14th Australia-Vietnam Human Rights Dialogue Civil Society Consultation Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)

12 July 2017

(Report by Chander Khera)

 Mr Chander Khera of ACHRE along with other interested NGOs attended a meeting with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) on the forthcoming 14th Australia-Vietnam Human Rights Dialogue. The meeting was chaired by Dr Lachlan Strahan, First Assistant Secretary, Multi-lateral Policy Division.

 DFAT advised they have received a number of submissions and are happy to receive more from the civil society prior to the dialogue.

DFAT noted that Vietnam was now a major economic partner of Australia and the dialogue provides an opportunity to review progress of human rights in both countries. There has been some improvements in LGBIT rights, relaxation of controls on some aspects of religious practices and release of some political prisoners in Vietnam. The dialogue continues to be an important tool in monitoring bilateral human rights issues and practices.

DFAT agreed to debrief the civil society after the dialogue and would let civil society know if there is any opportunity to meet with the Vietnamese delegation.