The EU’s human rights dialogues

EU and Chinese officials sitting around a table © ConsiliumEU and Chinese officials sitting around a table © Consilium

The EU holds regular dialogues on human rights with more than 30 non-EU countries. Each dialogue is established in accordance with the EU Guidelines on Human Rights dialogues.

The issues covered in each dialogue are decided on a case-by-case basis. Certain priority issues are however on the agenda for every dialogue. These include the signing, ratification and implementation of international human rights instruments, cooperation with international human rights procedures and mechanisms, combating torture, eliminating all forms of discrimination, children’s rights, women’s rights, freedom of expression and the role of civil society.

Dialogues also address cooperation on human rights within multilateral forums. Discussions take place at the level of senior officials. Dialogues involve officials responsible for human rights (including representatives from relevant departments and agencies, such as ministries of justice and the interior, police and prison authorities, ombudsmen, national parliaments). Meetings rotate between the EU and the country concerned. Dialogues between EU and local civil society organisations usually take place alongside those involving national authorities.

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