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Australian Statement for the Interactive Dialogue with the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, 20 September 2021

Interactive Dialogue with the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention

20 September 2021

Australian Statement

Australia thanks the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention for its written report and welcomes its consideration of the Declaration Against the Use of Arbitrary Detention in State-to-State Relations.

Australia remains deeply concerned about the use of arbitrary detention, arrest and sentencing to influence State-to-State relations, including States using COVID-19 as a pretext for restricting consular and legal access to detainees.

Detention, arrest and sentencing must be carried out in accordance with international human rights law. Individuals must be free to live, work or travel overseas without risk of being arbitrarily detained.

Australia supports international and multilateral efforts to address this issue, including by operationalising Canada’s Declaration through the Partnership Action Plan. The wide support for this Declaration demonstrates this is an issue of global concern. We urge States to endorse the Declaration to signal their strong rejection of this conduct.  Australia will continue to work with partners to deter practices inconsistent with international law and norms and calls for those foreign citizens currently arbitrarily detained to be released.

Australia is committed to working with international partners and supporting the work of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the WGAD and other UN mechanisms to end the use of arbitrary detention.

We would welcome the WGAD’s views on ways we can work collaboratively with UN mechanisms to end this concerning practice.

208 words, 178 words if read without bold text

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