The International Human Rights Association of American Minorities (IHRAAM) is anInternational NGO in Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations since 1993. It was founded in 1985 at The Hague Academy of International Law in the Netherlands by African American law students Dr. Y. N. Kly, Dr. Yvonne King and Dr. Charles Knox. It was incorporated in 1988 in the United States,in 1996 in London, and in 1997 in Canada.
IHRAAM seeks to assist individuals, minorities, unrepresented peoples and nations to become familiar with and gain access to international human rights law and its enforcement mechanisms. It encourages a deepening awareness by peoples and governments of the array of institutional options for exercise of the right to self-determination as a means of conflict resolution, with a view to ensuring social harmony while promoting cultural preservation and equal-status development.
To that end, it has submitted written and oral interventions to the Human Rights Council, the Expert Mechanism on Indigenous Peoples, the UN Forum on Minority Issues, the Committee on the Convention of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the UN Working Group on Peoples of African Descent, the UN Special Committee on Decolonization, and the UN”s Universal Periodic Review. It also participated in the World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (WCAR) from 2001 and thereafter. IHRAAM has encouraged the participation in these fora, not only of international legal experts, but of domestic human rights defenders speaking on behalf of the issues of concern to their situations, such as African Americans, Gullah-Geechees, Puerto Ricans, Kashmiris, the Lil’wat and other indigenous nations in Alaska and Hawaii.
IHRAAM has submitted petitions to and been engaged in subsequent cases with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).
IHRAAM has undertaken educational events in further of its mission, by means of sponsoring conferences, seminars and side sessions at UN events, both in Geneva and New York. Most notably, it held two international conferences on the right of self-determination in Geneva in 2000 and 2004, which engaged the participation of UN Special Rapporteurs, government ministers, and a broad range of spokespersons for related national groups, and other international NGOs.