The UPR: Beyond Reporting
UPR Info and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung launched a new study entitled “The UPR: Beyond Reporting” on how the UPR process led to an improvement of the human rights situation at the national level. The launch event was held on the 7th of July 2022, on the margins of 50th Human Rights Council, and was attended by Member States, civil society organizations (CSOs), journalists and researchers.
The UPR is a useful tool to activate interesting processes that can lead to meaningful transformations for the benefit of individuals. As Mona M’Bikay, UPR Info’s Executive Director, stated during the event, this mechanism contributes to “creating a human rights culture, fostering transparency and accountability, strengthening national institutions, raising the voice of people living in vulnerable situation to name a few of its achievements”.
By focusing on a set of good practices developed by States, CSOs and other stakeholders, the study features 17 case studies and shows how UPR recommendations contributed to reinforce national efforts to achieve concrete and transformative progress. The development of national strategy to combat racism, racial discrimination and other forms of intolerance, the decriminalisation of abortion, the establishment of a national human rights institution, and the elaboration of a public policy to combat HIV/AIDS are just a few examples showcased in the report. The panellists brought together for the launch event shared good practices and lessons learnt during the 3rd cycle in the implementation of UPR recommendations. They stressed that the follow-up of the recommendations was crucial to achieve progress on the ground. The collaboration between the different institutions is key for the success of the UPR. Michel Anglade, Director and UN Representative of Save the Children described how the UPR was instrumental in bringing Nepal’s CSOs together around a common agenda for action to advance children’s rights.
The case studies presented in the study demonstrate how the UPR offers different opportunities to advance human rights. “It’s a universal mechanism but there is not a universal formula to achieve change”, said Valeria Reyes, author of the study. A broad range of factors, as the synergies among national actors, the social political context and the different strategies used are key factors that lead to improve the situation on the ground.
In addition to providing guidance and inspiration to different stakeholders on how to creatively engage with the UPR, the case studies presented serve as an input for policy makers and practitioners in the 4th UPR cycle to continue reflecting on the different paths that can be followed to advance human rights.
UPR Info wishes to thank all those who have participated in the surveys and interviews during the research phase of this project. A special thank you to the research assistants, Derek Mahood and Felicia Ramos Gatty, for their support.