The Federation of International Human Rights Museums (FIHRM) is a specialist network for museums and related institutions with the goal to encourage museum professionals to actively approach issues of human rights in museums.
It was founded in 2009 by Liverpool's International Slavery Museum as part of its efforts to help combat current human rights abuses such as trafficking and slavery and racism. National Museums Liverpool is coordinating the Federation of International Human Rights Museums.
FIHRM is represented by the FIHRM Council and now has just over 90 members in 35 countries. FIHRM partners include Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Galicia Jewish Museum, National Museum of the American Indian, Te Papa Tongarewa – Museum of New Zealand and many others.
FIHRM’s key activity is an annual conference and conference proceedings and other materials and case studies are published online.
FIHRM believes museums should have the confidence to be brave in their story telling and aim to create museum spaces that are innovative, challenging and deliver public value to the whole of society.
The purpose of FIHRM is to establish a permanent international specialist network for museums and related institutions to work together and share new thinking and initiatives. The network addresses issues of human and civil rights in themes such as exhibiting sensitive histories, museums and politics, ethical concerns, museums and partnership work and the role of museums as active campaigners and their changing roles to becoming socially responsible institutions.
This is a network where museums learn from each other, exchange knowledge and, through discussion and debate, develop new ways of thinking to promote social harmony, to campaign for human rights and to combat prejudice.
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 topics. FIHRM hopes that the world's leading museums and institutions within these fields will support the initiative, and that this will help persuade museums with fewer resources to join together in this international collaboration.
In 2013 FIHRM became an Affiliated Organisation of ICOM, the International Council for Museums.