The word of the president
Our Founder passed away on 20 September 2018 at the age of 97. Until the end, she wanted to be informed of our actions and our projects and I can tell you that all of them were close to her heart. Starting from 2007 and in an unquestionably visionary way she wanted her foundation to promote and strengthen the right of refugees to secure mobility through the protection attached to their travel document.
We remember that in 1946, it was his father Albert Cohen who laid with the first "real passport" for refugees the milestones of their international protection, the Geneva Convention will consolidate in 1951 its article 28, which remains today the reference text.
The legacy of Cohen Family, father and daughter must inspire and encourage us to design a new ethical and legal framework for the mobility of refugees today and tomorrow.
In 2020, we plan to:
- Establish the Albert Cohen European Centre for Human Rights to host researchers and law practitioners from all over Europe to ensure that the rights to the mobility of refugees are respected in all places;
- To organize an international conference for 2021, which will coincide with the 70th anniversary of the Geneva Convention, in order to:
- Take stock of and develop longer-term future prospects for the 1951 Geneva Convention with a focus on Article 28;
- Bringing together legal professionals (lawyers, academics, magistrates, NGO and OIG lawyers, specialised senior officials) to establish a recognized status of amicus curiae in the national or supranational supreme courts of their country with regard to the interpretation of the Geneva Convention and in particular the effective implementation of the rights related to the travel document referred to in Article 28.
- design a pilot project on informal and innovative education to citizenship for refugee children in the cities where Cohen has carried out his diplomatic and literary work.
Our ambitions for London, Corfu, Paris and Geneva, are huge and modest at the same time.
The course is set, the road will be long, but I am sure that together we will achieve the noble and necessary goals we have set for ourselves.
Paris, 21 December 2019.
The aims of the Foundation are:
- To defend and protect the rights of foreigners residing on the territory of Switzerland and the European Union, in compliance with the European Convention on Human Rights and Additional Protocols Nos. 1, 2, 4, and 7.
- To provide support for non-governmental associations and organizations in defending the rights of foreigners in both Switzerland and European Union countries, and to seek documentation about the human rights situation in the countries from which the foreigners in question come.
- To establish and award a literary or artistic prize for works and/or creative artists who have distinguished themselves by their actions or works designed to improve or highlight the status of foreigners in our societies.
- To disseminate Albert Cohen's oeuvre and output, as both a writer and international civil servant, irrespective of language, form or medium, as well as to set up a database about his life and work, to be available to researchers, and to protect moral rights to this oeuvre.
Do you know Albert Cohen ? Maybe you have read « Belle du seigneur » ? But have you ever heard of the Cohen Passport ?
Did you know that in 1946, when he was on the top of his carreer as an international civil servant, the writer left us an unprecedented achievement of civilisation, by endowing all refugees and stateless people with a travel and ID document : the Cohen passport, a passport almost thoroughly endorsed by the famous Geneva Convention of 1951.
For 10 years now, the Albert Cohen Mémoire Foundation has acted to protect this achievement which can be summed up as follows : "Whoever you are, wherever you are, you are entitled to a passport and an ID accompanied by an international protection".
With your help, we will next be in London, Paris, Geneva, to explain to middle schools and highschools students how much this memory work is important for their future as citizens.
In order to never lose sight of our rights and to know as Albert Cohen did, how to be useful, we need all of you. Your generosity is essential to complete this action which will be continued in Switzerland, France and Greece, the three homelands of Albert Cohen.
Wholeheartedly, thank you for your precious support.