UPR | ISHR launches multilingual guide for civil society to track progress on China’s human rights commitments

The work to hold the Chinese government accountable for its commitments is more important than ever before. To this end, ISHR has developed a hands-on, multilingual guide to UPR monitoring and follow-up for civil society groups, halfway between its last review, and it's upcoming in 2023.

November 2020 marks two years since the Chinese government underwent its third cycle of the Universal Periodic Review. As part of this process, the Chinese government accepted 284 out of 346 recommendations, from 150 countries. However, it has yet to fulfill its stated commitments to take -or continue -action to address important human rights issues, including human rights defenders and independent civil society, the rights of minorities, fundamental freedoms, and non-discrimination.

Building on the valuable work of other rights groups, this plain-language Guide is an important tool to equip civil society and ensure effective and comprehensive monitoring and reporting on the implementation of recommendations. It provides an overview of China’s 2018 review process, identifies priority areas for follow-up, and shares tactics and strategies for collecting information and planning advocacy.

‘Our goal is to support growth in the quantity, quality and impact of civil society engagement on China’s UPR – from ongoing monitoring, to mid-term reporting, to formal submissions – over the next three years’, said Sarah Brooks, ISHR’s Asia Advocate.

This open resource is available for download in English, Simplified and Traditional Chinese, as well as Tibetan and Uyghur. For each language, ISHR has produced an ‘anonymous’ version for safer dissemination.

‘This is the first UPR guide available in Uyghur language, which is crucial for the work of Uyghur groups’, said Zumretay Arkin, Advocacy Manager at the World Uyghur Congress, ‘it makes UN mechanisms and advocacy accessible to the Uyghur community.’

On 3 November, ISHR held a live Q&A session to present this Guide in more detail, and address questions on UPR advocacy and its central role in promoting significant human rights change in China. Questions raised during the session highlighted the fundamental role played by civil society in ensuring a transparent and informed UPR process, and pointed out the ways in which it can reinforce national advocacy strategies.

You can watch the full video presentation and Q&A session below:


ISHR wishes to express its gratitude to all individual partners and organisations that have supported this project.

For more information on the Guide and ideas for how to use it, please contact Sarah M. Brooks (at [email protected] or on Twitter at @sarahmcneer); or Raphaël Viana David (at [email protected] or on Twitter at @vdraphael).