The training workshop – held virtually and split over two sessions – was intended to provide practical guidance and build the capacity of Humanists International’s Member and Associate organizations wishing to engage in the United Nations Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process in the coming year. During the UPR, UN Member States are subject to a review process, and receive specific recommendations, on how to improve their human rights record. NGOs are able to participate in the UPR through written and oral statements.
The workshop was attended by 21 individuals and 12 different Member and Associate organizations of Humanists International, including organizations based in Barbados, Romania, Poland, the U.K., the Philippines, Brazil, Finland, and India. During the workshop, participants learned about the role of civil society organisations during the UPR, and discussed, amongst other things, best practices for effective engagement and how to draft a high-quality written submission.
In 2021, Humanists International held its first UPR training session. In the same year, it participated in the UPR reviews of Belgium (in a joint statement with Centre d’Action Laïque), Denmark (in a joint statement with the Danish Humanist Society) and Mauritania (working with Mauritanian anti-slavery activist Cheick Mkhaitir) at the UN Human Rights Council. It also supported the Hungarian Atheists Association with its written UPR submission which reported on the erosion of human rights and democracy in Hungary.