Universal Periodic Review

What is the UPR? Watch our video introduction:

Every four to five years, Member States of the United Nations assess each other's progress on human rights through the Human Rights Council. The Council then makes a series of recommendations to the government of the country being assessed. This is called the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).

The UPR is a way of holding countries to account for their compliance with international human rights laws and standards. Established in 2008, every one of the 193 UN Member States is reviewed once every four to five years.

The UPR means that Scotland and the UK's performance on human rights is examined against the requirements of international human rights treaties and commitments. The UK was one of the first States to be reviewed in 2008. It was reviewed again in 2012 and 2017.  The UK will be reviewed for its fourth cycle in November 2022. 

Reports and recommendations made during the last cycle can be found below. 

 

Human Rights Report Card 2021

The next review of the United Kingdom is due to take place in November 2022. The Commission is currently engaging with civil society organisations and stakeholders to create Scotland's Human Rights Report Card.

In November and December 2021, the Commission is working with the Human Rights Consortium Scotland to host a series of discussions, bringing together civil society organisations to share their views on human rights progress in Scotland, and what actions need to be prioritised, to protect the human rights of the communities they serve.

On Tuesday 7 December at 10am,  The Big Picture event will reflect on key issues we have heard and discuss cross-cutting themes with stakeholders from all communities: sign up here, and join us to help shape Scotland’s Human Rights Report Card.

The evidence gathered will inform the Commission’s report to the Universal Periodic Review, in early 2022 (as Scotland’s National Human Rights Institution) – and will also fed into a Joint Civil Society Shadow report coordinated by the Consortium. Organisations are encouraged to submit their own shadow reports, as well – for more information see the Consortium’s guidance and watch our webinars below.

 

Webinar series on civil society engagement

As part of the Commission's engagement process, we ran two workshops in March and May 2021 on the UPR for civil society organisations, supported by UPR-info.

This first of these introduced the role of civil society organisations in the UPR process and the impact they can have.

Download the slides (PDF) for Session 1

Watch our first webinar from March 2021:

The second webinar provided technical guidance for the submission of stakeholder's reports to the UPR, and best practices. 

Download the slides (PDF) for Session 2

Watch our second webinar from May 2021:

The Commission's role in the UPR

As Scotland's national human rights institution the Scottish Human Rights Commission has a distinct role in the review process. We contribute evidence, support civil society organisations to take part in the process, and have speaking rights at the Human Rights Council. We also monitor the implementation of recommendations following the review.

We will provide information to civil society organisations to support them to participate in the process through capacity building workshops, our website and social media pages.

Third Cycle (2017)

Read our submission to the 2017 review in full or as an Executive Summary. We also produced a series of briefing papers to highlight key issues from our report- these can be found below.

Read a joint statement by our Chair and the Chairs of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, in advance of the review.

The troika of states overseeing the UPR for the UK published the final report of the Working Group in 2017. You can watch the recording of the whole review (3 hours).

Useful External Resources

The following resources may be useful for you if you are considering submitted a report for the next UPR

UPR 2017 - Briefing Papers

Our recommendations

The Commission produced seven briefing papers on key issues for the UPR in 2017. These are available below in multiple formats. Read our submission to the 2017 review in full or as an Executive Summary.

Cartoon drawing of diverse group of people with buildings and mountain behind them.

International human rights instruments in domestic law

PDF version ; accessible Word version ; recommendations only (PDF) ; recommendations only (JPG)

Drawing of diverse group of people in shades of red, text reads "gender equality - violence against women and employment

Gender equality - violence against women and unemployment

PDF version ; accessible Word version ; recommendations only (PDF) ; recommendations only (JPG)

Drawing of children and adults in shades of yellow, text reads "Children's rights, UNCRC Implementation, poverty, physical punishment, age of criminal responsibility and education"

Children's rights - UNCRC implementation, poverty, physical punishment, age of criminal responsibility and education

PDF version ; accessible Word version ; recommendations only (PDF) ; recommendations only (JPG)

Drawing of Diverse group of people and a caravan on yellow and grey background

Race and religion - race equality, Gypsies and Travellers and refugees

PDF version ; accessible Word version ; recommendations only (PDF) ; recommendations only (JPG) 

Diverse group of people and a dog drawn in front of abstract green and blue background

Social care - independent living and social care funding

PDF version ; accessible Word version ; recommendations only (PDF) ; recommendations only (JPG)

Drawing shows people, police officers, prison bars all in shades of red on abstract backgroun

Detention, hate crime and human trafficking

PDF version ; accessible Word version ; recommendations only (PDF) ; recommendations only (JPG)

abstract drawing of a hospital, ambulance and people in shades of green

Economic and social rights: welfare reform, fair conditions of work, housing and health inequalities

PDF version ; accessible Word version ; recommendations only (PDF) ; recommendations only (JPG) 

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