[UPR Trax] No48: New training tools available, new database methodology and next UPR events

The summer season is usually less busy, but here at UPR Info we want to make sure that we provide you with all necessary tools before the busier month of September. Here is a summary of our summer activities at UPR Info and events in the UPR world.

Recommendations made during the 17th session of the UPR Working Group (October 2013) are now available in our database, and so are voluntary pledges for session 16 and 17. We expect to be able to update the database with recommendations of the session 18 shortly as well. The Follow-up Programme is done with countries to be reviewed in the 25th UPR session and has now moved on to session 26th, reaching 160 countries assessed at mid-term. UPR info went to Honduras to give a training to human rights defenders. We have finalised the list of speakers for the UPR Info's Pre-session 20 and the timetable is now available online: book your calendar from the 6th to the 9th October. Finally, we have brand new training materials on the UPR available on our website.

On another note Cambodia rejects 4 recommendations initially accepted, that is the first time that a country changes its position on recommendations after initially accepting them. Finally, according to a new resolution adopted during last HRC, States are encouraged to involve Parliaments and Parliamentarians more in their work at the HRC and the UPR
UPR Info wishes you all a relaxing end of holidays and looks forward to seeing you all again in September.
 
Timetable for UPR Pre-sessions 20 now available
The timetable for the next UPR Info 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 and Madagascar, is now online.
 
Given the growing interest in the pre-sessions, UPR Info would like to give the opportunity to all civil society organisations that were not selected to take the floor, to come and attend the meetings that will take place from 6 to 9 October 2014, at the Centre International de Conférences Genève, 17 rue de Varembé, Room 5. Pre-sessions are a unique opportunity to meet other civil society representatives and diplomats, even for those who will not take the floor.

More information can be found on the Pre-sessions page.


UPR Pre-sessions 21 to be held from 1 to 4 December 2014
The Pre-sessions for the 21th UPR Working Group session (January - February 2015) will take place from 1 to 4 December 2014 at the Centre International de Conférences Genève (CICG), 17 rue de Varembé, Room V. Meetings will be organised to discuss the human rights situation of the following States: Armenia ,Grenada ,Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Kenya , Kiribati, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Spain , Sweden  and Turkey.
 
CSOs and NHRIs interested in participating are kindly request to fill in this form and send it to presessions@upr-info.org.
The deadline to apply to participate in the pre-sessions is the 21st of September 2014.

States encouraged to involve Parliaments during UPR implementation
States should involve Parliaments in the preparation of the national report and in the implementation of recommendations, according to a new resolution by the Human Rights Council (HRC) adopted during its 26th session in June 2014. Acknowledging the "crucial role that parliaments play in translating international commitments into national policies and laws", the text encourages States "to promote the involvement of parliaments in all stages of the universal periodic review reporting process, in particular through the inclusion of the national parliament as a relevant stakeholder in the consultation process of the national report and in the implementation of recommendations". The resolution also encourages "cooperation between national parliaments and national human rights institutions and civil society".

UPR Info actively participated in the first seminar held in Bucharest, Romania, in February 2014, by presenting the opportunities for cooperation between civil society and parliamentarians.

Read more.

UPR Info goes to Honduras to train human rights defenders
UPR Info was invited to give a training to 10 human rights defenders from Honduras organised by PEN International in preparation for the UPR of Honduras in 2015.
 
In the training, that took place on August 2 in Tegucigalpa, 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. A large section of the full day training was dedicated to how to write a UPR submission and how to successfully engage in advocacy activities.
Read more.
 
New classification for recommendations
In view of the changes in practices at the Human Rights Council and at the Secretariat in Geneva, UPR Info decided to adapt its database and all responses to recommendation accordingly. Please note that we now only use two responses, accepted and noted, in conformity with resolution A/HRC/RES/5/1 and with the recent changes. This change expected for a long time, may have consequences on your work and we apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Cambodia rejects 4 recommendations initially accepted
Cambodia revised its decision on eight recommendations they had initially accepted among the 205 recommendations received during their second UPR in January 2014.
Four recommendations were then "noted" (n°118.1-118.4) and four were "rejected" (n°118.5, 118.22, 118.57, and 118.161). As it is not possible to reject recommendations at the UPR according to Human Rights Council resolution A/HRC/RES/5/1, the four latter are also considered as noted.

It is the first time that a country changes its position on recommendations after initially accepting them. You can access the recommendations and the responses of the delegation in our document "Responses to recommendations and pledges".
Read more.
 
The Follow-up programme: the heat is on!
The Follow-up programme has finished assessing 25 countries to be reviewed for the second time during the 25th and 26th session of the UPR (April/October 2016), including Antigua and Barbuda, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Papua New Guinea, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, and Trinidad and Tobago.  The Session 25 Mid-term Implementation Assessments (MIAs) consisted of information from 5 States, 5 UN Agencies, 4 NHRIs, and 92 civil society members (as part of a coalition or individually). All MIAs of Haiti, South Sudan, Syria, Togo, and Uganda are also available.  In order to facilitate Recommending States’ monitoring of recommendations issued to the aforementioned countries, the Follow-up programme team created and sent hundreds of MIA Summaries to permanent representatives.
 
All documents are available on the Follow-up webpage.  We finished assessing countries to be reviewed in the second cycle, and will publish an overall study on 165 countries soon.
 
New training material available
Thanks to The Carter Center in the Democratic Republic of Congo, we share new training material dedicated to be used by trainers before the UPR. This extensive material aims to provide all information needed in order to successfully engage with the UPR; based on a pedagogical methodology, the trainees will be able to understand all aspects of the UPR and make benefit of all opportunities. UPR Info had the advantage to edit and proofread the training material. Additional documents are included as annexes, and all of them are available both in English and French.
Read more.

Specificity of recommendations increases during session 17
Recommendations made during the 17th session of the UPR Working Group (October 2013) are now available in our database.
A total of 2821 recommendations were made by 153 States to Belize, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Congo, Israel, Jordan, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, and Senegal. Among the 153 "recommending States", it was the first time for the Seychelles to make recommendations.

The average number of recommendations received by each State under Review was 188, just below the average of 196 for session 16. From the "recommending States"’ perspective, each made an average of 2.6 recommendations to each State under Review.
Read more

QUOTE OF THE MONTH

Learning more about the UPR Process enables us to share the knowledge among our colleagues, and makes us stronger and more competent in our advocacy activities.

UPR Info training on the UPR in Tegucigalpa, a Human Rights Defender from Honduras, August 2014

VIDEO

Phil Lynch, Director of the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) tells us why the UPR is important to him. Watch the video

LATEST DOCUMENTS

UPCOMING DEADLINES

  • 25 August 2014: Deadline for the submission of NGO written statements for the 27th session of the Human Rights Council
  • 15 September 2014: Deadline to submit stakeholder reports for UPR 22nd session (to be held in April 2015
  • 21 September 2014: Deadline to submit the application form to participate in the UPR Info pre-sessions 21 (to be held in December 2014)

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