About Franciscans International

Franciscans International (FI) is a non-profit, international non-governmental human rights organisation established in 1989. Its staff consists of professionals of diverse backgrounds working to translate grassroots voices in human rights advocacy action at the United Nations level. Franciscans International seeks to promote and protect human rights and environmental justice. 


A global community in which the dignity of every person is respected, resources are shared equitably, the environment is sustained, and nations and peoples live in peace.


Using a rights-based approach, FI advocates at the UN for the protection of human dignity and environmental justice.


Since its establishment in 1989, Franciscans International uses advocacy as a tool to combat and curb human rights abuses. FI works to reclaim the central role of human rights in the formulation and framing of international and national public policies. We believe human rights standards must be at the heart of all political processes, in particular of those related to international development, the environment and security.

FI’s advocacy work consists of three main objectives:

  • Influencing policy-makers to bring about concrete change;
  • Denouncing human rights abuses and raising awareness about them;
  • Mobilising partners to participate in decisions that affect them.

We divide our work between Thematic Priorities and Regional Programs.

See our 2017-2020 Advocacy Strategy in English, Italian, Spanish, French and German.


The core business of Franciscans International is human rights advocacy. Advocacy means a set of actions that seek to influence decision-makers at UN and national levels. Thanks to its General Consultative status with the UN, FI uses advocacy as a tool to combat human rights abuses. FI strongly believes that advocacy is one of the most powerful means to ensure sustainable solutions and real change. Whenever significant changes in policy are needed, advocacy has a role to play in influencing key leaders to make decisions that will improve the lives of millions of people over the long-term, through structural changes. 

In addition, advocacy is the process that empowers people, including the most marginalized, to participate in decisions that affect their own or others’ lives.

Thanks to its long experience at the UN, FI operates through multifaceted advocacy strategy in order to maximize efforts and ensure consistency in various lobby actions.

FI is built around the collaboration with its partners at the grassroots who experience human rights violations every day. They are in contact with national and local authorities and, at the same time, close to the most disadvantaged and marginalized individuals and groups. To support them, FI organizes capacity building workshops at national, regional and international levels. It also encourages and enables its grassroots partners to build partnerships at national level with the view to strengthen national lobbying.

Following a bottom-up approach, not only FI ensures the reliability of first-hand information from field partners, but it also empowers them to advocate at the UN. As a matter of consistency and efficiency, FI ensures the connection between national and international advocacy strategies. This implies that key UN recommendations should be regarded as entry points that need to be followed-up through national advocacy.

FI advocacy methodology at a glance

  • Linking national and international advocacy efforts (follow-up strategy);
  • Building strategic partnerships;
  • Engaging field partners into the whole process;
  • Elaborating national advocacy strategies using national/international levers of change.


Photo Credit: © UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré