Human Rights Check UKThe Universal Periodic Review The British Institute of Human Rights has been running Human Rights Check UK, a project to coordinate and draft the joint civil society report ahead of the United Nations review of the UK's human rights situation at the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). Read our Joint Civil Society Report, launched on 22 Sept 2016 Below you can find out more about the UPR and BIHR's project to empower civil society groups to be heard in this important international human rights process. Key aspects of this project have been made possible with funding by the Equality and Human Rights Commission. What is the Universal Periodic Review? The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a key way the United Nations (UN) reviews and seeks to improve the human rights situations of all the 193 countries (States) that are members of the UN. The UPR is run through a part of the UN called the Human Rights Council (HRC). The HRC is made up of 47 States that are members of the UN. These 47 members are elected by the General Assembly of the UN for three year terms, and represent the different geographic regions of the world. The HRC is a key UN body working on the protection and promotion of human rights across the globe. Find out more about the HRC here. As part of the UPR process every country’s human rights situation is reviewed every 4.5 years. This means each year 42 countries are reviewed. The Review The review is based on three key documents: The National Report (20 pages) prepared by the State concerned on the human rights situation in its country; A 10-page report prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) containing information from treaty bodies, special procedures and other UN agencies such as UNDP and UNICEF; and A 10-page summary prepared by the OHCHR of the information provided by civil society groups. This is where BIHR’s project comes in because we will be supporting organisations to get skilled up to contribute to a joint report (and/or submit their own reports). About the UPR Project events Report to the UN The call for evidence The UK and the UPR About this project Useful resources About this project BIHR and the UPR The British Institute of Human Rights is an independent charity committed to bringing human rights to life across the UK. You can click on the image above to watch a short film about what we do and find out more about our work on our main website here. Our work focuses on making the best use of human rights laws in practice, sharing real examples of the positive difference this makes, and raising concerns when human rights may be at risk here at home. The Human Rights Act is the main way our human rights are protected in the UK. The Human Rights Act takes the international human rights, set out in the European Convention on Human Rights as inspired by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), and makes these part of our law here at home. You can find out more about the Human Rights Act here. The UDHR inspired many other laws and standards at the international level which protect human rights. Although we cannot access these rights in the same way as those in the Human Rights Act, the UN is interested in hearing evidence from civil society groups on how well we think our governments are respecting, protecting and fulfilling these international human rights. The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is an important process which all states that are members of the UN go through every 4.5 years to make sure their human rights situations are examined. Submitting your own evidence or supporting a joint report such as the one we are producing is a great way for civil society groups across the country to be heard in these international processes. Find out more about how you can get involved with this project here. Find out more about BIHR’s previous joint report to the United Nations. Our funder This project has been funded by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). The EHRC is a statutory body established under the Equality Act 2006. The EHRC is sponsored by the Government Equalities Office in the Department for Education. The EHRC’s relationship with the UK government and how the EHCR operates as an independent arm’s length body is set out in the Government-Commission Framework Document. The EHRC works to encourage equality and diversity, eliminate unlawful discrimination and promote and protect human rights. It covers Great Britain (i.e. England, Scotland and Wales but not Northern Ireland). The EHRC has been accredited by the UN as an ‘A status’ National Human Rights Institution. This means the EHRC has a special role in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) to: monitor the UK government and devolved administrations’ compliance with the UPR and report on this to the United Nations Human Rights Council; and support the implementation of the UPR recommendations to improve equality and human rights on the ground. The EHRC prepares its own reports on the UK’s progress under the UPR. You can find more information about this work here. The EHRC also supports civil society groups to learn more about the UPR and engage with the process. It has funded BIHR to deliver this current project to support this engagement.