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The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention
is a UN-mandated body of independent human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...
experts that investigates cases of arbitrary arrest and detention
Arbitrary arrest and arbitrary detention are the arrest or detention of an individual in a case in which there is no likelihood or evidence that they committed a crime against legal statute, or in which there has been no proper due process of law...
that may be in violation of international human rights law
International human rights law refers to the body of international law designed to promote and protect human rights at the international, regional and domestic levels...
It was established in 1991 by the former Commission on Human Rights
The United Nations Commission on Human Rights was a functional commission within the overall framework of the United Nations from 1946 until it was replaced by the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2006...
as one of the "Special Procedures" created to monitor human rights violations, and is currently under the purview of the UN Human Rights Council. In 2010, its mandate was extended by the Council for another three years.
After verifying information from a variety of sources, including non-governmental organisations, inter-governmental agencies and victims' families, the Working Group sends urgent appeals to governments to ascertain the whereabouts and condition of those allegedly detained. It can also conduct fact-finding visits to countries that have extended an invitation to the Working Group.
The current members of the Working Group are:
Former members include: