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.