Director, ACLU Human Rights Program
Jamil Dakwar (@jdakwar) is the director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Human Rights Program (HRP) which is dedicated to holding the U.S. government accountable to its international human rights obligations and commitments. He leads a team of lawyers and advocates who use a human rights framework to complement existing ACLU legal and legislative advocacy primarily in the areas of counter-terrorism, racial justice, immigrants’ rights, women’s rights, and criminal and juvenile justice. HRP conducts human rights research, documentation and public education, as well as engages in litigation and advocacy before U.S. courts and international human rights bodies.
HRP’s docket includes both domestic lawsuits and petitions before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on behalf of individuals sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for crimes committed when they were children; victims and survivors of torture, forced disappearance, trafficking and domestic violence; disenfranchised felons; domestic workers and low-wage undocumented immigrants; as well as a challenge on behalf of death row prisoners challenging methods of execution. Jamil also serves as the ACLU main representative to the United Nations, and has testified before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, United Nations human rights bodies, and the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE), about human rights violations in the U.S.
Prior to joining the ACLU in 2004, Jamil worked at Human Rights Watch, where he conducted research, advocated, and published reports on issues of torture and detention in Egypt, Morocco, Israel, and the occupied Palestinian territory. Before coming to the United States, he was a senior attorney with Adalah, a leading human rights group in Israel, where he filed and argued human rights cases before Israeli courts and advocated before international forums. He is a graduate of Tel Aviv University and NYU School of Law. He is adjunct lecturer at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY).