Supporting Members’ UPR engagement

As part of our capacity building work to support member and associate organizations to advocate on human rights issues of concern in their countries, we provide guidance and support on engagement with the UN’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process.

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a UN human rights mechanism by which every state has its human rights record scrutinized. All states can review other states’ records and make recommendations for improvement. States are reviewed every five years.

Whilst States make the final recommendations in the review, Humanists International Member and Associate Organizations (MOs) can have an important role in influencing these recommendations, including by submitting information on their home countries and bringing a sharper focus on their human rights issues of concern. We encourage members to engage and we support them to do so in a few ways:

  • We have created a detailed briefing for our members (available online here), which covers all the steps in engaging with the UPR. This briefing also includes a link to a calendar of relevant UPR dates (for all countries in which we have members).
  • We provide UPR training workshops for members who are based in countries due for review. During the workshops, participant members have the opportunity to learn about the important role of civil society organizations in the UPR process, discuss best practices for effective engagement and advocacy, and look in detail at how to draft a high-quality written submission that will have impact.
  • We also offer guidance and support to members making written submissions or those interested in looking to make oral statements during the UPR sessions at the UN Human Rights Council.

To date we have trained 52 individuals from our Member and Associate Organizations on the UPR process, and 12 of our members have made written submissions. We have also made a total of 29 joint statements at the UN Human Rights Council with MOs on their country of concern during the UPR adoptions.

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