia, including forced
Rights Defenders in Kenya. One of the awards was migration of LGBTI+ individuals, fleeing repression,
given to a LGBTI+ rights activist. to Europe. The participants explored new ways of
covering these issues in media to ensure that LGBTI+
In 2019, FIDH continued to engage decision-makers rights are respected.
through enhanced spaces of dialogue in the fight
against violence and discrimination against LGBTI+ Furthermore, FIDH continued to follow up its
persons, in line with its Multi-Year Strategic Plan, involvement to engage the responsibility of States
mainly in Poland and in Russia. for violence and discrimination against LGBTI+
persons via third-party interventions in ongoing
In Poland, the conservative discourse promoted proceedings. Two third-party interventions were
by the ruling party has provided fertile ground for submitted in 2019 before the European Court
discrimination and violence against LGBTI+ people of Human Rights (ECfHR), in alliance with more
and organizations working on LGBTI+ rights. As specialized LGBTI+ rights organizations (see below).
a consequence, attacks against LGBTI+ people
and organizations have multiplied over the past During FIDH’s 40th Congress in Taipei, the issue
few years and LGBTI+ rights organizations have of discriminations based on sexual and gender-
seen their space shrinking. FIDH continued with its based orientation was specifically discussed with
Polish member organization, the Polish Society of member organizations, lawyers, professors and
Antidiscrimination Law (PSAL) advocating in the LGBTI+ activists in a context where the universality
capitals of the Member States of the EU, and before of human rights is frequently questioned, especially
the EU, the UN, the Council of Europe against the when it comes to advocating for the rights of LGBTI+
anti-LGBTI+ rhetoric from the State of Poland, as well persons. LGBTI+ rights were front and center in
as against attacks on civil society organizations and Taiwan in 2019 with the historical legalization of
individuals advocating for LGBTI+ rights. The joint marriage equality in May. FIDH’s Congress event was
advocacy efforts called for action to be taken at timed to coincide with Taiwan Pride. FIDH marched
both multilateral level, before the EU and the UN (see together in the parade, lending its support to the
local LGBTI+ community.
34 — F I D H ANNUaL Re PORT 2 0 1 9
A civil action by a group of pro LGBTI activists at Nevskii prospekt, St. Petersburg. © David Frenkel

2/ IMPACTS and SIGNIFICANT OUTCOMES

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

A European Parliament resolution


calling upon States to protect the
rights of LGBTI persons
In December 2019, the European Parliament adopted a Resolution on public
discrimination and hate speech against LGBTI+ people (2019/2933(RSP). This
resolution reflects FIDH and PSAL’s input and is the result of joint continuous
advocacy efforts in the capitals and mainly before the EU and the new European
Parliament which was sensitized to the issue since May.

In September 2019, FIDH and its member organization PSAL jointly participated in
a high-level conference hosted by the EU Council Finnish Presidency on LGBTI+
rights, allowing the enhancement of space for dialogue with the authorities,
following the 2018 report on Poland All Downhill From Here.

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 9 — 35
FIGHTING DISCRIMINATION AND
VIOLENCE BASED ON SEXUAL
ORIENTATION AND GENDER IDENTITY
Objective 2 – Fight against violence, discrimination and stigmatisation

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

Litigation before the ECtHR in cases regarding


LGBTI+ rights in Poland
FIDH submitted two third-party interventions to the ECtHR in pending cases regarding LGBTI+
rights in Poland, both from 2010, in cooperation with member organization, PSAL, and other
international and local partners.

1) A .D.-K. & others v. Poland, with the European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay,
Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA-Europe), Network of European LGBTIQ+
Families Associations (NELFA), European Commission on Sexual Orientation Law (ECSOL)
and PSAL;

2) X . v. Poland and A.S. v. Poland, with Amnesty International, ILGA-Europe, NELFA ,


International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), Campaign Against Homophobia (KPH) (in case
brought by PSAL).

FIDH participates to the Gay Pride in Taïwan, October 2019.

36 — F I D H ANNUaL Re PORT 2 0 1 9
FIDH participates to the Gay Pride in Taïwan, October 2019.

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 9 — 37
PRIORITY

PROMOTING THE RIGHTS OF MIGRANTS


1/ ANALYSIS OF PL ANS, CHALLENGES AND
PROGRESS

In the context of the rise of extreme right-wing intervention and expressed concerns about the
populist movements, the defence of migrants’ increasing harassment and criminalization against
rights is increasingly equated with support for illegal human rights defenders working on migration issues
immigration. In 2019, FIDH along with its partner the in Europe (Italy, France, Greece...)
World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), under
the umbrella of the Observatory of human rights - At EU level, in February 2019, a joint letter was
defenders, continued to be mobilised in favour of the submitted to the Belgian Ministers before the Justice
legitimacy of the fight of HRDs protecting migrants and Home Affairs Council (made up of justice and
(see below). home affairs ministers from all the EU member
states) took place on EU migration policies in order
A fact-finding mission was conducted in 2019, in to express serious concerns about the crisis in the
Cox’s Bazar refugee camps in Bangladesh regarding Mediterranean and to call for action. This was a
the situation of Rohingya migrants, with a focus on joint advocacy effort in alliance with international
women. As sexual violence inflicted by the army in NGOs : 11.11.11, CNCD-11.11.11, Oxfam-Solidariteit,
Myanmar has been widely documented, the mission Caritas International, Artsen Zonder Grenzen, Orbit
focused on the inequalities suffered by women in vzw, Vluchtelingenwerk Vlaanderen, Amnesty
the camps in their host country. It also adresses the International, Jesuit Refugee Service, Beweging.
lack of access to services and resources in UNHCR- net, Mouvement Ouvrier Chrétien, and FIDH.
led humanitarian settings for migrants, especially
women migrants. - Through quasi-judicial proceedings: FIDH together
with its Belgian member organization, la Ligue des
Over the course of 2019, FIDH also continued to droits humains (LDH), filed a third party intervention
denounce through different means of action the in a migration/ECtHR case on humanitarian visas
failure of European migration policy and called on (see below). As the case is likely to have impacts on
the EU to overhaul its approach in order to protect Dublin-style European regulations on migration, but
human rights, notably in relation to externalization of also more broadly on the issues of extraterritorial
EU borders, especially outsourcing responsibility for obligations in other areas, FIDH together with LDH
migration management to non-EU countries with poor have been at the heart of several pleadings.
human rights records and no legislative frameworks
in place for refugee protection through bilateral In terms of strategic litigation, FIDH continued to
and multilateral agreements. This area of work was follow up pending cases, filed with more specialized
approached from a number of angles: organizations on migration such as Groupe
d’information et de soutien des immigré.e.s (GISTI)
- through a focus on EU Member States: A shadow in the case of JB v. Greece before the European
report was jointly submitted by FIDH and its Italian Court of Human Rights. . On the French side of the
member organization, Unione Forense per La Tutela left to die case, in which 72 passengers who left the
dei Diritti dell’Umani (UFTDU), for the Italy UPR Libyan coast on board a small rubber boat were left
(UPR 34th) on recent legislative developments to drift for 14 days in NATO’s maritime surveillance
regarding migrants’ rights, immigration and migrants area despite several distress signals and repeated
HRDs. The Observatory for the Protection of Human interactions (case followed by the FIDH Litigation
Rights Defenders issued urgent appeals calling for Action Group since 2013), FIDH filed a brief to the

38 — F I D H ANNUaL Re PORT 2 0 1 9
MWRN staff, 14 migrant workers from Myanmar, and Mr. Andy Hall at the MWRN office in Samut Sakhon in July 2018.
© Migrant Workers Rights Network

attention of the Investigation Chamber of the Paris America, Mexico and Central America especially
Court of Appeal on its decision to refuse to file a civil given recent policies and measures adopted by the
action for two survivors of the boat. States on migration and asylum, militarization and
externalization of borders; and recalling that since
Furthermore, a side event on migrants’ rights took September 2018 five migrant children from Guatemala
place during the 2019 FIDH 40th Congress in Taiwan and one from El Salvador have died whilst in the
and a resolution was adopted to express concerns custody of the United States.
for the situation of migrants in the United States of

2/ IMPACTS and SIGNIFICANT OUTCOMES

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

Expected outcome 1.2: States, intergovernmental bodies, transnational agencies and companies are
more aware of the rights of migrants

The rights of migrants jeopardized in Italy:


concerns raised at the UN
FIDH and its member organization UFTDU submitted in April 2019 a joint report to
the third universal periodic review before the UN Human Rights Council. This report
addressed the legislative measures that jeopardize the rights of migrants and asylum
seekers; violations of the non-refoulement principle under international human rights
and refugee law; restrictive policies of the Italian government restricting entry of irregular
migrants into Italian territory; and criminalization of NGOs and defenders of the rights of
migrants, asylum seekers and refugees. It put forward suggestions for recommendations
that may be addressed to the Italian government in the context of this review.

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 9 — 39
PROMOTING THE RIGHTS OF MIGRANTS
Expected outcome 1.3: Engaging the responsibility of the perpetrators of violations of the
rights of migrants

Belgium’s refusal to grant humanitarian visas


to a Syrian family: matter brought before the
European Court of Human Rights
In 2016, a Syrian family tried to survive bombs and crossfire in Aleppo. Forced into exile, the couple
managed to apply for visas at the Belgian Embassy in Beirut, but the Belgian government refused to
grant them visas. The family filed an appeal before the Aliens Litigation Council and won their case.
Belgium, however, persisted in its refusal to grant visas to the family. The family ended up turning to
the European Court of Human Rights. Eleven Member States and five NGOs have intervened in the
proceedings and the case has been brought to the Grand Chamber.

A demonstration of concerned citizens took place before the European Court of Human Rights during
the hearing in Strasbourg on 24 April 2019.

Objective 2 – Promote the Rights of Migrant Workers

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

Thailand: Thammakaset Watch


In 2019, FIDH supported around 20 migrant workers and activists involved in the
Thammakaset cases by issuing several urgent appeals, press releases, co-signing a letter to
the prime minister of Thailand and creating a dedicated webpage to follow the defamation
suits filed by the company Thammakaset Ltd against former workers, journalists, and
activists for raising awareness regarding the alleged labor rights violations. It started
in 2016 when 14 Myanmar migrant workers filed a lawsuit against the Thai corporation
for forced labor, restrictions on movement, passport confiscation, and unlawful salary
reductions. On 15 January 2019, the Supreme Court of Thailand upheld the immediate
payment of USD 54,000 for the past wages of the 14 migrant workers. Thammakaset
had appealed the court’s verdict, but on 30 May 2019, the Court of Appeals upheld the
Court’s decision not to accept Thammakaset’s appeal and this judgment is final.

Thammakaset Watch continues to give details of the judicial harassment suffered by


each of the defenders and is regularly updated on the FIDH website according to the
evolution of trials.

40 — F I D H ANNUaL Re PORT 2 0 1 9
Civilians walk in ruined streets after airstrikes by the syrian regime in Aleppo, Syria on December 9 2016 .

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 9 — 41
PRIORITY
Fighting Impunity and Protecting
Populations from the Most
Serious Crimes
1/ ANALYSIS OF PL ANS, CHALLENGES AND
PROGRESS

Throughout 2019, FIDH has been actively engaged


in supporting access to justice for victims of serious
international crimes and human rights violations
at multiple levels and fora. The ability of victims to Mechanism for Syria (IIIM) and the International
activate national justice tools in the country where Criminal Court (ICC). FIDH highlighted situations
the crimes have been committed is a priority but too of impunity through press releases, open letters
often it proves impossible for victims to have access and interventions in a wide range of situations,
to national courts. Consequently, the activation including Sudan, Ukraine, Georgia, Syria, Iraq,
of other extra-national, regional or international Bangladesh, Libya, Guatemala, Mexico, Colombia,
mechanisms has to be explored. FIDH’s mandate Afghanistan, Myanmar.
to fight against impunity, and for accountability and
justice is enshrined in the defence, support and The documentation of serious international crimes,
progressive enforcement of victims’ rights, and it is aiming to establish facts and responsibilities
their experiences, needs and rights that drive FIDH’s regarding the most serious crimes continues to
activities in this respect. All activities continue to play a vital role in FIDH’s efforts. FIDH seeks to build
be implemented in close collaboration with member capacity of its members, and carry out documentation
organizations, who are critical in identifying the missions with a view to raise awareness and to
issues that need to be addressed, in providing access initiate judicial proceedings. Throughout 2019 FIDH
to information FIDH would otherwise not obtain facilitated documentation of crimes committed
and in ensuring that FIDH’s work is relevant, long- against the Yezidi community in Syria and Iraq
term and enshrined in and based on local contexts. which led to litigation efforts and the opening of a
Building on its work and progress made in previous judicial investigation targeting a French ISIS fighter
years, FIDH continued to follow its “complementarity for genocide and crimes against humanity, followed
based” approach to support victims in criminal closely by the issuance of an international arrest
proceedings before national jurisdictions in the warrant. FIDH’s work on Syria continued to focus
countries where the crimes are committed, through on documentation with a view to establishing the
litigation in Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, criminal responsibility of individual perpetrators,
Guinea and Mali; before regional mechanisms to including through filing criminal complaints in
hold States responsible for their failure to abide by France, together with member organization, SCM.
human rights obligations; and in collaboration with Following a documentation mission on corruption to
and before international mechanisms and courts, Guatemala, FIDH published a report entitled “Justice
such as the International, Impartial and Independent and Rule of Law at a Crossroads”, and a briefing note
“Guatemala must avoid a decade of setbacks for
justice” which analyse the outlook for justice and
rule of law in Guatemala, in light of the expiration of
the mandate of the Commission against Impunity in
Guatemala. Based on mission findings, the report

42 — F I D H ANNUaL Re PORT 2 0 1 9
identifies a high risk of backtracking on the advances
made with regard to justice and even the potential
collapse of Guatemalan institutional frameworks. In
Mexico, FIDH and Comisión Mexicana de Defensa
Drissa Traoré, General Secretary of FIDH, speaking at the 18th annual session of the ICC
y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos (CMDPDH) Assembly of States Parties to the Rome statute, The Hague.
launched in June 2019 the Virtual Memorial for the
Fallen Student, an augmented reality experience
designed to raise awareness about crimes against of corruption, torture and enforced disappearance
humanity committed in Mexico, particularly over the against the State of Mexico (see below). In Côte
past decade. The interactive memorial pays tribute d’Ivoire, FIDH and its member organizations filed
to victims of violence through a unique experience a submission in April 2019 to the Administrative
which comes to life for the viewer in real time. The Chamber of the Supreme Court to challenge the
impact of such awareness raising campaign allowed amnesty order adopted by President Quattara
to reach out students and young people, with about in April 2018, which risks resulting in complete
140 000 visits on FIDH website and more than 650 impunity for perpetrators of international crimes
000 people reached through social media (facebook committed in the post-electoral crisis. FIDH and
and twitter). Following a fact–finding mission to lawyers from its Litigation Action Group (LAG) are
Bangladesh, FIDH published a report entitled also representing victims in proceedings ongoing in
“Vanished without a trace: The enforced disappearance CAR, Mali and Guinea. In Mali, following advocacy
of opposition and dissent in Bangladesh”, documenting by FIDH and members, as well as litigation, the
how Bangladeshi authorities are systematically mandate of the anti-terrorist specialized unit was
using enforced disappearances to silence political extended to expressly include international crimes,
dissidents. FIDH’s findings suggest that these following advocacy carried out by AMDH and FIDH
crimes amount to crimes against humanity (see (see below).
below).
In January 2019, FIDH continued supporting access
Strategic litigation as crucial mode of action in to justice for victims of the most serious international
support of victims’ access to justice continued crimes in Europe, together with partners REDRESS
throughout 2019 targeting individual perpetrators and European Center for Constitutional and Human
as well as corporate actors. In September 2019, Rights (ECCHR), on the basis of extraterritorial or
FIDH, together with members in Sudan and other universal jurisdiction. In circumstances where
organizations, filed a criminal complaint against BNP neither local authorities nor international courts are
Parisbas for alleged complicity in crimes against able to address such crimes, this often represents
humanity, torture and genocide that took place in the last resort for victims in order to obtain access
Sudan, as well as financial crimes. This complaint to justice. Throughout 2019, FIDH, together with
marks the first attempt to hold the French bank its partners, carried out research missions to
criminally responsible for alleged complicity in examine legal and practical arrangements in
international crimes committed in Sudan, and in place in support of victims in Belgium, France,
Darfur in particular. FIDH expects that the complaint Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden, with a view
will lead to the opening of a criminal investigation to publishing a comprehensive report in 2020. The
so as to highlight the links between financial flows research and advocacy work carried out in the
and the perpetration of mass atrocities (see priority margins of the project also supports FIDH’s efforts
7). FIDH’s work on accountability for crimes against to seek accountability through relevant litigation
humanity and other serious crimes in Mexico activities of the Litigation Action Group (LAG).
continued throughout 2019, and included the first Throughout 2019, FIDH advocated with States and
complaint filed, in February 2019, before the Inter- other stakeholders to ensure that victims’ rights are
American Commission on Human Rights for acts included and strengthened in a new multilateral
treaty for the domestic prosecution of international
crimes, the Mutual Legal Assistance Initiative, under
negotiation in 2019.

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 9 — 43
Fighting Impunity and Protecting
Populations from the Most
Serious Crimes
At the ICC, FIDH continued to facilitate meetings
and exchanges with Court officials for members
from CAR, Palestine, Guinea, Mexico, Colombia,
Burundi, Ukraine and Côte d’Ivoire. FIDH submitted
a communication based on 23 cases of extra-
judicial executions to the Office of the Prosecutor
(OTP) in regards to the ICC’s ongoing preliminary for a comprehensive assessment of the ICC and
examination on Colombia, asking the Prosecutor Rome Statute’s performance. This was established
to take a position asserting the need for the in December 2019 during the Assembly of States
Colombian President to endorse the Statutory Parties meeting (see below).
Law of the Special Jurisdictions for Peace (JEP)
and to refrain from promoting officers linked to On 13-14 May 2019, FIDH organized a round-table
acts that are under preliminary examination. In convening around 30 participants to discuss the
Mexico, FIDH filed two Article 15 communications implementation and adequacy of the ICC Guidelines
with the ICC, one specifically in regards to crimes Governing the Relations between the Court and
committed in Coahuila, and one more general Intermediaries five years after their adoption.
communication based on cases identified by the The participants comprised representatives from
Mexican Ombudsman. Furthermore, FIDH insisted FIDH member organizations from countries where
that the State’s persistent obstruction of genuine the ICC is conducting preliminary examinations
investigations and prosecution of members of (Guinea-Conakry, Palestine, and Afghanistan) or
security forces suspected of serious crimes should investigations (Georgia, Libya, Côte d’Ivoire, Central
trigger the Court’s jurisdiction (see below). African Republic, Sudan, Kenya, Burundi, Mali),
and who interacted with the Court’s organs in their
Several ICC decisions in 2019 underlined serious respective situations including as intermediaries.
concerns FIDH started to raise in previous years, The group referred to as intermediaries are
and which came to prominence with the acquittal of representatives of civil society organizations, human
Bemba in 2018: first, the acquittal of Gbagbo and Ble rights defenders, activists, victims’ representatives,
Goude in January 2019 (currently on appeal), followed among others, that the ICC relies on in undertaking
by a decision of a Pre-Trial Chamber denying the its tasks. This group facilitates the ICC’s work and
opening of an investigation into crimes committed plays a significant role in overcoming the ICC’s
in and related to the conflict in Afghanistan (since security, linguistic, cultural and resource limitations.
overturned). FIDH intervened on two occasions in At the same time, without proper regulation, unclarity
response to the Pre-Trial Chamber’s decision, arguing over roles and responsibilities on both sides are
in support of the opening of an investigation into the likely to occur, which in turn might compromise the
Afghanistan situation (see below). Overall concerns security of intermediaries or persons they interact
regarding the ICC’s continued shortcomings in the with and the confidentiality of their tasks. The round-
delivery of its mandate led FIDH and other civil table reflected on the participants knowledge of the
society organizations and stakeholders to call governing framework, highlighted key considerations
for current and future intermediaries and identified
recommendations to the ICC. FIDH raised some of
these recommendations in the annual ICC-NGO

44 — F I D H ANNUaL Re PORT 2 0 1 9
Relatives of victims made a human chain in front of the press club in Dhaka demanding an
roundtable and in a side event on the same topic at end to enforced disappearance, killing and abduction on International Human Rights Day, December 2014.
(Photo by Zakir Hossain Chowdhury/NurPhoto)
the 18th session of the Assembly of States Parties.
A key conclusion to these discussions is the need
for the ICC to conduct a review of this framework
and its implementation, which was envisioned in Human Rights in South Sudan and to renew the
the guidelines to take place five years after their mandate of the Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen.
adoption, but has not yet been carried out. FIDH also coordinated or supported a large number
of joint NGO activities aimed at the HRC in 2019
Regarding the strengthening of the mechanisms (five letters, three side events, four briefings, four
of justice, in March 2019, FIDH’s advocacy for a advocacy rounds with HRDs) to address the rapidly
stronger commitment of the EU on international changing national context and accompany local
justice succeeded when the mandate of the EU’s HRDs efforts to ensure greater respect of human
special representative for human rights was rights in Sudan. As a result, the 2019 HRC resolution
extended to expressly include international justice. on Sudan renewed the mandate of the Independent
Expert for another year echoing the concerns
International advocacy continued at EU, African expressed and the information provided by FIDH
Union (AU) and UN levels, targeting Sudan, Yemen, and its member organization. FIDH and its member
Palestine, Myanmar, Mali, DRC, and Burundi organisation, Human Rights Centre “Viasna”,
regarding the protection of civilian populations successfully carried out targeted advocacy for
during conflict. On 19 December 2019, the United the extension of the Special Rapporteur’s mandate
Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 2502 until Belarus shows willingness to cooperate and
extending the mandate of MONUSCO by one year to implement reforms that would prevent mass
in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with the violations that formed the basis for its creation.
protection of civilians and the strengthening of state FIDH also advocated for the adoption by the HRC
institutions as priorities of the new mandate (see of a resolution on the Human rights situation in the
below). On many occasions, in 2019, FIDH has also Philippines, a rare new country specific mechanism
mobilized regional and international bodies to defend of the UN institution.
and advance the rule of law and to fight against
impunity, especially when national blockages exist.
In this way, and at the UN Human Rights Council,
FIDH has successfully advocated for the renewal
of the Commission of inquiry on Burundi, for the
renewing of the mandate of the Commission on

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 9 — 45
Fighting Impunity and Protecting
Populations from the Most
Serious Crimes
2/ IMPACTS and SIGNIFICANT OUTCOMES

Objective 1 – Document the most serious crimes

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

Highlighting enforced disappearances in Bangladesh


In April 2019, FIDH published a report Vanished Without a Trace: The Enforced Disappearance of Opposition and Dissent in
Bangladesh based on interviews with victims of enforced disappearances that occurred between 2012 and 2017, their family
members, eyewitnesses, and information from other civil society organizations, the report illustrates how Bangladesh’s
government has used enforced disappearances to silence members of the political opposition and dissenting voices.
Detailing how State actors, including military and police, worked in tandem to make people disappear, the report also
argues that enforced disappearances in Bangladesh constitute crimes against humanity, and calls on the International
community to take all necessary measures to ensure that the government fulfills the right of victims to truth, justice, and
reparation.

The report helped draw renewed attention on the issue of enforced disappearances in Bangladesh. The report was covered
in local media and FIDH was later invited to speak about this topic on Al Jazeera. The report later gained renewed media
attention, notably following newsworthy events such as protests organized by family members of disappeared people
in Bangladesh.

Objective 2 – Support access to justice for victims

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

West Africa : Support to victims of grave human rights


violations
In Côte d’Ivoire, FIDH and its member organizations Ligue Ivoirienne des Droits de l'Homme (LIDHO) and Mouvement
Ivoirien des Droits Humains (MIDH) filed a submission on behalf of 165 victims represented by LAG lawyers in April
2019 to the Administrative Chamber of the Supreme Court. The submission challenges the amnesty order adopted
by President Quattara in August 2018, which risks resulting in complete impunity for perpetrators of international
crimes committed in the post-electoral crisis. In Central African Republic, the Special Criminal Court had not
started to fully investigate and prosecute serious international crimes in 2019. As a result, emblematic cases were
prosecuted before ordinary domestic courts, leading in particular to a significant trial which took place in January
2020 where LAG lawyers represented and assisted 74 victims in proceedings in the case of Bangassou (an attack
led by anti-Balaka militias on the village of Bangassou, notably against a UN compound and the village’s mosque).
The trial led to convictions and sentencing of 23 perpetrators.

46 — F I D H ANNUaL Re PORT 2 0 1 9
Continued support to Syrian civil society
and victims in search of accountability
The LAG, in close collaboration with SCM, has continued to document violations committed
by a non-State actor, Jaysh-al-Islam in Syria's Eastern Ghouta with a view to initiating
litigation in European countries. In June 2019, FIDH and SCM filed a criminal complaint in
France that targets the group believed to be responsible for the disappearance of Razan
Zaitouneh and three of her associates in December 2013 as well as for widespread torture
in detention. The "Douma 4" case, as it has become to be known, is emblematic of the
impossible situation faced by human rights defender in Syria, targeted for their activism
by both the regime and non-State groups. This complaint is the result of FIDH and SCM's
joint strategy to contribute to the fight against impunity for grave violations in Syria since
March 2011 and specifically the need to ensure that these procedures are inclusive, targeting
all perpetrators and all crimes.

Before the ICC: Supporting victims of crimes


committed in and in relation to Afghanistan
access justice
In the situation in Afghanistan, FIDH and member organizations Armanshahr/OPEN
ASIA, and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) welcomed the prospects of an ICC
investigation of the crimes allegedly committed in Afghanistan and on the territory of
other ICC member States (Romania, Lithuania and Poland) linked to the Afghanistan
armed conflict. To date, the alleged crimes against humanity and war crimes remain
largely unpunished. In April 2019, the Prosecutor’s request for judicial authorization
to commence such investigation was rejected by a Pre-Trial Chamber and its decision
to do so raised novel and complex questions both legally and factually. Significantly,
the decision was contrary to the views of victims who made submissions to the Court
overwhelmingly in support of the Prosecutor investigating the situation in Afghanistan.

Given FIDH and its member organizations’ expertise in the Afghanistan situation and
FIDH’s long engagement in promoting victims’ rights, including the right to access
prompt and impartial justice, the organizations engaged with proceedings before the
ICC in support of judicial review of the decision. The organizations requested and were
granted permission twice to make amicus curiae observations that would assist judges
in their determination of these questions. The first submission addressed victims’ views
on the situation of impunity in Afghanistan in supporting an appellate review of the denial
of an investigation and the right of victims to challenge said decision independently.
Once the matter was before the Appeals Chamber, FIDH led the drafting of a second
submission which provided in-depth legal analysis of key Rome Statute provisions.

FIDH facilitated the attendance of representatives of its Afghan partner and member
organizations to the appeals hearing which took place from 4-6 December 2019. The
decision was reversed in March 2020 and the investigation was authorized.

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 9 — 47
Before the Inter-American Commission: focus on
Mexico
In February 2019, FIDH, Familias Unidas en la Búsqueda y Localización de Personas Desaparecidas
de Piedras Negras, IDHEAS, and Litigio Estratégico en Derechos Humanos submitted a strategic
litigation complaint to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) for acts of corruption,
torture and enforced disappearance in Coahuila between 2009 and 2016. It is a novel and strategic
complaint as it highlights acts of corruption that enabled the Zetas, a drug cartel, to take over the
role of local authorities, including law enforcement in Coahuila state between 2009 and 2012. The
complaint presents 20 emblematic cases that occurred in Coahuila between 2009 and 2016. It
includes victims of the Allende massacre, people illegally cremated in the Piedras Negras detention
center controlled by the Zetas drug cartel, disappeared persons who were arrested by the Coahuila
police and then handed over to that cartel, as well as people tortured and disappeared by the special
forces of Coahuila.

Objective 3 – Strengthen Justice Mechanisms

Expected outcome 3.1: Mechanisms to fight impunity created or strengthened

Spotlight on the performance of the ICC and the Rome Statute system
FIDH has long supported the ICC as a central agent in the fight against impunity at the international level.
Notwithstanding its significant contributions in the delivery of justice to date, the Court’s overall performance
has been subject to increasing criticism from a variety of stakeholders, including civil society. Some of the
criticism against the Court relates to its lengthy preliminary examinations, perceived selectivity or politicization of
investigations and/or cases, limited field presence and distance from victims and affected communities. Recent
judicial decisions further brought into question the Court’s consistency in its legal reasoning and the adequacy
of investigations and prosecutorial decisions.

The 40th FIDH Congress had the honor to welcome Dr Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the International Criminal
Court, to take part to the debates on the crises of multilateralism.

FIDH and other civil society organizations called for an assessment of the Court’s performance carried out by
independent experts for the purpose of strengthening the Court and enabling it to carry out its mandate to the
fullest extent. A discussion on the establishment of an ‘Independent Expert Review’ (IER) was taken up by ICC
member States in mid-2019, with a view of establishing it through a resolution adopted in the 18th session of the
Assembly of States Parties to the ICC (2019). FIDH ensured that its member organizations were kept informed of
discussions among States Parties leading up to the establishment of the IER through issuing briefing notes in
English, French and Spanish. Further, FIDH promoted - through commenting on the draft resolution and advocacy
with States Parties - an assessment that is purposeful, victim-centered, and inclusive of civil society organizations.
The establishment of the IER was a priority to FIDH in the 18th session of the ASP, with recommendations made
to States Parties and the organization of a side-event highlighting civil society’s priorities and expectations from
the IER.

The ASP adopted the resolution establishing the IER and appointing nine experts to carry it out in the course
of 2020. The resolution mandated the experts to consult a range of stakeholders, including civil society, and to
assess a number of issues, including issues affecting victims’ interest in particular.

48 — F I D H ANNUaL Re PORT 2 0 1 9
Extending the mandate of the Anti-terrorism Specialised Unit
in Mali
On 29 May 2019, the Council of Ministers adopted a bill amending the Code of Criminal Procedure and
extending the jurisdiction of the Specialised Unit for Combating Terrorism and Transnational Crime to
the investigation and prosecution of crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes. This bill follows
several years of advocacy by FIDH and AMDH, as well as its civil society partners, and should strengthen
the justice system's capacity to prosecute the alleged perpetrators of the most serious crimes committed
in Mali since the 2012 crisis, which was very difficult as long as the magistrates in charge of investigating
these cases did not have specific means, both materially and in terms of security. Since the adoption of
the Loi d’entente nationale in July 2019, which granted amnesty to all suspects of crimes perpetrated
in 2012-2013 except those charged for international crimes and sexual crimes, the extension of the
jurisdiction of this specialized unit is the only hope for victims to see effective prosecutions happening
over the crimes committed during that period. This expected decision must now be translated into action,
through the relaunching of judicial proceedings that have so far been unsuccessful.

Darfur refugees, Djabal camp, FIDH investigation mission in Eastern Chad. © Karel Prinsloo

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 9 — 49
Fighting Impunity and Protecting
Populations from the Most
Serious Crimes
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

DRC/MONUSCO: One more year to better protect civilians


and fight impunity before considering withdrawal
On 19 December 2019, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 2502 extending the
mandate of MONUSCO by one year in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) with the protection
of civilians and the strengthening of state institutions as priorities of the new mandate, echoing FIDH’s
recommendations based on a report issued in December 2019 on the phasing out of MONUSCO to
ensure that the planned withdrawal of the MONUSCO troops is based on the application of the clauses
safeguarding the protection of human rights. In 2019, as every year, FIDH and its member organizations in
the DRC, the League of Electors, the Lotus Group and the African Association of Human Rights (ASADHO),
conducted several advocacy activities with the United Nations Security Council for the renewal of the
MONUSCO mandate, including two advocacy missions to New York and the publication of an analysis
report on the renewal of the mandate. Community reconciliation, strengthening regional cooperation
and returning ex-combatants to peaceful civilian life are at the heart of the MONUSCO mandate, as
demanded by FIDH and its member organizations. In their plea, the latter insisted that measures to
ease community tensions and establish the truth be considered, as well as strengthening regional
cooperation in the protection of civilians and the fight against impunity for the most serious crimes.
FIDH and its members also called for a non-military approach in the reintegration of ex-combatants
and the protection of civilians.

DRC : Perpetrators of human rights violations


under sanctions
Regarding the protection of populations in conflict and crisis situations, the EU Council
conclusions on the Democratic Republic of the Congo adopted 9 December 2019 maintain
12 Congolese individuals on the list of targeted sanctions (asset freeze and visa bans)
concerning the DRC. FIDH and its member organizations led a series of advocacy meetings
before EU actors to contribute to this decision as the sanctioned individuals were involved
in planning, directing, or committing acts that constitute serious human rights violations
or abuses in DRC. One year after the elections, these individuals remain in the position
to influence political decisions and potentially contribute to human rights violations in
the country. These restrictive measures should be renewed until 12 December 2020.

50 — F I D H ANNUaL Re PORT 2 0 1 9
Afghanistan. ©Massoud Hossaini

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 9 — 51
PRIORITY

PROMOTING RESPECT FOR HUM AN


RIGHTS BY ECONOMIC PL AYERS
1/ ANALYSIS OF PL ANS, CHALLENGES AND
PROGRESS

Massive infrastructural projects and investments define the priorities of FIDH in this area for the next
lead to violations of human and environmental rights three years and led to the creation of a permanent
and, in more fragile regions, aggravate conflicts Working Group of FIDH members which meets every
at the local level. Damage to the environment three months with the objective of fostering cross-
directly threatens the right to life, health, water, regional exchange and peer learning.
development, housing, work, and culture and the
rights of indigenous people. In terms of documentation, an international fact-
finding mission using the COBHRIA methodology
In 2019, FIDH continued to suppor t member started in May 2019 (still in progress) in Uganda
organizations and partners to document and seek together with the Ugandan member organization,
redress for corporate abuses and to find solutions for Foundation For Human Rights Initiative (FHRI).
affected communities. Support continued to be given The study focuses on the violations committed by
to FIDH member organizations and partner NGOs a consortium of French and Chinese companies
through documentation of human rights violations involved in oil extraction in the Albertine region.
by economic players such as extractive companies, Synergies were developed with other organizations
mainly using the “Community-Based Human Rights working in the same area.
Impact Assessment” (COBHRIA) method. This
methodology, created by the Institute for Peace Following the 2011 COBHRIA study devoted to
and Democracy and of which FIDH, together with human rights impacts in the Brazilian mining
OXFAM, has become one the strongest promoters, and steel industry, FIDH, jointly with its partner
involves affected communities in the documentation organizations in Brazil, Justiça nos Trilhos and
process. An international workshop on exchange of Associação Comunitária dos Moradores de Piquiá
experiences on the COBHRIA method was organized (ACMP), issued a follow-up report in 2019 using the
together with Oxfam in Guatemala in July 2019, one COBHRIA method, entitled “Piquiá Stood Up For Their
of the first in Latin America, with the participation Rights: Assessing the fulfillment of recommendations
of organizations which have undertaken COBHRIA to address human rights violations of the mining
studies in the past from Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, and steel industry in Acailândia, Brazil”. The report
Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, United States, provides an assessment revealing the lack of
Guatemala, Honduras, México, Peru and Salvador implementation of the 2011 recommendations
(see impact below). In Asia, during the OECD Watch formulated to responsible actors, both public and
Global Gathering in Bangkok, a session on Chinese private actors, including Vale S.A, the main iron
investments in Thailand, was co-organized, in June supplier and transporting company of the pig iron
2019, with MiningWatch Canada and OECD Watch, produced by steel mills. It also encourages the
entitled “How do we use the OECD guidelines as an progress achieved by the community in the fight
entry points to address harmful investments by China for accountability and redress. The case of Piquiá
abroad?”. Following FIDH’s 2018 report on Chinese is emblematic of the dramatic consequences of a
investments in Latin America, a specific session development model that places economic interests
entitled “Repression Made in China” was held during over human rights, and should be an incentive to
FIDH Global Congress in Taipei, in October 2019, in innovate an alternative that enables full enjoyment
relation to the Belt and Road Initiative. The Congress of human rights for all.
in Taipei was also an occasion to hold a cross-
regional strategic workshop among FIDH member In Armenia, FIDH and Civil Society Institute Armenia
organizations working or interested to work on (CSI) conducted a joint fact-finding mission to the
Business and Human Rights. The workshop helped Amulsar region in April 2019, shedding light on
52 — F I D H ANNUaL Re PORT 2 0 1 9
The residents celebrate a success after a demonstration of 30 hours in front
of the entry of a steel factory. © Marcelo Cruz

In 2019, 120 companies have been assessed and 60


companies have been integrated in the portfolio of
the investment fund ‘SRI Human Rights’ managed
by LBPAM. A report entitled EU Member States under
the Spotlight was launched in 2019. This work has
the hazards which would be caused by the mining enabled FIDH to engage in dialogue and directly
industry, including the Amulsar project. The mining influence investors on the basis of its analysis
project clearly prioritizes profit, with utter disregard to encourage them to take into consideration the
for human rights and the environment. FIDH believes extra-financial impacts of companies. In 2020,
that any government decision on Amulsar, or on FIDH will launch a new version of the study on
investment projects more generally, should be based EU Member States performances vis à vis human
on proper human rights due diligence and not only rights. The report aims to guide investors’ decisions
on an environmental risk assessment, as required in purchase of State’ bonds on the basis of human
by the UNGPs and OECD Guidelines on multinational rights considerations.
companies. Moreover, it should take into account
the social impacts of the project on all affected When appropriate, on the basis of its documentation
communities. During the mission FIDH and CSI met and exper tise and together with its member
with several authorities and with other organizations organizations, FIDH advocates also directly with
working on the impacts of the Amulsar project. companies for the respect of human rights in their
Preliminary findings of the mission have been shared supply chains and for the improvement of their
with Armenian and European authorities involved behaviors and practices.
in the project and following the mission FIDH has
advocated for the revision of the decision to pursue This advocacy approach has proven to be positive
the project jointly with Armenian lead environmental in the case of Brazil following a direct dialogue in
organizations (Ecolur, Environmental Front). CSI May 2019 with Vale and Vale Foundation with the
was invited by the European Commission to share participation of representatives from ACMP, Justiça
the observation made during the mission and the nos Trilhos, FIDH and Usina that contributed to the
findings on Amulsar project during the NGO Forum relocation of 312 families from the Piquiá de Baixo
in Brussels in December 2019. community. This was amplified with significant
local and regional media coverage, and efforts of
As part of the approach to foster companies and advocacy combining international advocacy, national
investors to be more engaged in protecting human advocacy meetings with public authorities of the
rights and the environment, enhanced spaces for State of Maranhao in Sao Luiz, and autonomous
multi-stakeholder dialogue between local human advocacy by Justiça nos Trilhos and ACMP. In
rights CSO members and partners and companies, December 2019, the UN Special rapporteur on toxic
investors or national and international institutions wastes visited the Piquiá community and explicitly
are promoted. Thanks to its work in partnership mentioned this case in his final and public report
with La Banque Postale Asset Management, FIDH during his visit, echoing FIDH’s calls for redress
has developed a specific methodology to measure where he firmly condemned Brazil’s "tragic path
and monitor the human rights performance of of dismantling already weakened institutions that
commercial enterprises (equity) and States (bonds). were set up to protect people and the environment".

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 9 — 53
PROMOTING RESPECT FOR HUM AN
RIGHTS BY ECONOMIC PL AYERS

As a result of the advocacy meetings, funds were


liberated by the Caixa Económica a month later and
the construction of the new neighborhood was thus
reactivated, starting with the construction of the with third countries, mainly with Cambodia, Vietnam
foundations of the houses. Further advocacy will and South Korea (see below). Throughout 2019,
be needed to ensure the continuity and finalization FIDH continued to raise concerns over serious and
of the construction, given the considerable budget systematic violations of the human rights principles
cuts of the social housing programs financing the enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil
relocation, by the current government of Brazil. and Political Rights in Cambodia and to advocate,
along with its member organizations in Cambodia,
Together with the State’s duty to protect, respect Ligue Cambodgienne de Défense des Droits de
and fulfill human rights, the responsibility to respect l'Homme (LICADHO) and Cambodian Human Rights
human rights is a global standard of expected and Development Association (ADHOC), to the
conduct for all business enterprises, wherever EU’s procedure for the withdrawal of Cambodia’s
they operate. FIDH however strongly advocates Everything But Arms (EBA) trade preferences.
for the reinforcement of the normative framework In June 2019, FIDH submitted a contribution to
regulating business conduct at global, European the Commission initiative "Towards the future
and national level. In 2019, multi-actor advocacy Generalised Scheme of Preference Regulation
involving local CSOs was carried out at several levels granting trade advantages to developing countries"
and in various venues: UN, OECD (in partnership with to raise concerns about the impact assessment
OECD Watch), EU and at the French level. FIDH and launched by the Commission on the reform of the
its member organizations have actively engaged in GSP regulations and notified the Scrutiny board.
the 5th session of the United Nations open-ended On Vietnam, FIDH and its Vietnamese member
intergovernmental working group (IGWG) for the organization, Vietnam Committee on Human Rights,
negotiations on the draft UN Treaty on Business and filed a complaint to the European Ombudswoman,
Human Rights by providing an analysis and concrete which challenges the EU's disregard of its human
text proposals. The chair of the IGWG published a rights obligations in developing an investment
revised draft of the binding instrument in July 2019, treaty with Vietnam, notably in failing to provide a
this version integrated several recommendations recourse mechanism for affected communities of
by FIDH including language on conflict affected the treaty, should they be negatively affected by it.
areas, gender, and HRDs. FIDH lead and participated
in a number of round-tables and coalitions aimed Alongside its work on reinforcing norms and on
at achieving binding human rights regulations on documentation, FIDH is trying to help victims of
businesses (Treaty Alliance Facilitation Group, human rights and environmental violations obtain
EU Coalition for the Treaty, ETO Consortium, the compensation for damages deriving from non-
Feminist Group for the Binding Treaty). At EU level, compliant economic activities. FIDH assists the
as an active member of the Steering Committee of victims in initiating judicial and extra-judicial
the European Coalition for Corporate Justice (ECCJ), strategic litigation related to the responsibility of
FIDH aimed to make human rights due diligence various actors (businesses and the State) in order
(HRDD) mandatory at EU level (see below) and to obtain compensation for violations stemming
to improve the implementation of UNGPs by EU from these activities. In 2019, FIDH supported local
Member States and EU companies. organizations in Nigeria and international partners
in a case before the OECD National Contact Point
In addition, FIDH, through its Delegation before the EU, in Italy to demand that the Italian oil company Eni
continued working to strengthen the consideration of meet its due diligence obligations in Nigeria in the
human rights in the context of trade and investment Aggah community. This action was successfully
agreements that the EU negotiates and concludes concluded, thanks to mediation by the NCP, with the

54 — F I D H ANNUaL Re PORT 2 0 1 9
Residents search for survivors in the ruins of a building after a bombing in Yemen.
signing of an agreement between the company and
the communities that is now in the implementation
phase. Moreover, 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 FIDH was also active in opposing the sale of arms
pollution in the area of Taranto created by ILVA. The and surveillance material by French companies to
decision referred to one of the recommendations countries like Egypt, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and the
of a report, published in April 2018 by FIDH and United Arab Emirates where French-made arms are
its member organization Unione Forense per La used in the commission of grave and systematic
Tutela dei Diritti dell'Uomo (UFTDU) and partner human rights violations and international crimes.
organizations HRIC and Peacelink (Italy) on the Human rights have taken an increasing importance
case of ILVA and the serious human rights violations in the dialogue between France and Egypt. The
linked to its behavior. French President Macron publicly spoke of the
human rights situation in Egypt for the first time
In 2019, FIDH continued to challenge the impunity during the joint press conference held in Cairo
of European companies supplying surveillance with Egyptian President Sisi in January 2019. This
equipment to repressive regimes, or even fueling is a direct outcome of our efforts over the past
conflicts and facilitating the commission of grave years to demonstrate the potential participation of
human rights violations, a topic on which FIDH has French surveillance equipment in the unprecedented
been active for several years through documentation, repression of all forms of dissidence orchestrated
litigation, advocacy and visibility in the media. FIDH by the Egyptian regime. FIDH advocated for the
advocated for many years towards the adoption of French Parliament to play a greater role and to
enhanced due diligence by companies in the context counterbalance the executive’s position to make
of conflict areas or occupation and for redress for sure that human rights are at the heart of export
international crimes to which companies have licenses on arms and surveillance equipment.
contributed to or that are directly linked to their Awareness-raising compaigns with the Ligue
operations. FIDH currently has three litigation cases des droits de l'Homme (LDH) were organized
pending before French courts for serious violations through “ciné-débats” in France and postcards
of international law committed by companies. In sent to parliamentarians. FIDH also continued its
particular, FIDH, through its Litigation Action Group mobilization on the situation in Yemen. The FIDH
(LAG) and its member organization in France, the was one of the first organizations to highlight the
Ligue des droits de l'Homme (LDH), has since 2011 role of France in these sale of arms and surveillance
and 2012 been engaged in two distinct criminal material, responsible for the death of civilians,
proceedings against the companies Amesys and through an investigation report published in April
Qosmos for complicity in international crimes 2018. In 2019, FIDH continued this mobilization,
stemming from the sale of surveillance equipment notably by hosting and organizing in July a press
to Libya and Syria, allegedly used for the repression conference launching the 2018 report of its Yemeni
of opponents and HRDs. In the Amesys case, FIDH member organization Mwatana for Human Rights,
and its LAG are accompanying seven Libyan victims the only organization to permanently document
who are acting as civil parties and were able to testify alleged human rights abuses by all parties to the
before the investigating judge. Both proceedings are current conflict in Yemen. Mwatana is headed by
still pending before the French war crimes unit. In Radhya Al-Mutawakel, human rights defender and
2019 FIDH, LDH, and the partner Project for Expedite the Yemeni co-founder and chairperson of Mwatana
Justice (PEJ) supported nine Sudanese victims in for Human Rights. In 2019, Time magazine chose
filing a complaint for complicity in torture, crimes al-Mutawakel as one of the 100 most influential
against humanity and genocide against BNP Paribas people in the world.
for the support it provided to the regime of Omar El
Béchir in Sudan in the years 2002 – 2008 (see below).

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 9 — 55
PROMOTING RESPECT FOR HUM AN
RIGHTS BY ECONOMIC PL AYERS
2/ IMPACTS and SIGNIFICANT OUTCOMES

Objective 1 – To promote economic players’ accountability

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

COBHRIA as a tool for capacity building but


networking
On 25-26 July 2019, FIDH together with PODER and Oxfam organized the first Latin
American Seminar on COBHRIA in Antigua, Guatemala. With the participation of
organizations which have already used the COBHRIA tool in the past from Bolivia, Brazil,
Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, United States, Guatemala, Honduras,
Mexico, Peru and Salvador, this gathering aimed to provide a space for i) experience
sharing and learning of the strategies that have worked or not in the different countries
and cases, ii) collectively identifying the challenges in implementing the methodology,
iii) strengthening the capacity of the organizations by connecting them to allies in the
region, and iv) identifying opportunities for collective action to strengthen and promote
the COBHRIA methodology and the sharing of experiences. Six FIDH member and partner
organizations and several partner organizations of Oxfam and PODER were able to
benefit from FIDH's as well as each other’s expertise on the challenges and successes
in the implementation of the COBHRIA methodology and the follow-up. As a result of
the seminar, a community of practice on COBHRIA was created and concrete follow-up
actions planned.

56 — F I D H ANNUaL Re PORT 2 0 1 9
Expected outcome 1.3: Companies and investors more engaged in protecting human rights and the
environment

French companies disengage from Pro-


Annexation Jerusalem Light Rail Project
FIDH in coalition with French member organization LDH, Palestinian member organization
Al-Haq and French partners Confédération française démocratique du travail (CFDT),
Solidaires, Association France Palestine Solidarité (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.
Intensive advocacy efforts in 2018 and in 2019 around the 2018 joint report The Jerusalem
Light Rail System: How French Companies Contribute to the Israeli Colonization of the Occupied
Palestinian Territory resulted in the disengagement from the tramway project by the three
French companies targeted by the report. After Systra in 2018, Alston (in May 2019) and
Egis (in November 2019) disengaged in the construction of the Jerusalem light rail. This
significant impact of this report and the related advocacy has been possible thanks to the
work of the coalition, with the involvement of human rights and international solidarity
NGOs as well as trade unions.

FIDH Palestinian member organization Al-Haq received the 2019 Human Rights and
Business Award in November 2019 at the United Nations Forum on Business and Human
Rights in Geneva. Al-Haq’s work has been instrumental in unveiling corporate-related
abuses of human rights and violations of humanitarian law.

Expected outcome 1.4: A normative environment more favorable to the protection of human rights by
States, companies and international organizations

Towards a European legislation on Human


Rights Due Diligence
As an active member of the Steering Committee of the European Coalition for Corporate
Justice (ECCJ), FIDH aimed to make human rights due diligence (HRDD) mandatory
at EU level and to improvethe implementation of the UN Guiding Principles from EU
Member States and from EU companies. The Coalition has been working to secure
the adoption of binding EU-level norms on due diligence, particularly in the conflict
minerals and timber sectors and on non-financial reporting. As part of the advocacy
strategy (in order to establish strong contacts with new members at the European
Parliament leading the work on HRDD at the European Parliament), FIDH has also
worked at national level with Member States of the EU for the adoption national
legislation on due diligence such as Italy and the Netherlands. In Italy, FIDH and its
member organization UFTDU published in 2019 a joint report on the “Italian Legislative
Decree No. 231/2001: a model for mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence legislation” as
an example for a future HRDD legislation at EU level. This report was folllowed up by
a seminar on HRDD in Milan in November 2019 and has been cited by the study on
HRDD practices in the EU produced by the British Institute for Comparative Law and
commissioned by the European Commission in view of a future legislative process.

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 9 — 57
Expected outcome 1.5: Trade and investment agreements that take protection of human rights better
into account

Improving respect for human rights through the


EU-Korea trade agreement
On July 5, 2019, the EU triggered the second phase of an arbitration procedure under the EU-
Korea trade agreement - in place since 2011 - by requesting a panel to address persistent labor
rights concerns in Korea. “Trade needs (...) to go hand in hand with workers’ rights” said EU
Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström following Korea’s failure to provide solutions to the
issues raised once again during the latest round of consultations. FIDH, as vice-chair of the EU
Domestic Advisory Group (DAG), which includes environment, labor, business organizations and
other relevant stakeholders, has requested since 2016 the European Commission to initiate the
formal consultations process provided for in the EU-Korea Trade Agreement concerning violations
of labor rights.

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

Expected outcome 2.1: Responsibilities shouldered by companies in relation


to human rights violations

Calling for an investigation into BNP Paribas


dealings in Sudan
Nine Sudanese victims along with FIDH and the Ligue des droits de l’Homme (LDH), with the support
of the African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS), Sudan Human Rights Monitor and Project
Expedite Justice, filed a criminal complaint on 26 September 2019 targeting French bank BNP Paribas
for alleged complicity in crimes against humanity, torture, and genocide that took place in Sudan, as well
as financial crimes. This complaint marked the first attempt to hold the bank criminally responsible for
alleged complicity in international crimes committed in Sudan.

Described as Sudan’s “de facto central bank”, BNP Paribas (BNPP) has admitted acting as the Sudanese
government’s primary foreign bank from 2002 to 2008. During this period, the government – through its
military and security forces and Janjaweed militias – committed widespread human rights violations
against Sudanese civilians. Non-Arab tribes in Darfur as well as residents of other marginalized areas
inside Sudan were the primary targets of mass murder, forced displacement, brutal sexual violence,
detention, torture, and other forms of inhuman treatment. These crimes have largely gone unpunished.

A press conference held at FIDH’s headquarters with one of the Sudanese victims allowed to publicly
communicate about the case and to reiterate how financing repressive regimes – and thereby allegedly
assisting or facilitating the commission of human rights violations – may open the door to potential corporate
criminal liability. It was widely covered by international, French and local media such as l'Agence France
Presse, Associated Press, Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, Voice of America, Le Monde, Jeune Afrique,
Libération, l'Obs Les Echos, Al Jazeera, Middle East Eye, Dabanga and on Radio France, RFI, France 24.

58 — F I D H ANNUaL Re PORT 2 0 1 9
FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 9 — 59
International Secretariat

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)


Deputy CEO

60 — F I D H ANNUaL Re PORT 2 0 1 9
Board of Directors

International Administrative & Human Ressources


Program Communication Fundraising
Advocacy Finance & Technical
Department Department Department
Department Department Department

Africa Globalisation & Human Delegation to the Budget & reporting


Press Relations Development Human Ressources
desk Rights desk European Union

Americas Human Rights Delegation to the Accounting


Digital Individual Giving Information
desk Defenders desk UN in Geneva
Technology
Asia International Justice Delegation to the Publications Program
desk desk UN in New York Development General services
&
Eastern Europe & Delegation to Partnerships
Central Asia desk the ICC

Middle East & North Women Rights


Africa desk desk

Western Europe
desk
FINANCIAL report 2019

Total Expenses per Priority Amount 2018 % Amount 2019 %

Supporting human rights defenders 724 041 8.6% 854 471 10,2%
Fostering an environment conducive to democracy 1 483 900 17.7% 2 067 603 24,6%
and freedoms
Promoting women’s rights 171 499 2.0% 194 609 2,3%
Fighting discrimination and violence based on sexual 13 112 0.2% 14 979 0,2%
orientation and gender identity
Promoting the rights of migrants 57 507 0.7% 0 0,0%
Fighting impunity and protecting populations from 2 523 002 30.1% 1 512 526 18,0%
the most serious crimes
Promoting respect of human rights by economic 167 939 2.0% 379 674 4,5%
players
FIDH Network 1 080 722 12.9% 1 158 605 13,8%
External Network / Outreach 573 688 6.8% 535 666 6,4%
Logistics 241 558 2.9% 151 470 1,8%
Fundraising and Admin. Costs 1 164 035 13.9% 1 253 353 14,9%
Other Expenses 188 003 2.2% 270 089 3,2%

Total Expenses 8 389 005 100% 8 393 046 100%

INCOME 2018 % 2019 %

Membership fees and contributions 123 380 1.4% 92 503 1,2%


Earmarked grants and donations 5 459 447 63.0% 5 502 999 69,5%
Non-earmarked grants and donations 2 439 647 28.2% 1 645 058 20,8%

Other income 456 563 5.3% 524 469 6,6%


Financial and extraordinary income 181 622 2.1% 154 939 2%

Total income 8 660 659 100% 7 919 969 100%

FI DH A NNUa L ReP O RT 2 0 1 9 — 61
Acknowledgements

Corporate supporters

La Banque Postale Asset Management (LBPAM).

Supporters of the Congress & Forum


Our Supporters
Special thanks to the partners who supported FIDH’s
FIDH thanks all of its donors and supporters, as 40th Congress & Forum in Taipei:
well as the investors in its ethical fund, SRI Human th e E u r o p e a n C o m m i s s i o n; O p e n S o c i e t y
Rights (formerly Libertés & Solidarité). Foundations; Taiwan Foundation for Democracy;
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the
During 2019, FIDH was particularly grateful to the Netherlands; Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs
support of the following institutions, foundations of France; Swedish International Development
and corporations: Cooperation Agency (Sida); Ministry of Foreign
Affairs of Norway; Hua Nan Bank; National Human
International and national institutions Rights Museum of Taiwan; Oak Foundation; Bread
for the World; Irish Aid; Agence Française de
The European Commission; Swedish International Développement; Foundation for Women’s Rights;
Development Cooperation Agency (Sida); Agence the British Office in Taipei; the Delegation of the
Française de Développement (AFD); Ministry for EU in Taipei; the Belgian Office, Taipei; Canadian
Foreign Affairs of Finland; Ministry of Foreign Trade Office in Taipei; the Trade Council of Denmark,
Affairs of Norway; Ministry for Europe and Foreign Taipei; the Representative Office of Italy in Taipei;
Affairs of France; Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the the Luxembourg Representative Office in Taipei;
Kingdom of the Netherlands; Irish Aid; Mairie de the Netherlands Office Taipei; the Representative
Paris; Organisation international de la Francophonie Office of Spain in Taipei; the Representative Office
(OIF); Belgium Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and of Sweden in Taipei; the Representative Office of
Development Cooperation; Embassy of Switzerland Switzerland in Taipei; the American Institute in
in Thailand; Embassy of France in Mali. Taiwan; Heinrich Böll Stiftung; Taipei City Hall; New
Taipei; Chunghwa Telecom.
Foundations, associations and other institutions
FIDH would also like to thank:
Open Society Foundations; Oak Foundation; Bread • its interpretors, translators and other volunteers;
for the World; an anonymous foundation; MacArthur • a s well as all the individuals, national and
Foundation; SAGE Fund; Pan American Development international non-governmental organisations and
Fund; Fondation de France; Fondation Nicolas intergovernmental organisations who responded
Puech; Fondation Yo et Anne Marie Hamoud; Fonds to its requests for support.
de renforcement institutionnel et organisationnel
(Coordination Sud); Heinrich Böll Stiftung; Trust
Africa.

62 — F I D H ANNUaL Re PORT 2 0 1 9
FIDH is an international human rights NGO federating

192 organisations from 117 countries

Algeria, a police cordon during a demonstration by the Hirak movement.

FIDH
17, passage de la Main d’Or
75011 Paris - France
Phone: +33 (0)1 43 55 25 18
Facebook.com/FIDH.HumanRights/
Twitter: @fidh_en /@fidh_fr /@fidh_es
www.fidh.org