46th UPR Working Group: Key Highlights

From the 29th of April to the 10th of May, the United Nations Human Rights Council hosted the 46th session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group.



The session saw a total of 3,637 recommendations put forth by recommending States.The most frequently, the recommendations concerned the protection of women’s and children’s rights, abolition of torture, gender based violence, ratification of international instruments and civil liberties. 

On average, States received 260 recommendations. Among the States with the highest number of recommendations were Chile (329), Viet Nam (320), and Eritrea (293).

See detailed information by country below.


During their initial remarks, the Cambodian delegation highlighted their engagement with the United Nations mechanisms for the promotion and protection of human rights and highlighted their efforts of poverty reduction. Cambodia also shared progress in gender equality, and stated the implementation of  policies promoting women’s participation. The delegation noted the importance of national characteristics and local contexts in their policy making process. Recommendations issued to Cambodia included the ratification of international human rights instruments such as the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,  aiming to abolish the death penalty. Furthermore, several States recommended to accelerate efforts to establish a National Human Rights Institution aligned with the Paris principles. There were as well calls to ensure access to civic space by guaranteeing the rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association. 


The Chilean delegation represented by the three branches of its government presented their National Report. Chile shared its progress in strengthening human rights institutions as the Office of the Ombudsman for Children. Additionally, Chile highlighted various efforts for the protection of climate, by criminalising environmental crimes and recognizing the right to safe and clean water. Additionally, measures were highlighted to ensure that emerging technologies uphold human rights, including privacy and non-discrimination. One such measure was the establishment of the Advisory Committee tasked with assessing the impact of fake news on democracy. Recommendations to Chile centered on enhancing legal frameworks for promoting and safeguarding human rights, including reviewing the Anti-Terrorism Act. Numerous recommending States highlighted the importance of improving access to reproductive health services for women and girls. Additionally, the rights of indigenous peoples were discussed, with States urging Chile to implement measures to ensure their meaningful participation.


During the presentation of its national report, Vanuatu acknowledged the contributions of various stakeholders involved in the report's creation, including the National Human Rights Committee, civil society, and non-governmental organisations, as well as youth and women representatives. It was highlighted that Vanuatu has achieved significant progress in adult literacy rates, reaching 89.1% in 2021, with the average growing rate of 9% per year. The government is planning to address the remaining gap, including through the Asian Development Bank programme. The delegation also shared policy measures taken by the government to strengthen the implementation of Vanuatu’s obligations related to human rights, highlighting that these are specifically targeted towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Recommendations provided to Vanuatu included the abolition of child marriage and the establishment of a minimum marriage age of 18. Additionally, there were calls for greater inclusion of women in public and political life, including through the introduction of quotas. Many recommending states underscored the absence of national anti-discrimination laws and urged Vanuatu to enact comprehensive legislation to address this issue, along with implementing measures to safeguard the rights of individuals with disabilities. Lastly, numerous recommendations were made regarding the establishment of a National Human Rights Institution.


Presenting its national report, the delegation of Slovakia highlighted that the review of received recommendations during this cycle will be conducted with the assistance of multiple stakeholders, including the Government Council for Human Rights, National Minorities, and Gender Equality. The delegation also shared that since its last review, Slovakia ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, receiving considerable praise from the recommending states. Many recommendations targeted the issue of discrimination against minorities, particularly the Roma people. Recommending states stressed the importance of their inclusion in public life and highlighted the necessity of improving their access to education across all levels. Furthermore, there were several recommendations regarding the protection of journalists and the preservation of media freedom. Slovakia also received recommendations regarding the safeguarding of LGBTQI+ rights, with numerous countries suggesting the development of an Action Plan and considering legislation for same-sex civil partnerships. Lastly, recommendations focused on enhancing Slovakia's National Human Rights Institution to be in line with the  Paris Principles.

new zealand
New Zealand

New Zealand ensured inclusivity in its national report preparation by engaging various stakeholders nationwide. This involved extensive consultations, including visits to schools to gather youth perspectives.  The country also highlighted several ongoing developments, such as the National Action Plan Against Racism and the government's efforts to improve universal access to the healthcare system. Recommendations received by New Zealand included improving the protection of indigenous peoples' rights, particularly those of the Maori. Several recommending states highlighted the need to adopt an action plan to protect the rights of indigenous communities and to establish a mechanism to combat racial discrimination. There were also calls to enhance efforts to combat gender-based violence and to adopt measures to protect the rights of children with disabilities. Finally, New Zealand was recommended to ratify conventions on enforced disappearances and on the rights of migrant workers.


The Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (PMoIRA) to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva (UNOG) undertook the task of preparing the National Report for the 4th UPR cycle, in line with international obligations and national commitment to the Afghan people. Despite a request for postponement due to the country's current situation, the HRC bureau decided to proceed with the review as scheduled, with the PMoIRA participating in the process. The PMoIRA called for contributions from civil society organizations and human rights defenders to present the human rights situation in Afghanistan. The majority of recommending states expressed concerns about discriminatory practices against women and girls, urging authorities to repeal laws limiting their access to education and employment, combat gender-based violence, and end discrimination. Other recommendations addressed civil rights issues, advocating for freedom for journalists and human rights defenders, the release of arbitrarily detained individuals, and a moratorium on the death penalty to uphold international obligations.


Comoros shared that the preparation of the national report involved cooperation with interministerial departments, regional and local authorities, parliamentarians, elders, civil society organisations, religious leaders, and the media. The delegation highlighted steps taken to improve the human rights protection framework on the national level, which included the allocation of additional resources to the National Human Rights Commission, enhancing its financial and administrative autonomy, as well as overall independence. Recommendations on the ratification of the ICCPR and the abolition of the death penalty were among those brought up by several states. Comoros also received recommendations on taking measures to ensure that elections are free and fair, and on respecting and protecting democratic freedoms. Finally, it was suggested that Comoros decriminalise same-sex relations and establish a moratorium on the death penalty.

viet nam
Viet Nam

Viet Nam remains focused on ensuring social security, particularly for vulnerable groups such as older people, persons with disabilities (PWDs), and children in special circumstances. Additionally, Viet Nam highlighted its efforts to guarantee the right to health through a successful vaccination campaign against Covid-19. Notably, Viet Nam's vaccination strategy has been commended by the World Health Organization for its effectiveness and high coverage rate. Among the recommendations received by Viet Nam were the establishment of a National Human Rights Institution, as well as the ratification of core international human rights treaties such as: the International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance and the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families. Additional recommendations focused on the abolition of the death penalty, protection of Human Rights Defenders, poverty reduction and the rights of people with disabilities.  


During the presentation of its national report, Cyprus highlighted several improvements in its human rights standards through strengthening the institutional framework, reinforcing the legislative context, and enhancing policy initiatives and implementation. The delegation also brought attention to Cyprus’ enactment of a law on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence to more effectively implement the Istanbul Convention. Cyprus received several recommendations on taking measures to combat hate speech, human trafficking, and the gender pay gap. In the area of children's rights, there was a focus on the need for enhanced access to education and health services. Recommendations also suggested that Cyprus accede to some international instruments, including conventions on the Protection of Migrant Workers and on Enforced Disappearances.

dominican republic
Dominican Republic

The delegation of the Dominican Republic emphasized their commitment to implementing recommendations from previous cycles during their initial remarks. Additionally, they highlighted progress in the education sector, particularly through policies ensuring free education, access to technology, and the opening of educational facilities. The Dominican Republic received recommendations to issue a standing invitation to the Special Procedures. Some recommendations urged the country to enhance measures to combat discrimination against vulnerable groups, including women and the LGBTQI+ community.

north macedonia
North Macedonia

The delegation shared that the national report was created by the expert group of the Inter-ministerial Human Rights Body, which was also responsible for monitoring the recommendations accepted during the previous cycle. It highlighted new amendments introduced to the criminal code, advancing the legislative framework for the protection of journalists' rights. Furthermore, North Macedonia brought attention to enhanced cooperation with international and regional instruments. Recommendations received by North Macedonia suggested improving the protection of migrant workers' rights, including by ratifying the Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers. Some recommending states highlighted the need to combat corruption more effectively through the adoption of appropriate legislation. North Macedonia was also urged to address overcrowding in prisons and to take measures to improve detention conditions.


During the interactive UPR working group,  the Yemeni delegation appealed to the international community for financial and technical assistance to address humanitarian challenges. They also mentioned holding consultations to strengthen peace restoration efforts. The delegation emphasized their commitment to women's rights, highlighting efforts to implement recommendations from the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) through the adoption of national strategies for equality and participation. While under review, Yemen received recommendations regarding the establishment of a National Human Rights Institution and ensuring compliance with international humanitarian law, particularly addressing child recruitment. States also recommended Yemen to improve protection for women and girls by raising the minimum age of marriage and combating female genital mutilation (FGM).


Uruguay presented their National Report, and stated it had been done in consultation with civil society organisations and reported advancement in the implementation of inclusive policies targeted to the most vulnerable population. The delegation also shared the progress made in improving detention centres through the introduction of educational programs. Uruguay underscored its commitment to implementing the recommendations received, as it has done in the past in the area of detention. The delegation highlighted that following past recommendations, reforms of the penitentiary system with a human rights approach were incorporated with the aim of rehabilitating detainees. The issues covered in the recommendations included children’s rights, indigenous peoples rights and the combat of trafficking in persons. The delegation also received recommendations calling for the promotion of gender equality and calling for the investigation of crimes committed during the dictatorship. 


The delegation of Eritrea emphasized its commitment to the UPR process and reported that the government has implemented a National Strategic Plan aimed at eradicating harmful practices such as female genital mutilation and underage marriages to improve women's rights protection. Furthermore, since its last review, Eritrea has acceded to seven regional and national instruments, including the Paris Agreement, ILO Convention No. 182 on child labour and African Youth Charter. During the Interactive Dialogue, Eritrea was urged to fully cooperate with UN Special Procedures and grant full access to the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea. Recommendations also called for the country to ratify the 2nd Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, which aims at the abolition of the death penalty. Many recommending states expressed their concern regarding the lack of rights to freedom of assembly and speech, calling for the release of human rights defenders and journalists who have been arbitrarily detained for exercising their rights.


Good practices

The UPR process promotes open and honest dialogue among peers to monitor and improve human rights conditions around the world. As the UPR also serves as a platform for the exchange of good practices among states, UPR Info has highlighted three initiatives from States under Review, among others, that could inspire other UN Member States.


New Zealand 

In 2021, New Zealand established its Inter-Ministerial National Mechanism on human rights, aiming to enhance agency cooperation and streamline international human rights reporting processes. This mechanism includes a Governance Group of Deputy Chief Executives from relevant agencies, a web-based monitoring tool to track UN recommendations and implementation progress, and forthcoming guidelines for public sector agencies on reporting and implementation under international human rights frameworks. 


Chile ensured inclusivity in its national report preparation by engaging various stakeholders nationwide. Over 700 invitations were sent to civil society organizations across the country. The consultation included detailed briefings on the UPR process and Chile's progress, allowing participants to provide feedback on achievements, challenges, and priority commitments. Accessibility was ensured through inquiries about reasonable adjustments and the provision of a Chilean Sign Language interpreter for virtual sessions. The outcomes of the consultations were published as an Annex to the report. 


Following the third-cycle review, accepted recommendations for the Union of the Comoros were effectively disseminated to relevant ministries and all 54 communes nationwide. Each ministry was tasked with providing information pertinent to the recommendations falling under its jurisdiction. To ensure follow-up on third-cycle recommendations, an annual monitoring plan was devised. Recommendations were categorized by ministerial departments within relevant sectors, facilitating systematic tracking of implementation progress.