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Universal Periodic Review

Graphic: UPR review process taking place at the Human Rights Council

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a process, in operation since 2008, which examines the human rights records of all 193 UN Member States once every four and a half years.

The review is based on three types of information:

  • Report submitted by the State, in writing and oral presentation
  • Compilation of all UN and treaty body documents, comments and recommendations regarding the State, prepared by the OHCHR
  • Summary of information provided by national stakeholders, such as NHRIs, NGOs, civil society groups and academic institutions, which is also prepared by the OHCHR.

Each State is reviewed during a three-hour session of a working group of the Human Rights Council. The review is an interactive dialogue between the State delegation and members of the Council and addresses a broad range of human rights topics.

Following the review, a report and recommendations are prepared, which is discussed and adopted at the following session of the Human Rights Council.

Graphic: Presention at 2010 APF regional workshop on the UPR

UPR Good Practice Compilation

Prepared by the APF and published by the UN Human Rights Council in 2010 (A/HRC/14/NI/10)

Role of NHRIs

NHRIs can make a significant contribution to the UPR process by providing independent, up-to-date and credible information on their country's human rights situation.

In addition, NHRIs can propose questions and issues that Member States might raise during the review of the State, as well as suggest concrete recommendations that the UPR process could make to the State.

While NHRIs are not able to take part in the Human Rights Council's review process with the State, they can attend the session as an observer.

In addition, they can participate in the general debate on the report of their country's review, which occurs during the following session of the Human Rights Council.

An Information Note for NHRIs has been prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as a UPR Good Practice Guide prepared by the APF following a 2010 regional workshop that collected the experiences of NHRIs from the Asia Pacific region.

As a key national stakeholder, NHRIs also have an important role to follow-up on the implementation of recommendations made to the State through the UPR process and to monitor progress.

UPR.info is a useful resource that features a database of all UPR sessions, reports and recommendations.

Image credits

  1. UPR review process taking place at the Human Rights Council - US Mission Geneva, Flickr; https://bitly.com/a/bitlinks/1P0g9Nr