IFM-SEI was originally founded as the International Committee of Socialist Educational Organisations in 1922 with German, Austrian and Czech founding organisations. By 1927, organisations from Denmark, Latvia, Hungary, Switzerland, France, Poland and Belgium had joined, and an international camp was held – the first ‘Children’s Republic’ at Seekamp, Germany.
In the 1930s more organisations joined from Norway, UK, Spain, Belgium, America and Sweden but Socialist Educational International practically ceased to exist because of the political suppression of the socialist children’s movement before and during the Second World War.
In 1946, an international camp held in Brighton, UK was instrumental in helping to restore the shattered international links between children’s and youth organisations dedicated to peace and social justice. An International Falcon Secretariat was set up in Amsterdam in 1947, and at a Congress in Nuremberg in 1953, the International Falcon Movement was officially founded. From the start, the basis of IFM was international co-operation, education for tolerance and respect of human rights, as well as the concept of socialist education.
IFM became more and more international in the 1960s with organisations joining from India and Israel, and the organisation began to work with the developing world and in solidarity with liberation movements across the globe.
In 1970, we became the International Falcon Movement – Socialist Educational International. This change of name demonstrated a willingness to cooperate with like-minded organisations who didn’t necessarily have the same background as traditional Falcon groups.
The UN Convention for the Rights of a Child was still under discussion in the 1980s and IFM-SEI played an important role in the advocacy work towards its adoption. Other topics were child labour, child abuse, peace and the situation of children in war and conflict areas. IFM-SEI also held lots of international peace activities in the 1980s, bringing together young people from Eastern and Western Europe and Israel and Palestine.
By the 1990s, IFM-SEI had expanded to Latin America and IFM-SEI organised campaigns that ranged from anti war toys, reproductive health education, child labour, and fighting child sexual abuse.
Since the 2000s, IFM has increased its number of projects and activities, especially on a global level with activities on poverty, equality, inclusion, sustainable development, cooperation and gender and sexuality. IFM-SEI international camps take place to this day and our socialist education continues with projects on peace education, youth mobility and group work.