Association of Humanitarian Lawyers
About Us


The Association of Humanitarian Lawyers (AHL) is a private, non-profit organization that supports initiatives in human rights and humanitarian (armed conflict) law. Its current officers are all practicing attorneys and hail from five countries. There are usually between five and seven researchers, some of whom are attorneys, others law students or paralegals or graduates in political science or related fields. Recent interns have come from Botswana, Canada, China, France, Germany, Korea, Malta, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and United Kingdom as well as from the USA. AHL does not provide any salaries, but provides expense stipends for our researchers when possible.

Originally incorporated as "International Disability Law" in 1982 to support the United Nations work of Disabled Peoples' International, we changed our name in 1990 to Association of Humanitarian Lawyers to reflect our support for United Nations work by other UN-credentialed groups such as International Educational Development/ Humanitarian Law Project (IED/HLP), Liberation and others with whom we partner on selected projects. Our officers and researchers attend the United Nations human rights forums and work directly with the UN-credentialed groups, with the UN staff, with investigators appointed by the Commission on Human Rights, and with members of the United Nations Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights. AHL supports preparation and dissemination costs of a number of publications addressing human rights and humanitarian law. AHL supports investigative missions to States where there are serious allegations of human rights or humanitarian law violations. We have undertaken several "complaints" (petitions) at the Organization of American States, the latest, in concert with IED/HLP, on behalf of the victims of attacks on hospitals and clinics in Falluja, Iraq.

We have also worked with members of Congress to resolve several conflicts of long duration, and, at the invitation of some of these members of Congress, are now into our third year of partnering with the Kashmiri American Council to provide forums hosted by the House of Representatives with invited leaders from all sides in the Kashmir question. We recently began a partnership with the Northeast Secretariat on Human Rights (Sri Lanka).

We are pleased that most of our former researchers or interns have gone on to become involved in the field of human rights in their countries, many of them in a leadership capacity. Others have undertaken a legal education or advanced degrees with an emphasis on human rights. Publications we have prepared or supported have received wide dissemination and are considered by many as the leading works in their topics.

For press inquiries, donor requests and information about the Association's legal work, call (415) 668-2752. Our address is 154 Fifth Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94118 USA. For general questions, please email us: inquiries@humanlaw.org


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