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Number of Australians arrested overseas falls

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The number of Australians arrested overseas has fallen in the past year and most of those jailed abroad are in China and the US.

The number of Australians who died overseas also fell during the last year.

Meanwhile the number who were hospitalised overseas rose slightly. Most were in Thailand, followed by Indonesia and New Caledonia.

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Details of the adventures and misadventures of Australians overseas are contained within the latest DFAT Consular State of Play report.

The report, which details the work of DFAT’s consular teams around the world, shows that in 2019-20, assistance was provided in 1443 cases of arrest and immigration detention.

This was an eight per cent fall from the previous year and a seven per cent drop over the past five years.

According to the report, there were 176 arrests of Australians in the US, 125 in Thailand and 103 in China. The Philippines accounted for 94 arrests and there were 85 in Indonesia.

Drug-related arrests in 2019-20 accounted for 170 of the arrests. There were 27 drug-related arrests in Thailand, 18 in Japan, 15 in Indonesia, 14 in China and 10 in the Philippines.

During 2019-20, DFAT provided support to the families of 1546 Australians who died overseas. The number of Australians dying overseas fell nine per cent compared to the previous year.

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When it comes to falling victim of crimes, Italy topped the list of countries where most Australians fall prey to theft, followed by the US and Ukraine. And India and the US topped the list of countries where Australians were assaulted.

The COVID-19 pandemic lead to an 81 per cent increase in the number of welfare cases handled by DFAT in the past year.

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