State under Review
In order to write a National Report to be submitted to the Human Rights Council (HRC) for the review, the SuR is “encouraged” to hold a “broad consultation process at the national level with all relevant stakeholders" (Resolution A/HRC/RES/5/1). These consultations should take place at least a year before the review in different cities and parts of the country and include a broad range of civil society organisations such as the national institution, NGOs, human rights defenders, local associations, grass root organisations, trade unions, indigenous peoples, etc.
The SuR must present a report on its human rights situation to be used as a basis for the review. This report should not exceed 10,700 words and should follow specific guidelines. These guidelines were adopted at the 6th HRC session in September 2007 (decision A/HRC/DEC/6/102) and then modified for the second and subsequent UPR cycles by decision A/HRC/DEC/17/119 - A, C, E, R, S of June 2011.
The deadline for the submission of the National Report is generally 12 weeks before the review.
Before the review, the SuR can receive written questions from States. It should address these questions during the review.
As part of the UPR, the SuR has to travel to Geneva, Switzerland, to engage in a dialogue with other States on the human rights situation in the country. The SuR can send a delegation of Governmental officials from different ministries to respond to the questions.
The review takes place in a Working Group and lasts 3,5 hours. The Working Group is composed of all UN Member States and chaired by the HRC President. Other relevant stakeholders, such as NGOs, national institutions and UN agencies, can attend the Working Group but not take the floor.
The review starts with the presentation by the SuR of its National Report and of its responses to the advance questions. Then, an interactive dialogue takes place during which States take the floor to ask questions and make recommendations on the human rights situation in the country. During this interactive dialogue, the SuR takes the floor regularly to answer those questions and comment those recommendations. At the end, the SuR presents its concluding remarks. The SuR’s overall speaking time throughout the review is 70 minutes. Other States have a total of 140 minutes.
The OHCHR has set up a Voluntary Fund for participation for States under Review with limited budget to help their delegation come to Geneva. To read more, see here.
After the review, a report is prepared by the troika with the involvement of the SuR and the assistance of the Secretariat. The report contains the summary of the interactive dialogue, the responses by the SuR to the questions and recommendations and the full list of recommendations made by States. This report is adopted twice, at the Working Group session stage and at a HRC session. During the second adoption, the SuR has 20 minutes to present its final comments and responses to questions and recommendations received during the review.
During the interactive dialogue of the review, States make recommendations to the SuR which are measures to take to improve the human rights situation in the country.
According to HRC resolution A/HRC/RES/5/1, States can accept or note recommendations but they cannot reject them. Response to each recommendation must be clearly explained in writing in a specific document of up to 2,675 words called "addendum". This addendum should be submitted to the Human Rights Council in advance of the adoption of the report at the HRC session.
After the adoption of the report at the HRC which concludes the "Geneva stage", begins the follow-up. This is the stage where the SuR has to “implement” the recommendations and improve the human rights situation in the country before the next review. If it does not do so, the HRC “will address […] cases of persistent non-cooperation with the mechanism” (Resolution A/HRC/RES/5/1).
The OHCHR has set up a Voluntary Fund for Financial and Technical Assistance to help States implement the recommendations. Read more here.