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Thematic reports

A/HRC/42/39: Arbitrary detention - Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention


16 July 2019

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Arbitrary detention


In 2018, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, under its regular procedure, adopted 90 opinions concerning the detention of 246 persons in 47 countries. It also transmitted 75 urgent appeals to 34 Governments concerning 117 identified individuals and 94 letters of allegations and other letters to 52 Governments. States informed the Working Group that they had taken measures to remedy the situations of detainees and, in an increasing number of cases, the detainees were released.

The Working Group is grateful to those Governments that responded to its appeals and took steps to provide it with the information requested on the situation of detainees. The Working Group engaged in continuous dialogue with countries that it visited, in particular in connection with its recommendations. The Working Group undertook a follow-up visit to Hungary. The visit, scheduled to take place from 12 to 16 November 2018, was suspended. The Working Group also conducted a country visit to Bhutan from 14 to 24 January 2019.

In the present report, the Working Group examines the following thematic issues:

  1. deprivation of liberty in the context of conscientious objection to military service
  2. use of registers to avoid arbitrary detention
  3. use of the Working Group’s opinions in domestic proceedings and
  4. comprehensive reparations to victims of arbitrary detention

In its recommendations, the Working Group calls for increased cooperation from States, especially in relation to its requests for country visits, in relation to their responses to urgent appeals and communications and for the implementation of its opinions. Furthermore, the Working Group urges Member States to provide adequate and predictable human resources in order to allow it to fulfil its mandate in an effective and sustainable manner.

Issued By:

Working Group on Arbitrary Detention

Delivered To:

the 42nd session of the HRC