Universal Periodic Review of Human Rights

Towards Best Practice

image of Universal Periodic Review of Human Rights
The Universal Periodic Review mechanism of the UN Human Rights Council, which came into effect in 2008, has established itself as a mechanism with huge potential and which promotes dialogue and a level playing field for all countries undergoing the review of their human rights record.

Building on the Commonwealth Secretariat’s observations and analysis of the process, and the seminars it has conducted with member states, Universal Periodic Review of Human Rights consolidates the lessons learned so far, speaking equally to the three major stakeholders in the process – to states, to national human rights institutions, and to civil society organisations.

An effective UPR mechanism will enhance the promotion of human rights across the world. It is therefore essential for the key players to understand and advance the UPR process including at the implementation phase.

This publication describes UPR, shares experiences and provides analysis of the Commonwealth countries that reported in the first year of the UPR process.



UPR Year One

The UK, India and South Africa took part in the UPR at the Human Rights Council in April 2008. Ghana, Pakistan, Zambia, Sri Lanka and Tonga appeared in May 2008 and Botswana, The Bahamas, Barbados and Tuvalu appeared in December 2008, making a total of 12 Commonwealth states in the first year of the UPR. All but one of these countries attended a preparatory seminar on the UPR run by the Secre tariat in March 2008.


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