• [UPR Trax] No 70: UPR Third Cycle to Start

    2017 off to a hopeful start  

    The last UPR Review of 2016 year continued the legacy of numerous, high quality recommendations, a trend we hope to see as the Third cycle of the UPR begins in May.

    In preparation for Session 27 of the UPR, CSOs have submitted their applications to participate on our Pre-Sessions Programme, to take place in April. The high amount of applications indicates it will be yet another promising advocacy week for both CSO and Government engagement. The adoption reports of UPR Session 26 will  take place, on March 16th and 17th, during the Human Rights Council 34th Session, due to start next week.

  • [UPR Trax] No 69: 2016 The year at a glance

    Hope springs eternal 

    2016, for many, has been a difficult year. Taking nothing away from this, UPR Info believes that this year has offered many moments for celebration and hope.

    This year marked the 10th anniversary of the Human Rights Council (HRC) and concluded the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) second cycle. From the High Commissioner for Human Rights, his Office, the HRC President, and many more that make up the Geneva-based human rights community strong messages were sent out around the world. Reprisals, threats, and violence against Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) will not be tolerated. The UPR will only make positive change if stakeholders focus on both implementation of recommendations and effective reporting. Civil society, civil society organisations (CSOs), and National Human Rights Institutes (NHRIs) have a key role to play in supporting and critiquing Government action for human rights progress.

  • [UPR Trax] No 68: CSO engagement rounding up the second cycle

    Government and civil society collaboration will ensure the success of the UPR 

    This month, UPR Info organised, alongside the Permanent Missions of Switzerland and Ireland, the final, Geneva based, UPR event of the year. At this multistakeholder conference UPR Info launched its newest publication on civil society engagement at the UPR and the Pre-sessions; “UPR Info Pre-sessions: Empowering human rights voices from the ground”. Following our previous publication; “The Butterfly Effect: Ensuring sustainable implementation at the Universal Periodic Review” we are pleased to have been able to conduct several assessments of different aspects of the UPR ahead of the third cycle beginning in April.

    December also saw the publication of a New Guidance Note by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) providing support for States in relation to formulating their UPR national report. As we move toward the new cycle deadlines for States and other stakeholders are being issued by the OHCHR (more information below). 

    UPR Info Asia and UPR Info Africa offices have both spent the month engaging in UPR training, in-country follow-up programmes, and with various events focusing on the UPR as we move into the third cycle. Check out our video of the month for civil society voices on Uganda’s UPR.

  • [UPR Trax] 67: Thus concludes the second cycle of the UPR

    We must continue to work together

    November saw the first snowfall of the season in Geneva and also the last UPR of the second cycle. The final 11 countries were reviewed receiving over 2100 recommendations. To date approximately 56,000 UPR recommendations have been made across the first two cycles and all 193 UN Member States have now been reviewed twice.

    This month UPR Info organised, with the support of four Permanent Missions an event to mark the end of the second UPR cycle and encourage reflection on the successes and failings of the mechanism to date. At this event, which was attended by over 150 people in the Palais des Nations, UPR Info also launched its newest publication: The Butterfly Effect: Spreading Good Practices of UPR Implementation.

    UPR Info Asia has run two "Credible Evidence for Evidence-based Human Rights Documentation" workshops this month and is currently delivering a third while UPR Info Africa has been working towards upcoming follow-up  programmes in Uganda in light of their UPR earlier this month.

    As the year the draws to a close there are plenty of UPR Info activities still to come.  

  • [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.