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24/02/2018 The Special Procedures

Working Group on Arbitrary Detention

The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention was established by resolution 1991/42 of the former Commission on Human Rights.


Mr. José Guevara
(Mexico), since 2014

Ms. Leigh Toomey
(Vice-Chair on follow-up)
(Australia), since 2015

Ms. Elina Steinerte
(Vice-Chair on communications)
(Latvia), since 2016

Mr. Sètondji Adjovi
(Benin), since 2014

Mr. Seong-Phil Hong
(Republic of Korea), since 2014

The duties of the group’s mandate includes:

(a) To investigate cases of deprivation of liberty imposed arbitrarily or otherwise inconsistently with the relevant international standards set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or in the relevant international legal instruments accepted by the States concerned;

(b) To seek and receive information from Governments and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, and receive information from the individuals concerned, their families or their representatives;

(c) To act on information submitted to its attention regarding alleged cases of arbitrary detention by sending urgent appeals and communications to concerned Governments to clarify and to bring to their attention these cases;

(d) To conduct field missions upon the invitation of Government, in order to understand better the situations prevailing in countries, as well as the underlying reasons for instances of arbitrary deprivation of liberty;

(e) To formulate deliberations on issues of a general nature in order to assist States to prevent and guard against the practice of arbitrary deprivation of liberty and to facilitate consideration of future cases;

(f) To present an annual report to the Human Rights Council presenting its activities, findings, conclusions and recommendations.

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