UN Human Rights Council in Geneva room XX

Human Rights COuncil Room XX ©Elma Okic / Flickr

Universal Periodic Review

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is the first international human rights mechanism to address all countries and all human rights.

This unique mechanism of the Human Rights Council sees the record of UN Member States reviewed by their peers every four to five years, with every State having the opportunity to ask questions or make recommendations to the State under review. The result of each review is contained in an ‘outcome report’, listing the recommendations the State under review is expected to implement. 

Civil society organisations are able to feed in to this process formally, by submitting reports which are incorporated into a compilation prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and published in advance of the review, and can also lobby delegations directly as to the questions they should ask and recommendations they should make. Civil society also has a crucial role in monitoring and pushing for implementation of recommendations at the national level.

ISHR supports human rights defenders in their interaction with the UPR. We also publish and submit briefing papers regarding the situation facing human rights defenders in some States under review, and advocate for the UPR to be used as mechanism to support and protect human rights defenders on the ground.

Latest Updates

Calling Burkina Faso to effectively implement laws that protect defenders

At the 55th session of the Human Rights Council, during the adoption of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) report of Burkina Faso, ISHR delivered a statement calling on Burkina Faso to strengthen the protection of civic space and effectively implement the law that guarantees a secure working environment for defenders.

Calling for a safe environment for women and LGBTIQ+ defenders in Cape Verde

At the 55th session of the Human Rights Council, during the adoption of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) report of Cape Verde, ISHR and  the Cape Verde Network of Human Rights Defenders (RECADDH) delivered a statement calling on Cape Verde to promote the work of defenders and journalists and provide them with a safe environment.

Rights groups call on Geneva to install permanent monument for Cao Shunli and all victims of deadly reprisals

Ten years after her death in custody on 14 March 2014, civil society, UN staff, and diplomats paid tribute to Chinese woman human rights defender, Cao Shunli, in a solemn reception outside the UN headquarters. Rights groups unveiled a commemorative bust of Cao, calling on Geneva’s local authorities to make it a permanent public homage to her memory and that of all human rights defenders targeted for cooperating with the UN.

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