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More Aussie Tourists Are Being Arrested Overseas

The number of Australians arrested overseas is on the up, rising by a quarter in the past five years, prompting the country's foreign minister to warn travellers to 'know the laws' and behave better.

The US, Thailand and China were the top three countries where citizens fell foul of the law, with a total of 1572 cases of arrest and immigration detention around the world in 2018-2019.

Foreign Minister Marise Payne, launching the annual State of Play report in Sydney on Monday, warned Australians to familiarise themselves with possible legal differences at their travel destinations.

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"Australians should be obliged to know and understand the laws of the countries in which they're travelling, they won't be the same as Australia, there are differences all over the world and so the importance of knowing what the laws are where you are going, what you're required to do is very, very important," Ms Payne said.

The report showed the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade was asked for help from Australians abroad in 13,715 cases, for issues ranging from theft to hospitalisation to death.

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Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne has issued a warning to travellers to know the laws ahead of going overseas. Image: AAP

The Sri Lanka bombings and New Zealand Mosque terror attack earlier this year saw an overall increase in cases because the department was called on to help track loved ones.

Excluding such "crisis" cases, the department said total requests for help were down on previous years, suggesting Australians were better prepared for overseas travel risks.