Human Rights Check UK

The 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 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).


Read our Joint Civil Society Report launched on 22 September 2016 here

About the report

A key outcome of this project is the production of a Joint Civil Society Shadow Report for the United Nations (UN) to use when the UK undergoes its third Universal Period Review in April / May 2017.

Over 175 civil society groups engaged with BIHR via our engagement and consultation events across Great Britain and our open call for evidence which ran from April to July 2016. We are very pleased to say that 75 other organisations formally joined the Joint Report, which we submitted to the United Nations on 22 September 2016. 

Report launch

The report was launched on 22 September 2016 at a high level event in London chaired by Sir Nicolas Bratza, Chair of BIHR (and former president of the European Court of Human Rights), with contributions from:

  • David Isaac CBE, Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission
  • Rt Hon Harriet Harman QC MP, Chair of the Joint Committee of Human Rights
  • Stephen Bowen, Director, British Institute of Human Rights
  • Sanchita Hosali, Deputy Director, British Institute of Human Right

You can find out what was said at the event by checking out our blog post here.

Several of our supporting organisations also submitted reports to the UN, which you can find here: 

Age UK

Asylum Aid

CRAE, Together and Wales UNCRC Monitoring Group (joint) 

English PEN

Inclusion London

The Howard League for Penal Reform

René Cassin