Before its third UPR review, the United Kingdom (UK) sought to change its position from support to noted on a number of 2nd cycle recommendations. Among the issues on which the UK changed its position are: ratification of international treaties and lifting reservations to others, human rights protection and detention, children’s rights, gender equality, non discrimination, welfare rights, migrants’ rights, and women’s rights, to name a few.
The United Kingdom’s human rights record was examined by the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group for the third time on Thursday, 4 May 2017. In the 3.5 hour meeting the State under Review (SuR) received a total of 227 recommendations. The United Kingdom’s first and second UPR reviews took place in April 2008 and May 2012, respectively.
During this third cycle review the delegation of the United Kingdom, headed by Sir Oliver Heald QC, MP, Minister of State, Ministry of Justice, presented its National Report, and ensured the Human Rights Council that the “UK has a deep commitment to the success of the Universal Periodic Review as it is an important mechanism of universal and constructive peer review and allows the sharing of best practice, and promotes the continual improvement of human rights on the ground.” During his statement, the delegation also updated the audience on its position, and on bringing the categorisation of the recommendations in line with the accepted classification of either “supported” or “noted”. In this regard, the UK now supports 66 recommendations from 2012 and notes 65, whilst on the original report it supported 95 and noted 46.
UPR Info welcomes the aim of bringing the State’s responses in line with the accepted classification of responses as contained in HRC resolution A/HRC/RES/5/1. It is however concerned that changing the State’s position on recommendations, just before a next review, could be used as an attempt to shy away from accountability in regards to the implementation of previously accepted recommendations.
All documents related to the UK third cycle UPR can be found here.
The Webcast of the session and the adoption are also available.
The Addendum to the National Report (changes on position to 2012 recommendations) is available here.
The Draft Report of the 2017 UPR Review is accessible here.