Two years after having started the second UPR cycle, implementation of recommendations is benefitting from a great deal of attention from all the different actors engaged. Mid-term reporting is becoming a major step in the UPR mechanism, providing further accountability. UPR Info welcomes this good practice and encourages both States and NGOs to keep pursuing this path. On the same note three NGOs and three States have submitted a mid-term report for the second cycle of the UPR, the very first of their kind. Denmark has also published a mid-term report commenting on implementation of first cycle recommendations, but in addition it accepted 20 new recommendations that were rejected during their review at the first cycle. Finally, reports for the 18th UPR session have been adopted. At mid-term of the second UPR cycle, one could diagnose the UPR mechanism as healthy.
Wishing you healthy months ahead!
Apply now to participate in UPR Pre-sessions 20
UPR Info is now organising the next round of pre-sessions between Civil Society Organisations, NHRIs and Permanent Missions to discuss the human rights situation of States to be reviewed at the 20th UPR Working Group session (27 October – 7 November 2014): Angola, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, El Salvador, Fiji, Gambia, Iran , Iraq, Italy, Kazakhstan, Madagascar, San Marino and Slovenia
The pre-sessions will take place from 6 to 9 October 2014, at the Centre International de Conférences Genève, 17 rue de Varembé, Room 5. CSOs and NHRIs interested in participating are kindly requested to fill in this form and send it by email. The deadline to apply to participate in the pre-sessions is the 1st of July 2014. More information can be found on the Pre-sessions page.
The Follow-up in full swing
The Follow-up programme is currently assessing the mid-term implementation of countries to be reviewed in the 25th UPR session. The Mid-term Implementation Assessments (MIAs) on Antigua and Barbuda, Hungary, Papua New Guinea, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Sudan and Tajikistan are already online. Many different stakeholders have contributed to this round of assessments with 6 mid-term reports submitted by States, 4 submissions by NHRIs, 5 submissions by UN agencies and 74 submissions by CSOs.
The deadline for submitting comments on the mid-term implementation for session 26 countries is 30 June. The session 26 countries include: Haiti, Iceland, Lithuania, Moldova, South Sudan, Syria, Timor-Leste, Togo, Uganda, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.
The Human Rights Council adopts 14 UPR Report
On the 19th and 20th of June the Human Rights Council (HRC) adopted the UPR working group reports for the 14 countries reviewed last January at the UPR 18th session: Afghanistan, Chile, Comoros, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, Eritrea, Macedonia (Former Yugoslav Republic of), New Zealand, Slovakia, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Viet Nam, Yemen. Cambodia's adoption was postponed to Thursday 26 June.
In total, all states, except Cambodia and Yemen, submitted an addendum. The President of the Council has continued the practice initiated in March to summarise, at the end of each adoption, the number of recommendations accepted and noted. This will simplify the follow up for both recommending states and NGOs.
UPR Info participates in a training of human rights defenders
UPR Info was invited on June 18 to give a training to 20 human rights defenders from 18 different countries organised by the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) in the framework of the HRC 26th session.
The ISHR Human Rights Defenders Advocacy Programme wants to equip defenders with the knowledge and skills to make strategic use of the international human rights system.
UPR Info was invited to present the UPR process, its origin and its functioning. The training also aimed at providing the participants with practical knowledge on how to effectively engage with the UPR, how to cooperate with the different actors engage in the process, how to work with the recommendations made and how to follow up in the country.
Governments and NGOs committed to mid-term reporting for the second cycle of the UPR
Poland, Morocco and Finland are the first countries reviewed in the second cycle to voluntarily submit a mid-term report on their progress made in the implementation of their UPR recommendations. This critical step is progressively officialised and led us to recently take the floor (see next chapter).
On the same note, for the first time in the second cycle three NGOs published a mid-term report:
For Morocco, both the Réseau Amazigh pour la Citoyenneté and Mobilising for rights associates (partnering with the Advocates for Human Rights), published a mid-term implementation assessment of UPR recommendations focusing on cultural rights and women’s rights respectively.
For Bahrain, the Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) presented a similar document analysing the situation in the country and implementation assessment of all the 176 recommendations received by Bahrain during their second cycle review. We would like to underline it is uncommon that NGOs work on all recommendations, so we congratulate ADHRB for its comprehensive vision of the UPR.
This news stresses once more the importance of the mid-term reporting as a key element of the UPR process. UPR Info welcomes this practice and encourages both States and CSOs to keep pursuing this path.
States are doing better in terms of reporting at mid-term
In a statement on 24 June 2014, Roland Chauville, UPR Info's executive director commended a positive trend which "testifies that States progressively see that their engagement in the Council requires reporting at mid-term". He also added that "the number of mid-term reports submitted to the Council has dramatically increased: approximately half of the reports were so published during the last 20 months period." Finally, he underlined that former HRC President H.E. Phuangketkeow presented Thailand's mid-term report: "Thailand is the first South East Asian country to provide such document, so we congratulate its dedication to show the way to neighbouring countries."
The importance of reporting at mid-term has already been demonstrated on many occasions; the drafting process enables ministries to coordinate and set up appropriate focal points in charge of the implementation. It is also an opportunity to revisit noted recommendations and see if some of those could be accepted and implemented.
Denmark accepts 20 recommendations that were rejected during the first cycle
Denmark published a mid-term report on the progress made in the implementation of the UPR recommendations received during their first review.
20 recommendations that were rejected at the adoption of the report in the plenary session in July 2011 have now been accepted. These recommendations deal with international instruments, namely the ratification Optional Protocol of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, amendments in the criminal code regarding marital rape, the creation of an Ombudsman for children’s rights and the requirements for migrants and asylum seekers among others. For the full list of recommendations check our updated document 2RP.
This is the first time that a country changes positively its position on such a vast number of recommendations and UPR Info welcomes this move.