Universal Periodic Review (UPR)
In November 2010, the United States participated in its first Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the United Nations. The UPR is a full review of the human rights record of all countries that are members of the United Nations. The goal of the UPR is to advance human rights; address human rights violations; encourage countries to fulfill their treaty obligations; ensure that recommendations by treaty bodies are implemented; provide technical assistance to countries implementing recommendations; and to share best practices for advancing human rights. The UPR offers an important opportunity both to measure how the United States is meeting human rights obligations and to continue pressuring the government to live up to those obligations.
Join the UPR Listserve. USHRN will post periodic updates through the listserv to keep members and partners abreast of our collective UPR work.
The USHRN UPR Project coordinates and facilitates participation of social justice groups in the United States to inform and influence the review process. In 2009, a Planning Committee was established to help guide and coordinate this initiative. The goals* of the USHRN UPR Project include:
- Promote U.S. compliance with human rights standards, including encouragement for treaty ratification.
- Broaden public education and grassroots engagement to build human rights consciousness in the United States with emphasis on all the rights contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- Strengthen accountability mechanisms in the United States to enhance treaty implementation at all levels of government, including: the adoption of implementing statutes; the creation of comprehensive monitoring and reporting processes; and, development of effective enforcement capabilities at the local, state, and federal level.
- Advance the human rights dialogue at all levels of government and improve engagement of civil society in human rights reporting mechanisms and implementation.
- Advance discourse on economic, social and cultural rights, and the interdependence of rights.
*As developed and approved by the USHRN UPR Planning Committee, November 2009.
The Department of State created a website in connection with the United States’ participation in the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process. The United States Government committed to utilizing the UPR process to increase dialogue between the State Department and domestic groups concerning the human rights situation within the United States. An inter-agency U.S. Government team traveled to cities they selected across the United States.
Key Dates in the 2010/2011 UPR Process
- April 19, 2010 - All Civil Society reports submitted to the United Nations before 6 AM EST to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- August 2010 - U.S. Government Report due to United Nations.
- September 22, 2010 - U.S. Civil Society hosts a side event in Geneva during the Human Rights Council session, informing country delegates on human rights in the United States.
- November 5, 2010 - U.S. Government faces UPR Review in Geneva.
- March 18, 2011 - Adoption of U.S. UPR Report at the Human Rights Council Session in Geneva.