The seventh round of the Australia-Vietnam Human Rights Dialogue and related
site visits took place from 7 to 9 December in Hanoi.
The dialogue demonstrates the maturity of the relationship and provides Australia and Vietnam with an opportunity for frank and constructive discussion about human rights issues.
Topics discussed at the dialogue on 7 December included national approaches to human rights; developments since the sixth round of the dialogue in Canberra in August 2008; ethnic minorities and indigenous issues; freedom of expression and association; criminal justice and judicial reforms; and freedom of religion and belief.
The Australian delegation was led by Mr Craig Maclachlan, Assistant Secretary of DFAT's International Organisations Branch, and included the Hon Catherine Branson QC, President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, as well as officers from relevant Australian Government departments.
The dialogue also agreed to a third phase of the Australia-Vietnam Human Rights Technical Cooperation Program. This program reaffirms Australia's commitment to improving human rights internationally.
It has helped develop practical strategies to promote human rights in Vietnam, match the human rights priorities of Vietnamese agencies with relevant experience and expertise, and improve links between Vietnamese and Australian human rights institutions. The third phase of the program will commence in early 2010.
The Australian delegation to the seventh Human Rights Dialogue also undertook a program of site visits on 8-9 December, which included meetings with partners in the Human Rights Technical Cooperation Program and a prison visit.
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