Eleventh Australia-Vietnam Human Rights Dialogue
The eleventh Australia-Vietnam Human Rights Dialogue was held on 29 July 2014 in Hanoi.
Australia and Vietnam have an established history of bilateral human rights engagement, including through the eleven rounds of the Australia-Vietnam Human Rights Dialogue since 2002. Australia has also delivered a human rights technical cooperation program in Vietnam since 2006 to support the dialogue.
The dialogues are an opportunity for both governments to engage in a frank and constructive exchange of views at a senior level to identify areas where they can share experience on meeting international human rights obligations; to raise specific human rights concerns, and to formally exchange views and experiences.
The Australian delegation raised a range of ongoing human rights concerns, including freedom of expression, assembly and religion; the harassment and intimidation of political activists; press freedoms; use of the death penalty; the severity of sentencing for democracy activists; and the management of prisons, including the welfare and rights of prisoners.
At the same time, the delegation welcomed improvements in some areas and encouraged implementation of these gains, particularly in relation to legal reforms and gender equality.
Australia's delegation was led by Mr Craig Maclachlan, Acting First Assistant Secretary, South-East Asia Mainland and Regional Division, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and also included Padma Raman, Executive Director of the Australian Human Rights Commission. The Vietnamese delegation was led by Mr Vu Anh Quang, Acting Director General, Department of International Organizations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The twelfth Human Rights Dialogue will be held in Canberra in 2015.