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Clustered Interactive Dialogue with the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and Special Rapporteur
September 15, 2015

Agenda Item 3, Clustered Interactive Dialogue with

the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery

As Delivered by David Sullivan

30th Session of the UN Human Rights Council

September 14, 2015

Geneva, Switzerland


The United States welcomes this opportunity to thank the Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery.  We welcome the Special Rapporteur’s latest report on the roles of States and businesses in the elimination of contemporary forms of slavery from global supply chains.  This work is also a priority for the United States.  As a promising practice we would like to highlight the work of the Florida-based Coalition of Immokalee Workers and their Fair Food Program.  The Fair Food Program is a human rights-based program that is designed, monitored, and enforced by the very workers whose rights it helps to protect.  We look forward to continued engagement with the Special Rapporteur on the topic.


We also welcome the chance to hear from the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.  We are pleased that we are continuing our discussions with the Working Group with an eye toward hosting it on an official visit to the United States in the near future.  The U.S. government strongly condemns arbitrary detention.  It is undemocratic and against the rule of law.  In September, we echoed this message when Ambassador Power launched a U.S.-government campaign entitled #Free the 20, calling on governments to free twenty women who have been unjustly detained.  This includes women who have worked to promote human rights such as the freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly and to ensure people’s access to basic health care and education, and who have defended societies’ most vulnerable members.  These women represent just a fraction of the women and men who are arbitrarily detained.  We support their immediate release and the release of all arbitrarily detained prisoners around the world.



  • To SR Bhoola: What do you see as the role of survivors of contemporary forms of slavery in supply chains?
  • To the Working Group: Could you please elaborate for us on what in particular the Working Group is doing to address the increasing detention of individuals based on the exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms – in particular arbitrary detention of journalists and members of civil society, including human rights defenders, political activists, members of ethnic and religious minority groups and other prisoners of conscience?