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Australia China Human Rights Dialogue.

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Australian officials will today attend the seventh round of our annual Human-Rights Dialogue with China.

The talks in Beijing will cover judicial administration, civil and political freedoms, the rights of women and children and the treatment of Falun Gong members and other disadvantaged groups in China. We will also raise individual cases of concern.

Another item on the agenda will be the Australian Government’s concerns about the human rights situation in Tibet. Following the talks, the delegation will visit Lhasa to express these concerns directly to the Tibetan authorities and to investigate the human rights situation on the ground.

The meeting is also expected to agree on next year’s agenda under the Human Rights Technical Cooperation program. This program has promoted human rights in China by helping China develop its legal system. Other activities promote the rights of women, children and ethnic and minority groups.

The Human-Rights Dialogue was initiated by the Australian Government in 1997. Australia is confident that this year’s dialogue will again be frank and constructive, demonstrating both countries’ commitment to the talks and the overall strength of our bilateral ties.

The Australian delegation will be led by Deputy Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Dr Geoff Raby. Other members will include the President of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, John von Doussa QC, and officials from government departments responsible for human rights matters in Australia.

The Chinese delegation will be led by the Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs, Shen Guofang, and include representatives of the Ministry of Justice, the Supreme People’s Court, the Ministry of Public Security, the All China Women’s Federation and the United Front Work Department.

Media enquiries: Chris Kenny (Ministerial) 0419 206 890 Julie McDonald (Departmental) 02 6261 1555

Media releases and speeches are available from DFAT via the internet.