1. Name and Registered Office

1.1. The “Fédération Internationale des Communautés Educatives” (FICE) (International Federation of Educative Communities; Internationale Gesellschaft für erzieherische Hilfen) is an organization established in accordance with article 60 ff of the Swiss Civil Code. Its registered office is defined as being where the General Secretariat is located.

1.2. Founded under the auspices of UNESCO in 1948, in the Pestalozzi Children’s Village in Trogen, Switzerland, FICE keeps contact with UNESCO, UNICEF, ECOSOC and the Council of Europe.

2. Mission and Vision

2.1. In accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights FICE supports all endeavours which further the global realization and the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child as defined by the United Nations. FICE focuses on such living conditions of young people and their families which prevent or are detrimental to the positive development of young people.

  • Children, who cannot live with their families
  • Children with special needs
  • Children who live in out-of-home care
  • Children at risk

2.2. FICE promotes the rights of young people and their families particularly in context of child and youth care. FICE promotes the development of different shapes of stationary and ambulant care and education and contributes to their quality development.

FICE also focuses on those who are not in care, and who live at home and are at risk, and on young people with special needs.

2.3. FICE observes strict political and religious neutrality. It rejects all forms of discrimination. It accepts within its Membership all ideological, religious and cultural orientations as long as these are in line with the objectives defined in the present statutes.

2.4. To realize these objectives FICE organizes training courses, meetings, seminars, international Congresses symposia and projects. It establishes work groups which promote the exchange of experience and the further education of experts in the childcare field. It involves children and young adults in this process and cooperates with other international institutions with similar goals and objectives. It encourages and carries out scientific studies, research and promote the edition of professional publications.

2.5. FICE influences the public opinion with a focus on enhancing the importance of educative assistance and to bring the situation of looked after children and professionals to the mind of the public. Therefor FICE informs the experts in the field and political decision-makers by means of the new media and means of communication of its work and its findings.

2.6. In the spirit of international understanding and global solidarity FICE supports meetings and exchanges of professionals as well as children and young adults.

2.7. In exceptionally cases and war or disaster, FICE may take part in temporary relief operations. FICE coordinates together with the members their activities and particularly provides help for children, who do not have a family, or whose family cannot, or can only partly, take care for them in social, sanitary or educational matters.

3. Membership

3.1. FICE recognizes the following forms of Membership:

3.1.1. National section: The status of national section is open to non-governmental organizations of national standing which are engaged in practical and theoretical work in the field of socio-pedagogical assistance for children and youths. They must select their executive bodies and representatives in free democratic elections. National section must themselves be open to accept as members private individuals, and/or educational and training institutions, universities and colleges, public authorities and other associations engaged in childcare. When voting is taking place at the General Assembly, every national section should have 100 votes. As a general rule only one National section per country will be accepted. If good reasons exist for several organizations- from one and the same country to become Members, the General Assembly may, upon written request, approve two National sections from a single country. In this case they will have 50 votes each in the General Assembly. National section is paying a higher annual fee than other categories of members.
Likewise supranational bodies may also be accepted as National section.

3.1.2. Regional platforms and/or continental networks: National sections have the possibility to join in a regional and/or continental network or platform. These platforms adopt their own statutes, rules and regulations. These have to be validated by the next upcoming G.A. or F.C.

3.1.3. Membership of individual child care organizations This kind of membership is open to NGO’s, child care organizations, training centres, Universities, and other bodies who have been professionally engaged in either practical or theoretical work for young people at risk situations, or involved in any other way in the child care field. Each member of this category will have 10 votes in the General Assembly. Their annual fees will be decided by the CE on a proposal from the Treasurer.

3.1.4. FICE Individual Associative Membership is open to anyone interested in questions of childcare and open to those individuals whether their country has a National Section or not. FICE International Associative Members will be kept aware of the activities of FICE in the same way as other Members and will receive invitations to the FICE events. Individual associative member, have one (1) vote in the General Assembly. No limitation on number of individual associative members from one country. Their annual fees will be decided by the CE on a proposal from the Treasurer.

3.1.5. Honorary Membership may be awarded to persons or institutions who over many years have been actively engaged in the work of FICE. Honorary Members are kept abreast of the activities of FICE and invited to all events. They have no voting rights, are ineligible for election, and pay no dues.

3.2. Admission process

Acceptance into Full Membership is generally preceded by a limited period of Associate Membership. Associate Membership shall be for a period of one to two years. In exceptional situations the Federal Council may extend Associate Membership for one additional period. Every new member will be attributed a mentor who will be a full member. The mentor will guide the new member until it reaches the status of full member. New members have to send to the general secretary their legal statutes. In the next general assembly they can apply for full membership. The mentor’s recommendation to the general assembly should have an important weight in the decision of the General Assembly.

Associate Members are invited to all events open to Full Members. They have no voting rights but may submit motions.

Associate members do not pay fees until they get their full membership status.

Associate Members may use the name FICE and the FICE logo only together with a reference to their Associate Membership.

In exceptional cases, the Federal Council can recommend to the General Assembly to accept immediately an Associate Member and attribute him the status of Full Member.

3.3. Cancellation of Membership must be in writing, with six months’ notice, and is effective at the end of a calendar year. Full, Associate, and Individual Members who cancel their Membership lose the right to use the FICE logo or the designation FICE in any manner whatsoever.

4. Constituent Bodies

4.1. The constituent bodies of FICE International are:

  • The General Assembly,
  • The Federal Council,
  • The Executive Committee,
  • The General Secretariat and
  • The Audit Committee.

4.1.1. General Assembly The General Assembly is the highest body in FICE. It is composed of the representatives of all Full, Associate, associate Individual and Honorary Members.

The General Assembly meets in ordinary session every three years. The President calls and presides over each session.

The Federal Council, the Executive Committee, or a third of the Full Members may request an extraordinary session of the General Assembly.

The functions of the General Assembly include:
– defining the work programme and the financial plan of FICE;
– election of the President, the Secretary General, and the Treasurer;
– acceptance and exclusion of Full Members;
– acceptance of associate Individual Members;
– election of the Audit Committee;
– granting of Honorary Memberships;
– approval of the reports of the President, Secretary-General, and Treasurer
– approval of the budget and Membership fees as proposed by the Treasurer
– acceptance of the audit report as proposed by the Audit Committee
– revision of the statutes. Invitation to the General Assembly requires two months’ notice and must be accompanied by an agenda. Motions to amend the Statutes require that the proposed amendments be distributed with the invitation. Every Full Member has a number of votes at the General Assembly according to its membership category, The President votes only in the case of ties; in such cases he/she has the casting vote. The Secretary General and the Treasurer have no vote. They may propose motions to all items on the agenda. Amendments of the statutes require the approval of two-thirds of the full members present and voting. The President, the Secretary General and the Treasurer are elected by the General Assembly for three-year terms of office. The maximum period a President may remain in office is limited to six years. No maximum is set for the periods in office of the Secretary General and the Treasurer. In the event of a resignation of one of the Executive committee, between two General Assembly sessions, the Federal Council shall select a replacement for the remaining duration of the current term.

4.1.2. The Federal Council
Between General Assemblies the Federal Council resolves all questions concerning FICE which are not exclusively the domain of another body. The Federal Council is composed of representatives of all Full and Associate Members. Full and Associate Members will normally be represented by their President and/or one other Member of their executive bodies. Regional platforms and/or continental networks may be represented by 1 delegate. Honorary Members of FICE International may also attend Federal Council meetings. Individual members may attend the meetings but have no vote. The Federal Council meets in ordinary session once or twice per year. The President calls and presides over each session. The functions of the Federal Council include:
– the preparation and evaluation of activities in the execution of the work plan of FICE;
– acceptance and exclusion of Associate Members;
– entering into treaties, conventions and contracts with other international organizations which pursue similar aims;
– election of one or more Vice-Presidents and the definition of their functions;
– working out joint policy statements on current professional topics, and
– election of the Chair of the Editorial Board.

The Federal Council may establish work groups. The tasks, composition, duration and competencies are to be defined in writing.

The Federal Council may adopt rules of procedure and financial rules which regulate the points above and other matters.

Invitations to meetings of the Federal Council require six weeks’ notice and must be accompanied by an agenda. Every National Section has 10 votes at the Federal Council. Individual organisations have 1 vote.
The President votes only in the case of ties – in such cases he/she has the casting vote.
The Secretary General and the Treasurer have no vote. They may propose motions on all items on the agenda.

4.1.3. The Executive Committee
The Executive Committee prepares the work of the General Assembly and the Federal Council, drafts motions and carries out decisions. Members of the Executive Committee are normally the official representatives of FICE.

The Executive Committee consists of the President, the Secretary-General, the Treasurer and the Vice-Presidents. It meets in ordinary session two to four times a year.

Meetings are called by the Secretary General on behalf of the President and chaired by the President.

The functions of the Executive Committee include especially:
– the preparation and execution of all decisions of the General Assembly and the Federal Council,
– the coordination of work groups,
– the official representation of FICE and the regulation of representation to international organizations,
– the preparation and submission of recommendations for the acceptance and exclusion of Members,
– the management of FICE Funds.

The Executive Committee may assign duties to Vice Presidents and delegate functions.

4.1.4. General Secretariat The General Secretariat is the primary contact point to all Members and to all international organizations. It is run by the Secretary General. The General Secretariat is responsible for the timely preparation and distribution of documentation to all Members. It processes Membership applications in line with the statutes and rules of procedure. The General Secretariat maintains a list of Members. In cases of doubt the Executive Committee decides on the inclusion of addresses on the list.

4.1.5. Audit Committee The Audit Committee consists of three Members (checks the Annual Financial Report and the correct use of FICE funds). The Audit Committee reports to the General Assembly every three years.

5. Finances

5.1. FICE is financed through:
– Membership contributions from Full and Members from the different categories,
– subsidies and contributions of third parties,
– proceeds from events and the sale of publications, and
– voluntary contributions and legacies.

5.2. All obligations incurred by FICE must be covered by its assets. Recourse to the assets of its Members is excluded.

5.3. Members who for two consecutive years fail to meet their financial obligations, even after being reminded, are automatically excluded. The Executive Committee shall inform the Federal Council and the General Assembly of such cases.

6. Miscellaneous Provisions

6.1. FICE endeavours to provide its documentation in several languages. It is possible to correspond with all constituent bodies in English, French or German.

6.2. The dissolution of FICE requires the support of two-thirds of those present and voting, representing at least half of all Members. In case of dissolution all assets shall, as determined by the General Assembly be assigned to an organization pursuing similar goals.

6.3. The original of FICE statutes is in the English language. In case of dispute the English text shall prevail.

6.4. Until new rules of Procedure are established the prevailing rules shall, remain in force, as applicable.

6.5. In the event of the resignation of a Member of the Executive Committee, the individual shall remain in Office until a replacement has been elected by the respective responsible body.

6.6. These statutes shall enter into force immediately upon their acceptance.

New draft proposal originally proposed by Emmanuel Grupper, Bettina Terp and Guillem Compte presented to the Federal Council members in Sofia in April 2013 with additional remarks of various members.

These statutes should replace the former version that were accepted by the General Assembly on June 2008, in Helsinki

Signed by:

Dashenka Kraleva, President and Bettina Terp, General Secretary
Frankfurt, April 12th, 2014