Universal Periodic Review
Universal Periodic Review
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.
As part of this process, we ran two workshops in March and May 2021 on the UPR for civil society organisations, supported by UPR-info.
Watch our first webinar from March 2021:
Watch our second webinar from May 2021:
Further events with civil society will be taking place in autumn 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 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.
Useful External Resources
The following resources may be useful for you if you are considering submitted a report for the next UPR
- The Civil Society Compendium: A comprehensive guide for Civil Society Organisations engaging in the Universal Periodic Review published by UPR Info.
- The United Nations' Practical Guide for Civil Society.
- The United Nations' UPR: Tips for engagement for national human rights institutions and civil society organisations.
- The UPR and Me: My Guide to Participating in the UPR produced by UPR Info and Child Rights Connect
- All past documents published as part of the UPR process can be found on the United Nations Human Rights Council's website.
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