Photo: Geoff Livingston



The International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) is a non-governmental organization with consultative status in ECOSOC and UNESCO. Founded in 1946 to promote the goals of the United Nations Charter, IADL and its affiliated organizations throughout the world have consistently fought to uphold international law, promote human rights and address threats to international peace and security. From its inception, IADL members have protested racism, colonialism, and economic and political injustice wherever they occur.

IADL shares the world’s outrage at the vicious murder of George Floyd, an African-American man, by a Minneapolis, Minnesota police officer on May 25. IADL is heartened by the massive global uprisings in response to Floyd’s murder which oppose White supremacy and institutional racism.

More than 400 years after the first Africans were kidnapped, forcibly brought to the United States and enslaved, White supremacy continues to infect U.S. society. Police murder Black people with impunity. Black people are incarcerated at an unprecedented rate. And White fragility keeps many in denial about their White skin privilege.

Institutional racism and White supremacy are not limited to the United States. Global protests in solidarity with the U.S. Movement for Black Lives also target institutional racism in other countries.

IADL abhors the training of U.S. police forces, including the Minneapolis Police Department, by Israeli Defense Forces. IADL notes that the knee-on-the-neck tactic that killed George Floyd is frequently used by IDF soldiers on Palestinians.

IADL condemns police violence against Black Lives Matter protesters, including the use of chemical and sonic weapons, dangerous projectiles, physical violence, intrusive surveillance, and “kettling” to trap protesters after dispersal orders are given.

The International Convention against All Forms of Racial Discrimination, which the United States has ratified, prohibits any distinction based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin. Parties to the convention must take effective measures to change laws that have the effect of creating or perpetuating racial discrimination.

IADL supports demands by U.S. solidarity organizations to defund the police, demilitarize communities, remove police from schools, free people from prisons and jails, repeal laws that criminalize survival, invest in community self-governance, provide safe housing for everyone, and invest in care, not cops. IADL also supports the abolition of the qualified immunity defense that makes it nearly impossible to bring offending police officers to justice.

IADL also supports reparations for slavery and discrimination against Africans and African descendants.

IADL at its Council meeting on June 28, 2020, agreed to support the petition of the Black Lives Matter movement to the United Nations Human Rights Council by convening an International Commission of Inquiry consisting of jurists from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, to investigate and report to the U.N High Commissioner of Human Rights its findings on systemic racism in police practices in the United States.

IADL calls on the U.S. government to respond to the massive uprisings against the murder of George Floyd by conforming its laws to prohibit institutional racism and protect the right to life for all people.


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