The training workshop 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 statements and oral submissions.
The workshop was attended by eight individuals from six different Member and Associate organizations of Humanists International, including organizations based in Canada, Malta, Nigeria, Bangladesh, and Russia. During the workshop, participants learned about the role of civil society organizations during the UPR, and discussed, amongst other things, best practices for effective engagement and how to draft a high-quality written submission.
Humanists International first began actively working with members to make written submissions to the UPR in 2020. In 2021, Humanists International started conducting annual UPR workshops for its members, with its first in February that year, and a following one in January 2022.
Since 2020, 10 Member and Associate organizations have made written submissions as part of the UPR Process: Humanists Barbados (on Barbados); Humanists UK (on the UK); SOCH Nepal (on Nepal); Humanist Union of Greece (on Greece); Danish Humanist Society (on Denmark); Demens.nu (on Belgium); Freethought Lebanon (on Lebanon); Humanist Association of Finland and Union of Freethinkers of Finland (on Finland); and the Hungarian Atheist Association (on Hungary).
In addition to written UPR submissions by members, Humanists International has facilitated joint oral interventions at the UN Human Rights Council as part of the UPR. To date, there have been 19 UPR oral statements made at the Council with members.