UPR Info promotes national implementation and NGO consultation at HRC29

On 26 June 2015, UPR Info Executive Director, Roland Chauville, presented an oral statement during the General Debate of the UPR mechanism (Item 6) at the 29th Session of the Human Rights Council (HRC29). Focussing on means to improve national reports, the statement highlighted two core components in need of strengthening; reporting on implementation and civil society consultation.  

Reporting on the implementation of previous recommendations is of high importance to ensure national and international accountability and transparency. It also serves as a benchmark for States to gauge their levels of action on recommendations, thus prompting a consistently increasing awareness and promotion of domestic human rights from one review to the next.

Referring to forthcoming publication by UPR Info on national reports, Roland shared with the Council an overview of the frequency in which States document implementation:  “UPR Info has analysed the 84 national reports from UPR session 13 to 19 in order to identify best practices... We are pleased to note that 90% of national reports list the steps taken to implement some of the accepted recommendations. We particularly welcome the good practices by Mali that provided clear updates on recommendations. However, only 53% of States actually report on all accepted recommendations, and fewer than half of the national reports include information on noted recommendations.”

Cooperation and collaboration with civil society is the second key element of effective national reporting, and is itself enshrined in Resolution 5/1. Yet, as emphasised in UPR Info’s statement, it is worrying to see that in some countries, CSO actors are not part of the national discussions with the government. Most national reports mention to have consulted CSOs in the preparation for the review. However, very little information is usually provided on the details of such consultations, such as dates, location, participants, and content. In this vein, UPR Info welcomed the good practices by countries including Switzerland, Chile, Morocco, and Tunisia, each of which having provided space for CSO input in national reports. The statement concluded by encouraging other States to follow suit: “Without CSO participation in the UPR, the mechanism is an empty shell.”

Watch the oral statement in full here.

UPR Info will publish its analysis of country reports in summer 2015.