FIHRM encourages museums which engage with sensitive and controversial human rights themes, such as transatlantic slavery, the Holocaust and other instances of genocide, and the plight of many indigenous peoples, to work together and share new thinking and initiatives in a supportive environment.
The ethos underpinning the FIHRM initiative is that all types of museums within these fields of work, regardless of size or resources, share similar challenges in dealing with difficult, politically-loaded, and controversial subjects.
FIHRM is about sharing, working together, learning from each other, and encouraging each other; it is also about being active – looking at the ways our museums can challenge contemporary racism, discrimination and other human rights abuses.
We believe that these issues are best confronted collectively rather than individually. Human rights museums must be prepared to challenge traditional museum thinking and practice, and to redefine the museum role with regard to active campaigning against human rights abuses.
How do we operate?
In 2010 National Museums Liverpool’s International Slavery Museum coordinated the establishment of a new international museum initiative called the Federation of International Human Rights Museums (FIHRM). Currently NML hosts the FIHRM website and manages the coordination of the network.
FIHRM tries to operate as informally as possible, with minimal bureaucracy and at low cost.
FIHRM is governed by a Council from a range of international institutions. Membership of new representatives is currently by nomination. We anticipate that in the future membership will be by election at the annual conference.
David Fleming – Founding FIHRM President
Professor of Public History, Liverpool Hope University
Former Director National Museums Liverpool
Lonnie G. Bunch
National Museum of African American History and Culture (Smithsonian)
Washington D.C., USA
South African Holocaust and Genocide Foundation
Cape Town, South Africa
Fundación para la Democracia Internacional
Graduate School of Arts Management & Cultural Policy, and Research Center of Museum Studies, National Taiwan University of Arts
Françoise McClafferty – FIHRM Coordinator
Policy and International Relations Officer
National Museums Liverpool
It is free to become a member of FIHRM. Have a look at our members map and find out about joining us.
Find out more
Our key activity is our annual conference. FIHRM’s inaugural conference was held at the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool in 2010 and since then FIHRM has organised an annual conference in partnership with related organisations and FIHRM members.
Find out more