Monitoring Human Rights and the Universal Periodic Review
The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique process which involves a review of the human rights records of all UN Member States. The UPR is a State-driven process, under the auspices of the Human Rights Council, which provides the opportunity for each State to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to fulfil their human rights obligations.
As one of the main features of the Council, the UPR is designed to ensure equal treatment for every country when their human rights situations are assessed. The ultimate aim of this mechanism is to improve the human rights situation in all countries and address human rights violations wherever they occur. Currently, no other universal mechanism of this kind exists.
It is a peer review process carried out once every five years. The review takes account of information from a range of sources, including a report from the State under review, and evidence from civil society, and other UN bodies.
States under review are provided with recommendations aimed at improving the human rights on the ground in their country. The key to the success of the UPR, is the implementation of these recommendations. By providing publicly accessible information on State progress on human rights, these tools provide a powerful mechanism to better hold States to account, and identify areas of human rights where improvements and increased advocacy are needed. The UPR is a significant innovation of the Human Rights Council which is based on equal treatment for all countries. It provides an opportunity for all States to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to overcome challenges to the enjoyment of human rights.
-Farha Mohamed Shareef
Student of Sumy State University