UK National report for third Universal Periodic Review (UPR) published

Category: Universal Periodic Review

3rd April 2017

In May 2017, the UK will undergo its third UPR. In advance of the dialogue with the United Nations in Geneva, the UK submitted this National Report and annex in February.

The Ministry of Justice coordinates the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) for the United Kingdom.

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique process which involves a review of the human rights records of all UN Member States. The UPR is a State-driven process, under the auspices of the Human Rights Council, which provides the opportunity for each State to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to fulfil their human rights obligations. As one of the main features of the Council, the UPR is designed to ensure equal treatment for every country when their human rights situations are assessed.

The UPR was created through the UN General Assembly on 15 March 2006 by resolution 60/251, which established the Human Rights Council itself. It is a cooperative process which, by October 2011, has reviewed the human rights records of all 193 UN Member States. Currently, no other universal mechanism of this kind exists. The UPR is one of the key elements of the Council which reminds States of their responsibility to fully respect and implement all human rights and fundamental freedoms. The ultimate aim of this mechanism is to improve the human rights situation in all countries and address human rights violations wherever they occur.

 

The UK National report - summary

The UK welcomes the 3rd UPR of its human rights record. The UPR is a constructive process for States to learn from and to help each other in protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms. The UK remains fully committed to the UPR and to promoting human rights internationally.

On 23 June 2016, the people of the UK voted to leave the EU. However, the UK will remain a close friend, ally and trading partner of its European neighbours; an outward-looking nation, open for business, committed to peace and security, and a leading supporter of the international rules-based system. Recalling the celebrations in 2015 for the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta, the UK is committed to maintaining its strong global role in relation to human rights and continues to comply with its international human rights obligations. The UK will also take action to tackle abuses of these rights. As Prime Minister Theresa May made clear in her speech to the UN General Assembly on 20 September 2016, this includes working together with the UN to adapt a global response to mass migration and reducing the threat from international terrorism, stamping out modern slavery, championing the rights of women and girls and abhorring sexual violence in conflict.

The UKG remains committed to reforming the domestic human rights framework. We will consider further the Bill of Rights once we know the arrangements for the EU exit and consult fully on our proposals in the full knowledge of the new constitutional landscape that will create.

 

NGO timeline

In addition to the UK Government report, NGOs also submitted their reports in September 2016 in preparation for May 2017. Together worked in partnership with the Children's Rights Alliance for England (CRAE) and the Wales UNCRC Monitoring Group to make a submission. Together's input into the submission drew from feedback and evidence provided by NGO members of Together. It reflected on the progress made since the recommendations made to the UK Government in 2008 through the first session of the Universal Periodic Review. It also highlighted additional key issues raised through the Together's annual State of Children's Rights reports.

Currently, Together are preparing an oral briefing with CRAE and the Wales UNCRC Monitoring Group to be delivered to the Human Rights council next week in advance of the UK's May 2017 review. This will include issues raised by Together's members such as the impact of Brexit on children, plans to repeal the Human Rights act, Child Rights Impact Assessments (CRIA), children of prisoners, child poverty and violence against children.

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