Universal Periodic Review

Basic facts about the UPR
Stages of the UPR
UPR Information on the United Kingdom
A guide to civil society organisation participation in the UPR process
Useful guides & Links

Basic facts about the Universal Periodic Review (UPR):

  • The UPR mechanism was established in 2006 by the UN General Assembly resolution 60/251.
  • It aims to address human rights violations wherever they occur.
  • The UPR reviews the human rights record of all 193 member states every five years (42 states each year).
  • We are currently in the third UPR cycle.
    More basic information on the UPR can be found here.

Stages of the UPR

There are several stages to a UPR review:

  • Preparation of pre-session documents
    • The review of a state is based on:
      • A national report prepared by the state
      • A compilation of information by the Office of the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights (OHCHR)
      • A summary of information submitted by other stakeholders   
  • Working Group on the UPR & Report
  • Adoption of outcome documents by the Human Rights Council
  • National Process of Follow-up and Implementation
    • Mid-term reports are voluntary but encouraged

UPR Information on the United Kingdom

  • UK is part of the third review cycle, and the 27th working group session
  • The next review is scheduled for October 2022
  • The timeline for civil society submissions for the next UPR has not yet been set.
  • UK National Report on UPR 2017 can be found here.
  • Documentation on the UPR – UK (made available by the United Nations Human Rights Council) can be found here.

Civil society organisation participation in the UPR process

Civil society actors, national human rights institutions, non-governmental organisations and regional mechanisms can submit written information to the ‘other stakeholders’ report.  This then informs the UN working group’s consideration of recommendations to make to the UK.

Guidelines for written contributions:

  • Content:
  • Submissions should:
    • Be tailored for the UPR
    • Contain credible and reliable information on the state under review
    • Cover the period elapsed since the last review
    • Use an objective, formal, non-abusive language
    • When referring to the implementation of recommendations from previous cycles, clearly identify the recommendation
  • Format:
    • Individual written submissions must not exceed 2815 words (additional documentation can be annexed for reference) or five pages.
    • Joint submissions must not exceed 5630 words or ten pages
    • Include cover page (not included in word count) which should present the submitting organisation(s) and describe their main activities
    • Written submissions should be in UN official languages

Useful guides & Links

3rd UPR cycle: contributions and participation of “other stakeholders” in the UPR’ by OHCHR.
Universal Periodic Review (Third Cycle): Information and guidelines for relevant stakeholders’ written submissions: technical guidelines for stakeholders submissions for the 3rd cycle.
A Practical Guide for Civil Society issued by the OHCHR.
A handbook for civil society by the United Nations High Commissioner for human rights.
Mid-term reports.
The information provided by the United Nations Human Rights Council on the UPR.
The UPR info site is a website that aims to raise awareness of the UPR.
UPR info specifically on the UK (and its engagement with the UPR, including recommendations received and made by the UK).

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