Human Rights Check UKThe Universal Periodic Review The British Institute of Human Rights has been runniing 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 The UK and the UPR Every country that is a member of the United Nations (UN) goes through the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process. This happens every 4.5 years. The UK is about to examined for the third time as part of the UPR process (3rd cycle). Timeline for the UK's review This timeline shows what where the UK is in this 3rd cycle. BIHR’s project is about supporting organisations to get involved in the “NGO submission” stage (NGO or “non-governmental organisation” is another term for a civil society group). Source: This timeline has been replicated from UPR Info, available here. BIHR’s project will provide lots of opportunities for civil society groups such as yourselves to get involved and have a say to amplify your views and make them heard in this important international process. Find out more about: Eight events across Great Britain to raise awareness of the process and to gather the views of organisations across the UK in Book your free place here. The call for evidence where you can submit your organisation’s views. The Joint Shadow Report BIHR is coordinating to share the views of civil society with the UN. Previous reviews of the UK It is important to find out about the UK’s previous UPR cycles because the UN has said they want focus on whether the recommendations and voluntary pledges from previous cycles have been implemented (as well as finding out about new human rights issues). You can find information about the UK’s first UPR review here and here. You can find information about the UK’s second UPR review here and here. You can find the Civil Society Joint Shadow Report that BIHR coordinated for the UK’s second cycle review in 2012 here. Mid-term progress report You can find the UK government’s 2014 mid-term report on their progress implementing the last set of recommendations here. In addition, other organisations also reported on the UK’s mid-term progress including: Equality and Human Rights Commission Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission René Cassin Some key terms in the UPR Recommendations are made by the Working Group conducting the UPR of the state. At the UK’s last UPR examination 132 recommendations were made. You can find them here. Voluntary pledges are commitments made by a State under Review during the UPR to do certain things, for example many states make voluntary pledges to submit a mid-term report on their implementation progress. At the UK’s last UPR examination the government made a voluntary pledge to provide updates through a mid-term report in 2014.