Australia and the Islamic Republic of Iran held their first annual Human Rights Dialogue on 24 August 2017 in Canberra.
The two sides had frank and constructive discussions on a range of human rights issues, including national approaches to human rights, engagement with international human rights mechanisms, such as the Human Rights Council and the Universal Periodic Review, and the empowerment of women.
Australia reiterated its commitment to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and underlined the important role played by independent national human rights institutions. Two staff members of the Australian Human Rights Commission joined the Australian delegation for the dialogue.
The Iranian delegation visited the Alexander Maconochie Centre, a prison in the Australian Capital Territory.
The dialogue was led by Dr Lachlan Strahan, First Assistant Secretary, Multilateral Policy Division, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia, and Dr Zahra Pishgahifard, Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Director General for Human Rights and Women’s Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The two sides look forward to the second round of the Dialogue in Tehran in the first half of 2018.