Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Cluster ID

Mr. President,

We would like to thank the members of the working group on arbitrary detention for its interesting and timely introductions. We also welcome the report of the working group (A/HRC/30/36) and its conclusions and recommendations. We appreciate the working group’s thematic focus in their report. It is particularly concerning, as the Working Group points out, that criminal and administrative detention for drug control purposes has a disproportionate impact on vulnerable groups, such as women, children, minority groups and people who use drugs.

The working group’s communications and opinions are of great impotance in addressing individual cases, including many human rights defenders, journalists and lawyers. We would like to commend the working group for their tireless work on these important cases.

At the June session of the Human Rights Council, Norway presented a  cross regional statement that was supported by 65 states. The statement expressed concern about a worsening pattern in all regions of the world of arbitrary detention, sentencing and imprisonment of human rights defenders, including lawyers and journalists, as well as political opponents and individuals exercising their freedom of opinion, expression, peaceful assembly or association.

The statement also strongly urged all states to immediately release all those who are being detained in connection with exercising their human rights and fundamental freedoms and for the implementation of HRC resolution 22/6, which outlined concrete measures to address the criminalization of human rights defenders.

More specifically, the statement called on states to facilitate visits and dialogue with Special Procedures, explicitly mentioning the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention as an important tool that can assist in resolving individual cases and can advise on the adoption of laws and frameworks that facilitate rather than hamper the work of defenders.

The 65 states also called for the immediate response and follow up by states on decisions by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention on individual cases. We would hope that this call and commitment could have a positive effect on the Working Group’s efforts to assist States in the implementation of their human rights obligations. 

Let med finish by posing one question; Could you say something about what type of interventions/ contacts you have had with states that have been most successful in solving cases of arbitrary detention?

Thank you for your attention.