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 focusing on promoting racial and economic justice and ending mass incarceration, police violence, and extreme sentencing. 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.
Mr. Dakwar conducts advocacy before the U.S. government on human rights issues, with a particular focus on the domestic implementation of U.S. human rights obligations. His expertise frequently appears in domestic and international media, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Public Radio International, Business Insider, The Intercept, and Al Jazeera English. He serves as the ACLU’s main representative to the United Nations and leads the ACLU’s international advocacy before other regional and international bodies, including the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Mr. Dakwar was one of ACLU’s first observers to the military commission system at Guantanamo Bay in 2004. In 2020, he was appointed as a member of the New York State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
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 professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY), Bard College, and Hunter College. He is trilingual and speaks Arabic (mother tongue), English, and Hebrew.
Dec 14, 2021
Over a Year After His Election, President Biden’s Human Rights Commitments Fail to Meet the Moment
Jul 19, 2021
The UN’s George Floyd Resolution is a Vital Step Toward International Accountability
Mar 19, 2021
Is There a New Era for Human Rights on the Horizon?
Aug 4, 2020
In Pompeo’s New Hierarchy of Rights, Religion and Property, Not Humans, Are at the Top
Jul 12, 2019
Pompeo’s New 'Human Rights' Commission is Up To No Good
Nov 28, 2018
Government Use of Tear Gas Is Illegal in War. It Should Be Illegal Here, Too.
Sep 11, 2018
Trump Administration Threatens International Criminal Court Judges and Prosecutors for Doing Their Jobs
Nov 8, 2017
U.S. Gave Its Torturers a Pass, So International Court Steps In
Oct 25, 2017
W.E.B. Du Bois’s Historic U.N. Petition Continues to Inspire Human Rights Advocacy
Jun 2, 2017
Why Did a Private Security Contractor Treat Standing Rock Protesters Like ‘Jihadists’?