ABOUT USDefending Freedom and Seeking Justice

What We Do

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At ADF International we recognize that there is strength in partnership. That’s why we focus on building alliances with lawyers and like-minded organizations, who we work with to develop comprehensive legal strategies that protect religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family around the world.

Because we’re committed to engaging in effective advocacy around the world, we conduct our work in several different languages: English, French, Spanish, and German. We also communicate in a number of other languages when there are opportunities to positively influence the global conversation about fundamental rights.

Three key components are essential to these strategies

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Advocacy
 

Whether working with our allies or through direct litigation, we select cases that will establish legal precedents and therefore have a lasting impact. We engage in advocacy before national and international institutions and tribunals, where we have a notable record of success. We have the ability to take cases to the highest level, and have achieved success at the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights.

At the national level, we’re able to link with local allied lawyers to assist with domestic matters.

At the international level, we have a full time presence at all of the world’s major institutions (see accreditations below). This enables us to effect positive change for the future.

All our legal services are provided on a pro bono basis.

Official Accreditations
ECOSOC
 
UN Economic and Social Council
 

The UN is by far the largest international human rights organization in the world. With 193 Member States, its reach and influence extend across the globe. Accordingly, it has become the forum of choice for activists advancing an agenda that disregards the sanctity of life and marriage and family. These activists are attempting to undermine international law and the sovereign will of Member States to determine their domestic laws in accordance with the religious, ethical, and cultural values of their people.



The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is the UN’s central forum for discussing international economic and social issues. It is made up of 54 Member States and focuses on issues such as social development, environmental rights, human rights, drug prevention, and sustainable development. It also formulates policy recommendations addressed to UN Member States.


ADF International was awarded special consultative status with ECOSOC in 2010, giving us access to ECOSOC, its subsidiary bodies, the human rights mechanisms of the UN, as well as many other events. We have been part of numerous victories for fundamental human rights as a result of our work at the UN. This has demonstrated how organizations committed to life, marriage and family, and religious freedom can successfully engage the UN system.


EU
 
European Union Transparency Register
 

The EU’s decisions affect millions of European citizens across 28 Member States, and its powers grow each year. Although most of its huge budget goes towards issues such as agriculture, trade, and economics, it has significantly developed its social policy and human rights activity in the last decade. Much of this activity is troubling from a pro-life and pro-family perspective. On top of this, the laws it has passed on non-discrimination have caused one of the biggest threats to religious liberty on the continent.



With many different groups lobbying the various EU institutions, ADF International’s priority is making sure that the EU protects religious freedom, life, and the family. We were accepted onto the EU Transparency Register in 2010, a requirement for any organization trying to influence the policy and decision-making processes of the EU institutions. Since then, we have provided numerous expert opinions and keynote addresses to European Parliament committees and inter-groups.


OAS
 
Organization of American States
 

The Organization of American States (OAS) is a multi-national organization designed to preserve state sovereignty while upholding human rights throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. It’s able to influence policy and law in its 22 Member States by making binding and non-binding decisions on issues involving religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family.



In recent years, groups promoting abortion and radical sexual agendas have used the OAS as a means of coercing countries into making laws that advance their agendas. The General Assembly has increasingly focused its resources and efforts into advancing what it refers to as 'LGBTI rights', as well as issues such as abortion. A number of resolutions have already been passed on these issues. These impositions aren’t just contrary to the constitutions of several Latin American countries, but also to the foundational treaties of the OAS itself. As a result, the OAS is now a threat to state sovereignty and human rights in the Americas.


ADF International received accreditation with the OAS in 2014. Since then, we’ve provided a strong voice for fundamental human rights within the OAS. Our accreditation allows ADF International lawyers to attend key meetings and debates, influencing the OAS from within.


We’ve already achieved a number of successes, such as solidifying opposition to resolutions that would advance radical sexual agendas, and prohibiting euthanasia from being included in the Convention on Protecting the Human Rights of Older People.


OSCE
 
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
 

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) is the world’s largest security-oriented intergovernmental organization. It is an advisory body with 57 participating states and has no binding authority.



Although originally established with international security as its primary focus, the OSCE’s concerns now extend to a number of other issues, including human rights. It has taken on issues that other international organizations appear to neglect, including intolerance and discrimination against Christians, repeal of certain 'hate speech' laws, and parental rights.


ADF International was accredited with the OSCE in 2009, and we play an active part in its annual human rights sessions.

Participatory Status
EUFRA
 
EU Fundamental Rights Agency – Fundamental Rights Platform
 

The EU’s Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) is tasked with investigating broad issues and trends that relate to the Charter of Fundamental Rights. The charter is the primary human rights instrument of the EU, and deals with fundamental human rights, workers’ rights, citizen’s rights, freedom of movement, and equality.



The Fundamental Rights Platform (FRP) of the FRA is a network of around 200 NGOs from around Europe. Participant organizations can play an active role in the agency’s work through this network, providing feedback and suggestions, acting as stakeholders in thematic projects, and attending annual FRP meetings. ADF International is a participant organization of the FRP and has had representation on its elected advisory panel.


There are concerns that the Charter of Fundamental Rights can be used to advance anti-life and extreme sexual agendas. Through our role with the FRP, we’re able to speak against the charter being used in this way and provide a credible voice in support of marriage, family, and the sanctity of life.

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Training
 

ADF International is transforming legal systems by building a strong alliance of Christian professionals through several world-class training programmes. Whether you’re a lawyer, law student or university student, we have a programme that’s tailored for your chosen field of practice. Our programmes equip you to engage all aspects of the legal culture so that you can make a lasting impact in the preservation of religious freedom.

ADF Academy
 
ADF Academy

ADF Academy trains international lawyers how to engage the culture and defend religious freedom. The programme is taught by renowned academics and lawyers and is run by Alliance Defending Freedom, a partner of ADF International.


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Areté Academy
 
Areté Academy

Areté Academy is designed for outstanding university students and recent graduates who are on a path to future leadership in law, government, or public policy. Applicants residing in Europe or Latin America can apply to attend an Academy programme taking place in either of these regions. Areté Academy is a joint programme of ADF International and Alliance Defending Freedom.

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Blackstone Legal Fellowship
 
Blackstone Legal Fellowship

The Blackstone Legal Fellowship is a leadership development programme in which exceptional Christian law students from the world’s top law schools receive intense training in human rights law and the Christian worldview. The programme, run by Alliance Defending Freedom, is open to graduates of the Latin American or European Areté Academy programmes.

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Funding
 

In collaboration with Alliance Defending Freedom, ADF International provides funding for cases with high potential to set major international legal precedents. Since our launch, we’ve provided more than €33m in grant funding for hundreds of cases and legal projects.

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Nearly 2,000

Lawyers Trained

Nearly 3,000

Allied Lawyers

€40m +

In Case Funding

Winning for Good

ADF International is committed to winning every case in which we’re involved. Because we’re committed to seeing fundamental human rights flourish across the world. In our short history, we’ve already been part of victories which have set international legal precedents.

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We have won more than 80% of all our cases.

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We have more than a dozen victories at the ECHR.

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We have advocated in hundreds of international legal matters impacting religious freedom.


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