[UPR Trax] No 66: No purpose of government without the enhancement of the people it governs

Moving from Pre-sessions to the 26th Session of the UPR

Less than one month ago UPR Info ran its Pre-session event hosting almost 50 civil society speakers from nine of the States under Review at the 26th UPR Working Group, beginning on Monday (31 October). Once again human rights defenders from across the world travelled to Geneva to update UN Missions of the human rights situation on the ground. Worryingly, some speakers due to engage with the UPR experienced difficulties, and feared significant reprisals, on the part of the State and were unable to carry out their human rights advocacy work in Geneva. For the panel on South Sudan, for example, only international NGOs, instead of local voices, were able to take the floor. Speakers from Venezuela also faced issues of intimidation throughout their involvement with the Pre-sessions.

October also saw the annual Seminar for Recommending States which, just ahead of the 26 Session of the UPR, calls for states to make S.M.A.R.T recommendations and demand action on the part of the State under Review to improve human rights standards for all.

There are exciting times ahead at UPR Info with a side event at the UPR session, the launch of its newest publication, and job opportunities in the UPR Info Africa office.


UPR Info Event and Publication Launch: Save the date

On Thursday 10 November 2016, 4:00 pm, Room XX, Palais des Nations, UPR Info, together with the Permanent Missions of Switzerland, Morocco and the United Kingdom, will be hosting the event Ensuring sustainable implementation at the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).

At this event, which will be opened by the Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights and the President of the Human Rights Council, marking the end of the second UPR cycle, UPR Info will launch its new study, The Butterfly Effect – Spreading Good Practices of UPR Implementation.  This study provides a robust assessment of the UPR’s ability to deliver on its promise to strengthen human rights at the domestic level. Based on interviews with Government officials, civil society organisations (CSOs) and UN agencies, the publication takes stock of achievements, and shortfalls, of the mechanism to date. It shares good practices of implementation of recommendations from across the globe as well as detailing how Governments and civil society have structured their cooperation to sustain human rights progress. Read more here.

Final recommendations of the UPR second cycle must demand action

On Wednesday 19th October, UPR Info organised a Seminar on The Role of Recommending States at the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), and over 30 diplomats attended. UPR Info believes that more attention and guidance should be given to the recommending States in order to increase the quality of the recommendations. The aim of the seminar focused on how States can actually make good recommendations. Read more here.

Labour recommendations make it into the top five

During the 24th session of the UPR Working Group (January 2016), 2890 recommendations were made and they are now available on our database. With those additional recommendations, the number of recommendations received is now of 52,282 and we expect this number to reach 57,000 by the end of the second cycle of the UPR. Read more here.

"No purpose of government without the enhancement of the people it governs"

This round of Pre-sessions was the last of the second cycle, which will be formally concluded at the UPR in November. The Pre-sessions was held on 5 -7 October 2016 in Geneva in preparation for the 26thUniversal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group (31 October – 11 November 2016) and almost 50 civil society organisations (CSOs) were represented. During the three-day international human rights conference on the following States: UgandaTogoHaitiSouth SudanZimbabweVenezuelaSyriaMoldova, and Timor-Leste.
Over the last five years, UPR Info has organised Pre-sessions on 149 countries, where 150 different Permanent Missions have come to hear over 700 human rights defenders and national human rights institutions. As the UPR enters its 3rd cycle, UPR Info will continue to improve the Pre-sessions to ensure the dialogue between States and CSOs deepens, for the benefit of the UPR mechanism and to influence positive human rights changes on the ground.  Read more here.

Regional Offices

Job Opportunities: UPR Info Africa

UPR Info Africa is recruiting a paid Intern for 3 months, deadline for application is Friday 4 November 2016.
UPR Info Africa is also recruiting for a Programme Officer to join the Nairobi Office. The deadline for application is Friday 18 November 2016.
Read more hereUPR Info is an equal opportunity employer, and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, ethnicity, disability, age, religion, marital status or sexual orientation.

Thailand: Training of Trainers on the importance of ‘credible evidence’ for effective human rights documentation

On 12th October more than 20 organisations from within the Thai CSOs Coalition for the UPR met for a three-day workshop to assess the coalition's capacity to gather credible evidence for effective human rights documentation. The event, ‘Training of Trainers on the Importance of Credible Evidence for Effective Human Rights Documentation’ launched a series of sub-regional capacity-building workshops to be hosted in Thailand throughout the remainder of 2016. Read more here.

Quote of the month

“There is no purpose of government without the enhancement of the people it governs, it is a service, not a control [...] civil society is the purpose, the ability for people to contribute to a community, create safe spaces, jobs, and unity”.

Ms Kate Gilmore, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, UPR Info Pre-sessions 5 October 2016